Discussing the Use of Images on the Forum

Continuing the discussion from Multiple VMs with virtual-box-analog-bridge-connection:

From the above comment I’d like to start a discussion on the use of images on the forum. I would like to better understand what are the limitations have and how we can help in that regard.

Does anybody else have some thoughts on it? If someone who used a screen reader, I would really like to understand how their experience here on the forum.

Related discussion on discourse meta:

I think @unman raises good points. Certainly, whenever text can easily be used instead of images, it should be. For example, if it’s text from a terminal emulator, it should be copy/pasted into a code block rather than taking a screenshot of the terminal emulator window.

In some cases, though, it won’t be so easy. For example, a user struggling with the installer looking at a virtual console doesn’t have the luxury of copy/paste. And, of course, many images don’t depict text or things that can be drawn with ASCII art.

:rofl: and not every user is crazy enought to redraw a picture in ascii for others.

We should also note that users don’t do this out of laziness. It’s highly non-obvious how to copy text in Qubes (One has to come across it in the docs):

So for the above-stated problems we can suggest the user to paste the text onto the forum, linking to the above links.

And for an installer failure, as @adw states it’s just basically impossible for a non-expert. They would have to type it out. Not sure what the best solution here could be. – Also, we strip image metadata.

The picture that motivated the creation of this thread is really an exception, where the user used a diagramming tool to show what they wanted.

1 Like

Unfortunately, for this very reason—Marta and I often exchange mobile phone images of in-progress Qubes UI things she is working on… precisely because of how stupid-hard it is to copy/paste things from/with Qubes OS.

Likewise: when I am near tears trying to figure “anything” out (not limited to Qubes—yes, many other products make me cry, too!), sometimes just a phonecam pic is all I can muster. Yes, I do this to the guys at my local John Deere and Kubota dealerships, all the time.

For all the reasons @unman has raised, I absolutely agree that it’s important to prioritize not using images as often as possible. Which, I offer-up as the UI designer—and as a highly visual person. It’s more important to get more brains on a thing, than it is for me to simply be lazy. However, if a problem really can not be presented (without significant barriers to the poster), to a community for help with in any other way, we should not be excluding users at an emotional breaking point from sharing images. Which I don’t expect Unman or others are suggesting we do. I just want to ensure we make it clear in any policies/rules, that we welcome all forms of participation… just to please be mindful of exclusion.

This will make the job a bit easier, but still probably far too technical and unintuitive, especially since it’s not a pre-installed thing:

Another way to simplify this:

  1. Create a 1 line bash script:

    qvm-copy-to-vm signal ~/Pictures/Screenshot*

  2. assign it to a hotkey in XFCE

So now you make a screenshot and then press the hotkey for e.g. Signal
and you’re done.