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A New, Easy To Use Disk Formatter For GNOME

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  • #16
    As usual this comes out from Fedora:
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/DeviceKit

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    • #17
      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
      I keep searching for a meaningful use case, but the only I can think of is formatting flash disks (where you probably want a single partition, encryption and a volume name.) Everything else, e.g. partitioning for system installation, preparation of new disks, seems to be handled better by the GParted UI.

      Anyone care to explain what problem this program solves?
      I'm pretty sure that's exactly what this app is intended to do. It's not meant to partition your system drives. Heck, it's not meant to partition anything! It's just supposed to format external disks using as simple an interface as possible. The problems with GParted for new and inexperienced users are:

      1) It requires admin privileges to run (why do I need to type my password to format a USB thumb drive? I don't need my password to plug it in or disconnect it)

      2) When you start GParted, what do you see? A list of partitions on your first drive, the dropdown box for selecting another drive isn't labeled, and heaven help you if your system drive and external drive are the same size. (Where's that external drive I just plugged in? What the heck is a "dev/sda"?)

      3) Let's say you're able to select the right disk, what do you click now? There's no button that says "format", and even if you find the Partition menu, all the options are grayed out (you have to select a partition first, but none are selected by default). Even if you do select or right-click on the partition, "format-to" is grayed out. It makes sense to you and I to unmount the partition first, but a new user won't know why (shouldn't the computer know to unmount it if I want to format it?).

      Most users are goal-oriented, and want the computer to take care of the intermediate steps. GParted is a system administration tool, and as such, it is designed to give you control of the intermediate steps. The downside of control, however, is that it requires more effort, and most people use computers to make tasks easier. A simple app where a user can just say "I want to format this disk" (in as few clicks and little menu-hunting as possible) and the rest is taken care of is ideal.

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      • #18
        I'm pretty sure that's exactly what this app is intended to do. It's not meant to partition your system drives. Heck, it's not meant to partition anything! It's just supposed to format external disks using as simple an interface as possible.
        Yep, you nailed it - I'm the original author of this code, and you're right that this isn't really designed to format fixed disks - it's for SD and USB Thumbdrives.

        Check out http://blog.paulbetts.org/index.php/...made-phoronix/ for the latest on this version of the code, but be aware that this is a dead project, and Felix Kaser has picked it up, and did a rewrite in Vala (didn't use any of my code, just the name and some of the GUI ideas basically)

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