Too difficult to undo mistaken change to time/date settings

Bug #1102890 reported by heyize on 2013-01-22
16
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity-control-center (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

hello,
 I'm developer from UbuntuKylin based on Ubuntu 12.04 which support for students' and teachers' of NUDT(National University of Defense Technology) daliy work .Many students and teachers reflect that it's not convenient for user to set time.They want to add an OK button and Cancel button in indicater-datetime settings.

<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TimeAndDate#settings>: "To minimize disruption to log files and time-sensitive applications, any interactive change to the system time should be applied only when you choose “Apply”. “Revert” and “Apply” should be sensitive only when the time and/or date fields have been modified."

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Jack Yu (jackyu) wrote :

Yes, when I want to set the date or time, it is very confusing since I cannot make sure of my change with a button.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report, is that to set the time in the system settings ui, e.g the manual/from internet selector with the entries? What is confusing them in that dialog, the fact that changing the settings automatically apply the update without informing the user that's the case?

Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Jack Yu (jackyu) wrote :

Hi Sebastien, thanks for your response. Yes, we mean the manual selector. When I change the time or date in the input text, it will not apply automatically. I need switch to the 'clock' tab to make the change saved. So, why not add two buttons here to confirm user's setting?

Charles Kerr (charlesk) wrote :

I'm one of the indicator-datetime devs, thanks for this suggestion.

Assigning this to mpt so that it can get feedback from the Design team.

Changed in indicator-datetime:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Charles Kerr (charlesk) wrote :

What's happening here, I think, is that the indicator's time isn't updating until it reaches its next update interval.

If that's the only problem -- that is, the inconsistency between what's shown in the indicator, and what's shown in "Settings > Time & Date > Set the time Manually > Time, Date" -- another approach would be to always keep them in sync by having Settings notify the indicator that it needs to update.

That doesn't address the Cancel button suggestion though. Jack, do you have an opinion on this approach?

Jack Yu (jackyu) wrote :

Thanks, Charles. We confirmed that it's because it doesn't reach its next update interval. As you know, many guys would operate this setting quickly and may not wait until the next interval.

In my opinion, it is better to add a button which lets the user re-confirm her settings, than sync it directly. Since some times, the user may give up her settings.

Actually, the other button we want is a 'reset' button, which resets the date and time to the previous settings when the user finds her current setting is wrong.

Changed in indicator-datetime:
importance: Wishlist → High
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Hello heyize and Jack. You seem to be describing two separate problems with the Time & Date panel. But it's not clear that "OK" and "Cancel" buttons would be good for either of these problems. So I want to be sure I understand you correctly.

The first problem: "When I change the time or date in the input text, it will not apply automatically. I need switch to the 'clock' tab to make the change saved." As you and Charles worked out, this problem is that when you change the time in the settings panel, the system time changes immediately (as you can verify in a terminal), but the clock menu doesn't update immediately. That can be fixed right away, and doesn't require any UI changes.

The second problem: "some times, the user may give up her settings." "OK" and "Cancel" buttons would help here, but only until you clicked "OK". And buttons with those labels imply that the window will close, which would be inconsistent with the rest of System Settings. The other suggestion, a "Revert" button, has the advantage that it could continue being available even after you'd made a change. Here's a wireframe of what it might look like.

There's another possibility: both "Revert" and "Apply" buttons. Including an "Apply" button would make the purpose of the "Revert" button more obvious. The tradeoff is that changes would no longer be instant-apply, inconsistent with most of the rest of System Settings.

Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: New → In Progress
Jack Yu (jackyu) wrote :

Hi Matthew, thanks for your work. Yes, "Apply" and "Revert" buttons would make it more suitable for us. While,as you said, the "Apply" button would lead to to inconsistence of the rest. So, if we want the "Apply" button, we'd better change all the design of System Settings. Is this possible?

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Changing the design of all the rest of System Settings is not really practical or desirable. Instant-apply makes the effect of many settings much easier to see, and avoids the error of forgetting to apply settings. Occasionally explicit-apply is necessary, for a setting where changing it unavoidably takes you through undesirable intermediate states. One example of this is screen resolution. Time and date, arguably, is another.

So, I've updated the specification to make manual time and date setting explicit-apply, with both "Revert" and "Apply" buttons. <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TimeAndDate?action=diff&rev2=62&rev1=61>

Changed in indicator-datetime:
assignee: Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) → nobody
status: In Progress → Triaged
importance: High → Medium
description: updated
Jack Yu (jackyu) wrote :

Great. Thanks for your wonderful work.

summary: - Add OK button and Cancel button in indicator-datetime setting
+ Too difficult to undo mistaken change to time/date settings
Charles Kerr (charlesk) wrote :

Reassigning to unity-control-center, which is where this code is now located

affects: indicator-datetime → unity-control-center
affects: indicator-datetime (Ubuntu) → unity-control-center (Ubuntu)
Changed in unity-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
no longer affects: unity-control-center
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