Do we want a progress meter?

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Do we want a progress meter?

Gary van der Merwe
Do we want a progress meter to show in the status bar when loading data
from remote servers? This is in addition to a main app throbber and a
throbbers next to loading calendars in the list.

Cases for:
* User with slow connection loading large ICS over WebDAV needs to know
if he should go get make coffie while his calendar loads.

Cases against:
* For user with fast connection using CalDAV - it's useless.

Any thoughs?

(Take it for a test run with this Sunbird patch:
http://garyvdm.googlepages.com/SunbirdProgressMeter.txt )

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Re: Do we want a progress meter?

Mike Connor-3
Gary van der Merwe wrote:

> Do we want a progress meter to show in the status bar when loading data
> from remote servers? This is in addition to a main app throbber and a
> throbbers next to loading calendars in the list.
>
> Cases for:
> * User with slow connection loading large ICS over WebDAV needs to know
> if he should go get make coffie while his calendar loads.
>
> Cases against:
> * For user with fast connection using CalDAV - it's useless.
>
> Any thoughs?

So, before it was deemed too confusing, Firefox 0.9 or so had a feature
where the download manager would only appear if the download was longer
than a couple of seconds.  So let's say that if the metric is that if
the time to completion is less than 2 seconds we don't need a
progressmeter.  In that case, we could check after one second, and if
the percent complete is less than 40% show the progressmeter until
completion.  This would eliminate the flicker/useless case, while
helping the user with the slow connection.

Would need to test this, obviously, but its one potential solution.  We
could even check < 25% after 0.5 seconds to make it appear more snappy
when its shown...

-- Mike
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Re: Do we want a progress meter?

beltzner
In reply to this post by Gary van der Merwe
On 18 Apr 2006 17:51:40 -0700, Gary van der Merwe <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Do we want a progress meter to show in the status bar when loading data
> from remote servers? This is in addition to a main app throbber and a
> throbbers next to loading calendars in the list.
>
> Cases for:
> * User with slow connection loading large ICS over WebDAV needs to know
> if he should go get make coffie while his calendar loads.

I suppose this depends on whether or not the progress meter is bogus.
When you start the data transaction, do you actually have an
indication of how much data is being transferred, such that the
progress meter would actually be an indicator of how long the
operation is going to take?

Also, I'd rather not split the location of progress information across
various locations in the app. I'm actually trying to move away from
that model in Firefox (see
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=334697) and to a more
Mail.app-ish way of tying progress indication to the thing being
loaded.

Overall, a progress meter is only as useful as the information it can
meaningfully convey. A user will go grab a coffee if they see the
throbber spinning endlessly, as well, muttering "damned network" all
the way to the pot.

cheers,
mike

--
/ mike beltzner / user experience lead / mozilla corporation /
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Re: Do we want a progress meter?

Gary van der Merwe
In reply to this post by Gary van der Merwe
> I suppose this depends on whether or not the progress meter is bogus.
> When you start the data transaction, do you actually have an
> indication of how much data is being transferred, such that the
> progress meter would actually be an indicator of how long the
> operation is going to take?

For large ics files over WebDAV - I does show usefull info, but when
I'm using CalDAV - the requests are never big enough for it to register
anything other than 0 and 100%.

> Also, I'd rather not split the location of progress information across
> various locations in the app. I'm actually trying to move away from
> that model in Firefox
> (see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=334697) and to
> a more Mail.app-ish way of tying progress indication to the thing being
> loaded.

I realy like this idea! This also gives us a nice way to indicate
progress per-calendar. (We could show a pie next to each loading
calender.

Gary

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