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XMMS detection [Feb. 25th, 2003|10:41 am]


I recently built LogJam out of CVS and noticed that a bunch of stuff has changed. For the most part, I like the changes. There is one thing that's bugging me, though: There doesn't seem to be a way to disable automatic music detection.

It's convenient to have it auto-detect the current song I'm listening to, but I don't always want to add that to my posts. Would it be possible to re-add a preferences option to disable automatic detection, since the "<- Detect" button still exists to do it manually?

From: compwiz
2003-02-25 08:55 am (UTC)
the music settings tab perhaps?
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2003-02-25 08:56 am (UTC)
There is no such tab in this version. It's: User Interface, System, Check Friends, and Debug. The music settings are under System and the only options are "Detect music using XMMS" or "Detect music using command" and a box to insert a special detection command.
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From: compwiz
2003-02-25 08:59 am (UTC)


You could set music detection to a command and leave it blank, but that seems kind of odd that it would detect automatically without an option to disable that..
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From: evan
2003-02-25 09:35 am (UTC)
I'll revert it. I have the same problem abiku does, but I wasn't sure how annoying it'd be.

Both of you can read this if you have some spare time, too.

With that in mind, I think I wanna remove:
- Keep metadata after posting [should always be off]
- Don't automatically login [should always be on, just adds one button click]
And I will remove the Entry Format bar before releasing. I'd like to clean up Tools into something logical, but I'm not sure what that is, yet...
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2003-02-25 09:51 am (UTC)
Cool, I'll take a longer look at that later tonight after work, then.

> Keep metadata after posting [should always be off]

Agreed. I never have it enabled, anyhow.

> Don't automatically login [should always be on, just adds one button click]

I actually like the auto-login, but I understand your reasoning and tend to agree.

> And I will remove the Entry Format bar before releasing.

I agree with that, as well. I have yet to make use of it, although having the window real estate taken up by it doesn't especially annoy me.

> I'd like to clean up Tools into something logical, but I'm not sure what that is, yet...

If this were a microsoft product (and thank the gods it's not), most of those things would probably appear on a toolbar as square buttons with questionable pictographic representations and corresponding entries under an "Edit" menu. I wish I knew the correct answer, myself.

Then again, I actually kind of liked your pseudo-Journalert UI mockup (which nobody else seemed to), so what do I know? ;)
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From: compwiz
2003-02-25 09:58 am (UTC)
That essay really didn't say anything new about the politics of why programs have bad UIs, and the whole section about preferences is really nuts coming from the author of Metacity. I might actually consider using metacity if it weren't for simple things that are really just annoying and yet you can't turn them off, because preferences are evil. Workspace switching should not act like application switching. Giving X-Chat as an example is like the worst case scenario, as nothing in regards to preferences has been changed since the 1.0 series.
Gaim CVS, on the other hand, manages to handle preferences in a neat, organized manner without any loss of features (it has a long way to go, but it's on the right track).
Sawfish had a pretty nice preferences interface, and then everything went to shit after 1.1, when the author got rid of 80% of the preferences and various things broke for no reason. Then he ended up having to write a whole document explaining all available features that were able to be put manually into ~/.sawfishrc. Finding the preference you actually want in this document is insane, especially since the changes don't take effect untl you restart the window manager.
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From: compwiz
2003-02-25 10:04 am (UTC)
To contradict myself, a lot of people just make it a habit of not even looking in the preferences for anything, and just accept things "as is" because they don't think it can be changed. Case in point? Almost all people who use AOL WinAIM don't even realize that the "AOL Today" popup when signing on can be disabled in the preferences. Even *I* didn't realize that (though I use WinAIM rarely if at all) until someone told me.
And closer to home for this post, my girlfriend didn't realize LogJam could automatically save drafts, even after she repeatedly lost her posts because of various computer problems. I had to tell her that the option existed, and even then had to keep reminding her to turn it on. I'm not even sure why that option is disabled by default, it doesn't seem that it would affect anything negatively.
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From: evan
2003-02-25 10:06 am (UTC)

save drafts

Privacy concerns, mostly... though in theory that's protected by the 0700 mode on ~/.logjam.
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2003-02-25 10:15 am (UTC)
You're right about preferences. Most average users just assume the program has reasonable defaults and accept it as-is. (Or, in some cases, less experienced users just don't have the mindset that things can be changed at all.) I'm the exact opposite, though. When I sit down with a new program, the very first thing I do after installation is check for preferences and various twiddle-able options. I usually don't make changes until I've used the program for long enough to figure out how everything works, but I absolutely hate not knowing what a program is capable of doing. (e.g., Some hide advanced interfaces or functionality by default, and I often like/need those things.) I especially hate it if there is a feature I find especially annoying and can't find a way to disable it. (Take, for example, the helpful assistant in Microsoft Office. If there were no option to disable or hide that, I wouldn't use the program at all.)

I have to disagree with you on Gaim, though. They may be heading in the right direction (I wouldn't know, since I only recently started using the program about 2 months ago), but the preferences as they stand are a tad overwhelming. It's hard to deal with settings and the like when you have a highly configurable program, but there has to be a way to present the options to the user in such a way that it doesn't intimidate everybody but power users. Most people, when presented with a screen full of 20+ checkboxes, will look at the window, think "That's way too much to deal with," and will never bother. That's how I initially felt about Gaim until some of the default settings pissed me off the point of having to deal with their preferences. I know I'm not an average user, though.
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From: compwiz
2003-02-25 10:18 am (UTC)


Yeah, I was going to add that I'm the same way about immediately looking at the preferences. Also, I'm not sure if you use Gaim CVS, but as compared to the old (pre GTK2) prefs dialog, I feel it's a lot more organized and better looking than before. Of course it's still under heavy development, so I wouldn't be surprised if it got better.
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From: evan
2003-02-25 10:07 am (UTC)
It's funny you mention Gaim, 'cause I can *never* find the settings I look for in that. Why do my tabs no longer colorize when people talk to me? Is that a pref or could it be my GTK theme?
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From: compwiz
2003-02-25 10:14 am (UTC)


they either disabled typing notification, or there's a bug.. it still works for me, though.
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[User Picture]From: gaal
2003-02-25 01:13 pm (UTC)
Here's a workaround for you if you sometimes like autodetection and sometimes don't.

1. get and install xmms-shell
2. create this shell script:
[ -f ~/.logjam/nomusicdetect ] || xmms-shell -e currenttrack

3. chmod +x it and point your detection command to it.
4. touch ~/.logjam/nomusicdetect disables detection. rm ~/.logjam/nomusicdetect enables it.
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