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LogJam

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logging in [Feb. 22nd, 2003|12:56 pm]
LogJam
logjam
[evan]
[Current Music |Godspeed You Black Emperor! - BBF3]

A user wrote:
Another thing that bugs me with LogJam is the login dialog that pops up at startup. Beeing a dial-up user I usually write my entry before I connect to the net. One could expect the "Don't automatically login" preference to suppress this dialog. But that does not appear to be the case.

In the way LiveJournal works right now, you don't really need to log in. You only need to log in to retrieve a bit of information that's stored on the server: the mood list, your pictures, the communities you can post in, etc. LogJam can (and now does) cache this information, so in some sense if you log in once after you change settings, you're pretty much fine to use LogJam without logging in.

However, you still need to choose a user. Your drafts, picture list, communities, etc. are tied to a username, and you need to tell LogJam which user you are so it can fill in the menus and such appropriately.

So I've been thinking about removing the login dialog altogether (or renaming it to "choose user", in which case the "automatically login" option would just choose that user on startup) but I can't think of a way to represent the actual login process (the one that actually connects to LiveJournal and transfers information) on top of that, especially in a way that won't confuse someone who doesn't want to read lengthy posts to logjam explaining why logging in is only sorta necessary.

What do you think?
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Comments:
From: bkhl
2003-02-22 01:12 pm (UTC)

Re: logging in

How about having a user popup-menu, like there is for picture, security etc. now.

Then you could have a menu command for refreshing your cache somewhere in the menu bar (probably LogJam, where login is now).

Possibly you could pop up a dialog and ask if the user wants to refresh the cache, if there is none for the selected user. If you want to be extra user friendly you could also point out the action in the menu bar in that dialog.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: decklin
2003-02-22 05:39 pm (UTC)
Where it says "Using journal: whatever" right now I will refer to as the status bar.

When you start LogJam, the status bar should say "Not logged in" (in this case, Submit would be disabled) if you have not picked a default username to use. You would then have to manually pick a username from some dialog (or just by clicking on the status bar text). If you have a default user (I assume most people will), then once the main window comes up the login process should start happening in the background, with feedback on the status bar. Once login is finished, the status bar would change to "Using journal: whatever" and become clickable to pick a community. If the user tries to set a mood or userpic before the login is done, there should be a dummy menu item telling them that moods/userpics are still loading (anything cached should still be available... or maybe not... i'm not sure).

A third option would be to have a default username, but not do anything over the network until you submit the entry (the user would have to turn this on themselves). I would use this, because I never change my userpic or use a custom mood list. The "dummy" entries would then do whatever over-the-network stuff they had to do, and populate their menu, while the submit button would just connect, authenticate, and post.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: hajime
2003-02-23 07:38 pm (UTC)
Hm. Perhaps one way would be to only retrieve information on post, as that's a time when you (should) definitely have a connection. The only problem with that is that data in the cache may be invalid, and some of the cached stuff is enough to prevent a post, or cause it to not work as expected.

I don't know if I like having a button or menu item that synchronises all the server information; it's the kind of thing that'd get missed / ignored / hit too often. Still, I'm sure people would like to be able to synchronise that stuff manually.

Perhaps try to contact the server in the background as LogJam starts / a user is chosen? The only problem with this is how to indicate failure in a way that won't annoy disconnected people and will let connected people know that there's been an error.
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