Transmission: don’t “fix” what ain’t broken!

I love fast, simple, lightweight applications, so when I discovered Transmission it seemed like a godsend. Transmission is a bittorrent client that’s just that: small, simple, fast, easy. The GUI is plain but does the job, and there aren’t that much preferences except those that are needed for downloading files.

But lately they changed the layout of their file-selection dialogue, and in my opinion, screwed it completely. First, let’s take a look at the old layout, pre 1.30:

The old, good way of selecting files

The old, good way of selecting files

The first checkbox controls all the other ones, so when you unselect that, the others get unselected too. I liked that..sometimes I just need a couple of files from a huge torrent. For example, if I needed 6 files out of a hundred, they were just 7 clicks away.

Obviously, this worked too well, so they changed it:

The new, crappy way

The new, crappy way

I can live with the extra buttons that determine the download priority (High/Normal/Low). But why replace the checkboxes by “Yes” or “No”? Clicking those doesn’t do anything. You have to select the file, and then click the Download or Ignore buttons. Even that wouldn’t be so bad if you only had to do it once, meaning if you could select multiple files, but you can’t(*)! You have to select each and every file you want to download or ignore, and then click the right button. That means I need 13 clicks now for the same 6 files, moving the mouse left and right all the time. It doesn’t seem that important, until you start doing it. It’s incredibly irritating, especially since it worked very well before. I can see no reason at all for the new layout. In fact, I couldn’t even find it in the changelog.

I have two options now: don’t upgrade to anything newer than Transmission 1.21, or use another bittorrent client. Neither is completely satisfying.

San

(*) Edit: Using Linux Mint, I’ve downloaded 1.33 from GetDeb.net, and discovered that you can in fact select multiple files. It surprised me, since I tried many times to do the same thing in Arch. Either I made a mistake (which is always possible), or something changed without changing the version number (which, I must admit, isn’t very likely). It’s an improvement, but still worse than the checkboxes

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9 Responses to Transmission: don’t “fix” what ain’t broken!

  1. Flo says:

    Do you know what is a bugtracker

  2. enev says:

    Flo, and do YOU know what is a bugtracker? Read carefully the title.

  3. celettu says:

    Flo:

    To complete enev’s answer, yes I do know what a bugtracker is. This isn’t a bug, it’s an intentional GUI layout change, one I don’t like, but one the Transmission devs obviously thought was an improvement. I just don’t agree.

  4. Chris says:

    This change sucks.

    Transmission started really well and now they are changing previously good things.

    Deluge sucks also. It is way too complicated.

  5. linuxowns says:

    Godverdomme.

    Waarom veranderen ze die dingen altijd?

    Ik heb geregeld gewoon enkele bestandjes nodig van torrents met honderden of duizenden bestanden.

    I hoop dat ze het terug veranderen in hun volgende versie.

  6. Flo says:

    A bugtracker is not all about bugs, and these kind of issues can and should be raise by that way.
    Developers are humans, they can do mistakes. If you explain clearly why you think the old behavior was better, i’m sure they can understand it.
    Opensource is about co-operation.

  7. RyanT says:

    “A bugtracker is not all about bugs, and these kind of issues can and should be raise by that way.
    Developers are humans, they can do mistakes. If you explain clearly why you think the old behavior was better, i’m sure they can understand it.
    Opensource is about co-operation.”

    And part of that involves not being a dick when someone says they simply don’t like a UI change.

    This is what people think when you put “use a bug tracker” or “do you know what a bug tracker is”.

  8. nucco says:

    Hey, file a bug report already. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with you (including me, although I’ve never used that dialog box before) that this wasn’t a very good decision.

  9. kevin says:

    Have you tried rtorrent? I use it on my server box at home and it meets your requirements of small, fast and lightweight. Sure it may be CLI based but there are lots of addons for it i.e. web interfaces. I personally use the wtorrent interface, now I can add new torrents, start, stop, delete from anywhere with web access over my vpn.

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