Yenya's World

Mon, 05 Jun 2006

Usability tests

Apparently Novell did usability tests of their GNOME desktop (I think I have already read about it in the Linux Journal or somewhere). Today I have managed to browse their results: interesting work, I must say. However, there was one thing that surprised me, and I wondered whether the researchers did have any basic knowledge of how UNIX works at all:

In the "Set time and date" test, the test subjects' task was to adjust the date and time on the local system. One of the main problems was that they were confused when the time setting application prompted for the root password - they incorrectly supposed that they have to log out from the whole session and then login back as a superuser. So far OK, I would say "fix the appearance of the password dialog of pam_timestamp (or whatever the responsible party is)".

However, the researchers' recommendation was: "Fix time and date settings to not require root access". WTF? This can be easily translated to "Make users log in as root by default", which is a behaviour of The Other OS, Which Should Not Be Named Here, and the behaviour which is often refered to as one of the main problems in the security of that OS. Bleeeh.

Section: /computers/desktops (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 7 writebacks


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