Unable to make screenshots sequentially.

Asked by Rasmus Sylvester Olsen on 2012-08-19

This might just be due to not finding some option toggle somewhere.

I want to make multiple screenshots in succession before looking at the results and saving those that are ok. This was the old behaviour of gnome-screenshot. Each time I pressed the PrintScreen key, a new screenshot was produced. Current behaviour blocks further screenshots after the first one, until I have chosen to save it. This is a reduction in functionality and usability (PrintScreen should not be considered a launcher shortcut, but a functional shortcut) and a regression from past functionality. I know several less proficient users of Ubuntu who also consider this a regretable regression.

Use case 1: Alice and Bob are on webcam, Bob wants to take a picture of Alice smiling. With old behaviour, Bob would get to snap a few tries and pick the one he likes the best. With new behaviour, he only gets one shot, before checking and then staging the smile again. Obviously this is not conductive of a great user experience.

Use case 2: Alice wants to take screenshots of the procedure to set up a Samba share and send it to Bob. With new behaviour she needs to interrupt the task flow of setting up the share by saving each new screenshot, a change of modality. Not conductive to a great user experience.

Use case 3: Bob wants to take a screenshot of his desktop to brag on an online forum about all the nice eyecandy in his Unity setup. Bob presses the PrintScreen key twice by mistake. With old behaviour he would need to discard the duplicate picture, with the new behaviour it's easier to manage pressing the PrintScreen key by mistake. For one-shot printing the current behaviour is conductive of a great user experience as long as Bob didn't already take a screenshot of something else earlier and forgot to save it - in that case his new screenshot might silently fail.

In sum, the old behaviour is preferable.

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Ubuntu gnome-screenshot Edit question
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You can use a quick bash script with imagemagick to take a screenshot with a delay

actionparsnip: Of course I can hack a solution by creating a bashscript. My grandmother can not.

Why not make it for her and send her the script...

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #5

Well they can't make it right for every one.
bug 927952

actionparsnip: Because this is not "My Little Distro". This is a real usability problem, and a regression from past behaviour. Asking me to make a bashscript is kind of like asking me to find a nice heavy rock by the roadside when I complain that the hammer you sold me no longer is fit for hitting nails due to the new plastic construction. Replies to the tune of "make a bashscript" or "enter this in the terminal" are plain dealbreakers for the huge majority of users. Sorry, but this is just not a helpful suggestion. I can tell you about a dozen other ways to make a hack to perform the task, this still doesn't adress the actual issue:

This is a regression from past behaviour that leads to a worse user experience.

This is a pity, because in most other ways, Ubuntu just keeps on getting better every day, as does the Gnome desktop and gnu/linux in general. But we can't answer new users in this way, once they start using Ubuntu when Valve has ported a few games over. I can sure look over the code to locate the offending bit that prevents gnome-screenshot from launching more than once by the hotkey, but this is a call for someone closer to the development to make clear the rationale (WONTFIX because someone thinks the old behaviour was broken) or someone to tell me that I just didn't rtfm properly and there's a hidden toggle somewhere to enable the old behaviour. Or maybe I even have a bug on my setup that produces this behaviour? Don't have other computers here right now to check whether the same is the case from a clean install.

Sam_: Thank you for those bugs. I just want to keep the old behaviour =P Those usecases are interesting, but I agree that not providing the user with immediate feedback to their actions is bad usability so disagree with those feature requests. But those requests actually ended up getting implemented, as I show further down. I just want to keep the old behaviour of not blocking, or at least get an explaination why it is now blocking =(

actionparsnip: I appreciate your efforts. I now think I know why you suggested the bash script and so on - because you have misunderstood what I meant. I didn't ask for sequential as in automated or timed - merely as used to be the old behaviour in gnome-screenshot from years back and until recently, namely that whenever I press the PrintScreen key a new screenshot is produced, without the need to first resolve the old screenshot I made. Something has been changed so I now cannot launch more than one single instance of gnome-screenshot at the same time with PrintScreen. Actually, tried it in the terminal too - seems it checks for any existing instances because after launching one gnome-screenshot, any subsequent tries merely exited immideatly without any error code. This is not desireable behaviour, and this is a regression from the old behaviour. What I described, sequential screenshots, could be achieved in the old gnome-screenshot by pressing PrintScreen multiple times in succession. This is no longer possible.

For the record, these are the current possible keys, I think there should be one key here too for whether it is blocking or not, if the developers actually intented it to now behave the way it does, and not the old way:
gsettings list-keys org.gnome.gnome-screenshot

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