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Wireshark-dev: [Wireshark-dev] Preliminary Interest Gauging: Usability Review of Wireshark

From: Johnathan Nightingale <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2006 22:57:08 -0400
Howdy folks,

My name is Johnathan Nightingale. I work for IBM's software group as a usability specialist - my job is to review products for ease of use and work with my developers to tailor them to the problems their users are trying to solve. I'm not trying to sell anything here - everything I'm proposing is stuff I would do on my own time purely out of love for ethereal->wireshark. In my spare time I'm a security nut, and wireshark is obviously my bread and butter - this is just an attempt to give something back. I used to be a developer, so I could contribute via bug fixes and maybe I will, but this is my specialty so I hope you'll hear me out.
I've seen several articles in the past little while talking about 
"getting started with wireshark" or "ethereal basics" and, while every 
decent product out there gets a couple of those, I think part of the 
message I'm left with is that newbies find it hard to get up and running 
with wireshark.  Now this is not really surprising, packet-level network 
analysis is not for grandma's knitting circle: it's relatively hardcore, 
and its users are people who will get over any initial complexity, 
because the payoff is so high - wireshark rocks as a piece of software. 
 Blah blah blah, you all know this.
What I want to know is: is there interest from Gerald, or the dev 
community at large, in me putting together a usability review, and a 
list of recommendations to simplify the user experience?  This is the 
kind of thing I would deliver to my teams at work, a couple pages 
outlining the problem areas and the ways to streamline things.  Of 
course this isn't gospel - you all don't know me from Adam - but if you 
like the recs, I'd like to think that they might make it into the code, 
and that the world might be a better place because of it.  On the other 
hand - if this is something where you think it's interesting (or not) 
but you all know that any recs I make stand next to zero chance of 
hitting code because of your own release deadlines or feature planning 
or day jobs or whatever, well then I'll hold my tongue.  You guys are 
doing good work, I don't want to spam you with stuff you can't use.
Let me know either way - if I can help, great.  I got this list address, 
btw, from #wireshark on irc.freenode - I'm not a subscriber at the 
moment.  If I need to subscribe to get in on this discussion, I can do 
so, I just didn't know how heavy the traffic was, so in the meantime if 
people can just cc me on replies, that would be particularly excellent.
Thanks again guys, keep kicking ass.



Johnathan Nightingale
[email protected]