Reply to topic

Dolphin quick format menu (KDE PartitionManager integration)

10

Votes
12
2
User avatar Fri13
Registered Member
Posts
397
Karma
4
OS
SysGhost wrote:Sure one who would need to do something like this would also have enough knowledge to use the terminal to do so.
But the need to do such tasks are needed more and more by "the normal people".


No need to know knowledge how to use terminal. Only that there is a separated application like "KDE Partition Manager" what is used.

So situations where the filesystem needs to be changed from A to B (or fixed by reformatting) then it should be separate tool instead 99.99% of otherwise used one.
rick-de
Registered Member
Posts
1
Karma
0
After reading this post, although I see it is old now, I just have the need to say a few things.

I'm a software developer working on Open Source for many years, and I always feel frustrated when I see answers like the ones I've seen in this thread.

Giving technical reasons why the option to format a USB drive (or whatever) should not belong to a file manager is just plainly close minded and one of the reasons why engineers struggle to get up the ladder to become business people. Sorry to put it that way.

It is technically correct to say what you say here, but it is not user friendly correct, and you also make a huge contradiction. Why? Well if you are part of a big endeavor like KDE and its desktop environment, if you believe in it and have an account in this forum, why would you be against user-friendly enhancements? If you think things should be technically correct, well just drop KDE altogether and use linux from the command line. See the point?

More non-geek users now embrace linux because of the user friendly options that have evolved, like KDE, etc. Answering a user's question about a reasonable feature like having the ability to format a USB drive form dolphin by saying it is not technically correct is just an excuse to not think about it and not do it. You alienate the users that way. I'm pretty sure some warning or other usability design can work very well. Usability designs, exactly like dozens you can already see in KDE, are real and started with an idea like the question that fired this thread. If the original KDE developers have had the same attitude I see in this thread KDE would have never come to be like it is now.

My piece of advise: think where you are and where is the one asking the question. Different places, intellectually or other, require more effort to communicate but in the end that effort yields better results and benefits the overall community much more.
User avatar Soukyuu
Registered Member
Posts
71
Karma
0
OS
Why is it not user friendly to start a GUI program that is meant to (re-)format storage devices?
To be honest, this feels like one of the "user friendly" = "the way windows does it" cases.

Personally, I think the integration with the device notifier linked on the first page is more than enough.
One could probably also write a dolphin service menu file which adds an entry to start partition manager to dolphin's context menu.
ncoghlan
Registered Member
Posts
1
Karma
0
I have to echo rick-de's frustrations here - I'm a veteran Linux user, but formatting USB drives (or any kind of drive) isn't something I typically need to do.

However, I *often* open up USB drives using Dolphin (either directly or via Device Notifier), and there's a handy little "Devices" section in the left hand sidebar that I expect to be able to use to manage them.

Today, I was using a USB key that I'd last used as a live USB to install Fedora 22 Beta on the system I'm currently running (having upgraded to the released version when it was published). I wanted to convert it back to a plain USB storage drive, so I plug it in, and click on it in Device Notifier. However, I wanted to double check what was on it first, so I opened it in File Manager to browse it, satisfied myself I hadn't saved anything I cared about on there, and only then right-clicked on the Device in the left hand navigation pane to format it. Unfortutunately, I did that only to find there was no "Format..." option as I expected (launching Partition Manager to actually do the formatting would be fine, what was missing was the link to let me easily traverse from the "manage this as a mounted file store" context to the "manage this as a USB key" context).

This meant I had to resort to Google to find out how to format a USB drive from KDE - there was no cookie crumb within the Dolphin GUI itself to get me to the right place. The initial hits I found all said to use fdisk from the command line, which *I* knew to be the wrong answer, but a lot of folks would assume those high ranking hits to mean there was no way to do it from the GUI at all.

I then found *this* thread, which tells me to use KDE Partition Manager (amidst several explanations telling me that I'm wrong for wanting to format my USB key instead of just deleting all the files on it, when the latter won't actually reformat the key to a single data storage volume spanning the entire key), and also that I should be presented with the option to access that from Device Notifier. However, removing and reinserting the USB key only offered the option of opening it in the file manager, and looking for "KDE Partition Manager" in the K menu didn't find anything. I do however notice the "Disks" utility, which seems promising.

Unfortunately, opening up "Disks" shows it is clearly designed with storage administrators in mind, not ordinary desktop users. Fortunately, I do know how Linux filesystems work (aside from general Linux experience, I've been a CPython core developer for a decade, and was also the development lead for Red Hat's main hardware integration testing system for a couple of years and actually got my basic Red Hat system administration certs), so I can make sense of the list of disks presented by that utility (it lists them by hardware type, rather than the Dolphin approach of listing USB devices by their main volume name - sensible for storage administration, not good for reformatting user keys). Hidden away in a hamburger menu in the top bar (rather than in a context menu where you might reasonably expect to find it in a desktop application) is the option to completely format the disk as a plain data storage volume (which I've now done, and didn't require root access to do so), and then you need to add a named partition to actually hold data and be able to mount the key.

That's a rather convoluted process to have to follow to get from "I want this disk I am currently looking at in Dolphin to be a completely empty data storage device, providing access to the full capacity of the USB key, regardless of what was previously on it, or how it was previously partitioned".

I wouldn't expect anybody to implement this on their own time for free, but I *would* expect it to be the kind of relatively straightforward user experience issue that a paid developer contributing to KDE maintenance could address.

 
Reply to topic

Bookmarks



Who is online

Registered users: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], boudewijn, claydoh, Google [Bot], koffeinfriedhof, minnew, Sogou [Bot], Stephen Leibowitz, thishis, tymond