13 July 2007

Usability gripes

I wonder if I'm the only one who finds it ironic that LDAP, of all the Internet protocols the one most directly aimed at fixing the problem of discoverability, is, itself, undiscoverable:

I happen to know the hostname of my company's LDAP server, so I only need to figure out 7 more settings before I can, you know, find out my colleagues' email addresses.

Uploading this screenshot was an ordeal, by the way. Mac OS has screen-capture hotkeys (Command-Alt-Shift-3 or something absurd like that), but it can't capture just one window. It also comes with a separate screen-capture program (Grab)... which unhelpfully saves your screenshots in TIFF format. (There is no way to configure this.) And Mac OS does not come with any basic image-hacking utility like Paint. Great style, awful usability.

While I'm on a roll:

$ nslookup
> help
The 'help' command is not yet implemented.

Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.

Update: Some great Mac OS screenshot tips are in the comments. (Thank you!)


Neil Mix said...

Hey Jason, thought you might want to know that I've had great success with Mac screenshots -- command-shift-4 gives you a crosshairs you can drag to get a specific part of the screen, or subsequently hit the spacebar to grab the contents of a specific window. The images should be dropped on your desktop in png format, but there are freeware utilities out there that let you change the directory and the format. (I'm set up for jpg drops in a "screenshots" folder on my desktop. Very handy.)

logopetria said...

"Mac OS does not come with any basic image-hacking utility like Paint."

True. But if all you want is to convert the format and do some simple adjustment, isn't Preview sufficient? It lets you open the TIFF, adjust the Brightness, Contrast etc, and then save in a different format. What was it you wanted to do with this screen grab that made it an ordeal? I guess re-sizing down would be tricky, although possible (in a rudimentary way) in Preview. Not suggesting it's a substitute for a proper image editor (or for being able to change the default format in Grab, of course)...

jto said...

Um, wow. I had no idea Preview could do this. Not only does it convert file formats: it actually has its own File → Grab menu. File → New From Clipboard is helpful for tinkering with screenshots, too.

rektide said...

just list your ldap servers in mdns/dns-sd.