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Subject: fwpatcher user interface

fwpatcher user interface

From: Jonas H. <rasher_at_rasher.dk>
Date: 2005-07-10

I noticed some discussion on IRC about the fwpatcher (Firmware patcher
for iriver firmwares) user interface and wanted to chime in with a few
suggestions and observations.

The issue is how much user feedback is necessary. So I have a few
suggestions as to how it could work:

0) No changes

User selects a firmware file, clicks patch and the program determines
the model, patches and pops up a dialog saying whether the operation
succeeded or failed.

Pros:
 - Very simple
 - User can do nothing wrong (the other options don't allow anything
   wrong to happen either, but the user might think so)

Cons:
 - Requires the user to trust the program to do the right thing

1) Wizard-style.

The user is first asked which player he has, and is then asked to select
a firmware file which is then checked against a list of MD5 sums of
firmwares for that player and patched.

Pros:
 - Gives the user a sense of control
 - User will know that he told the program which player he has

Cons:
 - Needlessly complicated - we can detect this automatically
 - Might scare the user ("Did I select the right model?")

2) More feedback dialogs

The user is asked to select a firmware file. The type of firmware is
then determined by checking against a list of MD5 sums of all known
firmwares. This is reported back to the user in a dialog box and the
file is then patched.

Pros:
 - The user knows that the program got it right

Cons:
 - An extra "click ok" dialog box - these should be avoided as far as
   possible in my opinion. (alternatively, the final confirmation could
   contain the model name, eliminating this problem).

3) Output log

User is asked to select a firmware file. When he clicks the patch
button, a log is written to a frame at the bottom of the screen. Example
output:

---
Determining model: H120/H140
Writing patched file: Done
Checking patched file: Succes
Overwrite unpatched file: Succes
---
Pros:
 - User knows exactly what is going on
 - User will quickly know where an error occured
 - No more operations than currently
Cons:
 - Might confuse users
-- 
Jonas H
rasher(at)rasher(dot)dk
                                                   -- Watch this space
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Received on Sun Jul 10 01:20:19 2005

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