Idea.. Automatic Pnd Info/install/help? Good Or Bad?


skeezix

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One thing I've been rolling around my head is that all by themselves, a pndfile doesn't tell people much about itself. If you've nver heard of Wesnith and see wesnith.pnd, you'd have no clue till you ran it or looked it up. For quake.pnd you'll need to drop baseq1 type files somewhere, but you'd never know if you're a newbie. We're all new ies at some apps, right?

So awhile back I made a quick command line app that could show some info from the pnd file. Works, but again, many ppl will not wan to use the fommandline.

Strikes me that a good idea would be for, during pnd autodiscovery to spit out .desktop files for each pnd app to run th info job on them with a rudimentary GUI wrapper. Ie: so if you drop a pnd into /pandora/desktop a .desktop gets created now on your desktop to run it... But why not also create a menu item .desktop that shows a single window info page pulled from the Pxml.

In the past I kept thinking of doing it bigger .. The info job could look in pxml to find if there's a help HTML starter page and if so, mount the pnd, run a HTML reader on it, then unmount the pnd when done. SMe as running hr pnd but using an HTML reader instead of the executable in the pnd. That's probably ideal but is some effort to design all that in...... But would be awesome :) maybe I should just build this quick :)

anyone like or hate this? Useless? Got a better idea to do a similar task?

Jeffphone
 

WizardStan

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Instead of a second .desktop, can you do some kind of right-click->About? Or somehow put it into the Properties window?
 

Titcher

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The extra info idea sounds good. Making it appear as the hover-over on desktop icons would be pretty cool, not sure if that's possible.
 

God Ginrai

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I'm not sure I completely get the method this would be presented to the user, so let me know if I'm restating your idea, but I think a GUI with help for the system that would also populate with help for all the PNDs currently installed would be a nice way of including help. It could just be an item in the Menu: "Help". Kind of like an auto-populating CHM file.

-God Ginrai
 

Alpha2

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What if it were a menu (or contextual "right click" type thing) that you could go to and open the info related to each PND. I imagine someone with a lot of apps could probably experience a ton of new files on their desk top upon discovery and get overwhelmed.
 

fearofshorts

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I don't like the idea of auto-opening any help files in the PND. That would really get to me.
But accessing it from a tap-and-hold context menu seems fine to me.
 

torpor

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Why not just make the PND file itself executable, and if the user executes it the PND header loads and pops up the Info window containing ${PNDFILE}/Info.html, with a button to mount-and-use?

This won't affect launcher-automounting in any way, which can still just use inotify() to detect the .PND availability on a filesystem for automounting ..
 

TaG

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Sounds good. The purpose you are trying to achieve it for is spot on I think. How best to achieve, how simple or complicated I can't comment. But anything unobtrusive that adds this type of info sounds great.
 

juniorm33

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How/Why would you have a pnd and not know what it is?
Before you download you probably would have read what it is your downloading especially if your a newb.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just a low priority in my eyes.
Unless you don't have anything else to be getting on with that is, then yea go for it.
 

Sugar_Kane

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I agree with Na-Noo that you should know which pnds you have downloaded, and a full description might not be necessary. I can see the scenario of having masses of them installed and forgetting what was what though.

Would it be possible to have have them colour coded maybe? Say blue text for games, red for emus etc. That's probably a really stupid idea...
 

Iorgy77

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This is a great idea, while flicking through the icons in one of the fancy menus a small window could display info about the file, its full title, version number etc..
 

gruso

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I think it's good too. Over time I always end up with folders full of vaguely named apps (whether they're EXEs or GPEs) that are hard to clean up without knowing what they are. It would be nice to avoid a similar mess of PNDs.
 

juniorm33

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Yea, I think it's a good idea, just a lower priority thing, that can be done post release.
Just how many pnd's will people have right away and to forget what they are so soon afterwards?

To clarify where I'm coming from, it's a very good idea. I just think it can be done after, especially as you really seemed to have a lot going on at the moment.
 

skeezix

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My tough is that is actuall very easy to do ...

Stick tour sd in. Menu deskto auto show icons as always

just a help menu also populates with stuff like Info: Quake 1, which when selected pops up a browser with HTML info from the pnd

change is easy... When spitting out .desktops, ust spit out a second one.. Help category, running web browser instead of the pnds regular executable.

If I put it in now, it becomes (maybe) a standard

it also works for every Desktop Env without alteraton.. We're not changing xfce here, just using existing standards. For pmenu and mmenu theydneed work though

I'll talk to ED and he guys and see what they think, but I could code this in about 30mins :)

jeff

i think I will add some basic spec to pxml anyway to standardize the goal, regardless. Some built in install help info is a good idea, and then we figure outhow to show it the best ways
 

torpor

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Skeezix: I really don't like the idea of having another .desktop file generated to solve this problem - what about the idea of having the PND file executable so you can just run it to get an Info text about whats in it, and mount it to access it? I'm just thinking that you're going to end up spewing out files that can too easily be orphaned ..
 

aliking

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If I understand this right, we're talking about just another way to read the pnd? i.e. You are either running the pnd with the launcher to actually execute the application, or you can run it with an 'info-viewer' to display the pnd information.

In XFCE on the desktop or in a folder that could probably be done totally seamlessly using just context menus - you 'right'-click (is that working?) and select to open the pnd with the info-viewer. But for items that are in menus or if we wanted to have the benefit in pmenu or elsewhere, it makes sense to generate .desktop files for easy access. If they are somewhere unobtrusive like in a separate info or help menu as Skeezix suggests, I wouldn't have a problem with that at all.

Either way, whether having the .desktop help items generated or not, I think the info-viewer part of this is a good idea and unquestionably worth having. Not least because it may tend to drive the pnd standard. Also would probably be useful in any future pnd manager to have a module like that available to drop in.

a
 

mindlord

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torpor said:
Skeezix: I really don't like the idea of having another .desktop file generated to solve this problem - what about the idea of having the PND file executable so you can just run it to get an Info text about whats in it, and mount it to access it? I'm just thinking that you're going to end up spewing out files that can too easily be orphaned ..
I think you're misunderstanding. The .desktop files don't actually land on the desktop, but in the menu under the Help category. No clutter, and the are automatically removed along with their PND thanks the pndlib's magic.
 
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Monk

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skeezix said:
I'll talk to ED and he guys and see what they think, but I could code this in about 30mins :)

Done yet?

+1 for basic idea, pending implimentation.
 
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iprice

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I want the process to be as seemless and transparent to the user as possible, and I'm presuming eveyone here does too. Why should the end-user have to jump through hoops or have difficulty trying to work out what is what?

The Pandora should not be just for geeks and techies. EVERYONE should be able to pick it up, download an app from wherever and be able to have it up and running on their machine with the minimum of fuss. Command line for these people is a NO NO.

I can already imagine hundreds of threads on these boards asking "How do I get XXX to run" (pretty much like the EMUs now for GP2X and WIZ) - something is obviously wrong if this happens - unless the user is a complete idiot. I've not had any difficulties running stuff, but I've answered many people that have, even for my own games - which I try to make idiot-proof! It isn't all upto the developer, but the OS should help out too.

I'm pretty certain that an ideal solution exists and that whatever happens we'll all be up and running pretty quickly, but never assume that everyone will understand what you are trying to say, even if they share the same language - this is a multi-national forum, with guests from all over the world. It all has to make sense.

The forums are a pretty hodbed at the moment - with the influx of newbs with a new machine asking the same questions again and again, there's going to be a lot of upset peeps if we aren't careful. Let's try to reduce that situation before it ever happens.

What was the question again... ? :p
 
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