Table of Contents

First Impressions, and How to Improve Them

How does Rosegarden appear when first installed and run on a new Linux distribution?

I've been so used to fixing problems “in the distribution” with Studio to Go that I no longer really remember what the normal first time user experience on a non-audio-focused distribution is like. However, I do remember that it used to be pretty lousy; that's one reason STG exists in the first place. So, I downloaded Ubuntu 7.10 and gave it a try. (I just used Ubuntu because it's popular and it isn't KDE-based. Please add your comments on other distros. Preferably working from a clean install rather than your regular development system.)

[DMM: I'm not sure how I'm expected to comment on this. Comment page, or inline in the text? I'm picking the latter. It's incredibly annoying how I can't edit wiki pages with Konqueror too, incidentally.] – Generally I think wiki pages read best if you just edit the text, and rely on the occasional note at the start or end of a paragraph, or even on the history mechanism in the wiki, to indicate who wrote what, unless you really want to make it clear that there's a conversation afoot. I find the italic a bit harder to follow here, partly because my browser is picking up a particularly ugly italic font. And agreed, it's totally broken with Konqueror. [cc]

Ubuntu 7.10 i386 Desktop

Note: DMM adds that Rosegarden is included in Ubuntu Studio, which is the obvious recommendation for Ubuntu users. Regardless, I'd like to improve the situation for people who stumble across Rosegarden as part of messing about with their normal distro, or who won't be likely to change distro if the applications they would be likely to use there don't look good enough anyway.

When I ran Rosegarden, the first things that came up were:

The theme and font looked OK. The demo files were present. Haven't done any serious testing (that wasn't really the focus).

I forgot to check whether the Help was present – that's an important one… [DMM: it frequently isn't installed.] I think there's a difficulty with the help file location – I honestly don't know how the help viewer discovers it or how any given packager is supposed to work out where to put it. And of course the help viewer might not be installed either. Why don't we install the HTML version of the help as well, now that we're making it for the website, and link to that if running the help viewer fails, or some such? Or even always use the HTML version? Or use it if KDE is not running? It's not like the KDE help viewer is all that brilliant anyway, although it's not too bad. I don't want to go as far as opening the website version of the handbook; I'd rather stick with something on the filesystem.

Also, with respect to the tutorial and web links (the ones that need an actual web browser), the Debian package of RG has a patch to make it run “x-www-browser” instead of “konqueror” in case konqueror is not installed. That isn't portable either, but it might be nice to do something a bit cleverer than just run Konqueror, e.g. check for x-www-browser, konqueror, firefox etc in order.

KUbuntu 7.10 i386 Desktop

OK, so I also tried this in KUbuntu, and this time I remembered to look at the Help menu.

Not particularly distro-specific notes:

Anyway, I quite like starting up with some kind of link to more info, instead of the random tips file. How viable is it to come up with something similar to one of the KDE first time wizard pages with a nifty graphic along one side, and text in the rest of the box. Could the text hyperlink? Maybe come up with something that invites people to find the FAQ, the “corporate” website, my increasingly obsolete book, etc.]

I'm sure we can do _something_, with a graphic, text and hyperlinks, quite easily. First time you run a given version of RG. Then only put up the Tip of the Day on the second and subsequent runs.

All this suggests to me that a PortAudio playback driver should be a pretty high priority, yes?