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[Pan-devel] Feedback: New prefs dialog layout
[Pan-devel] Feedback: New prefs dialog layout
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 04:18:33 +0000 (UTC)
Pan/0.135 (Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea; GIT 5b1a1d1 /st/portage/src/egit-src/pan2)
After deciding to try a bit different workaround to the gnome-doc-
utils.make issue, I built and installed an updated pan for the first time
in some days, and got to see the new prefs dialog for the first time.
Here's some feedback.
I like the tabstrip ribbon at the top, with the arrows at each end. That
should definitely help with the small resolution over-sized width problem.
But of course I've some ideas for improvements. See the last paragraph
below for IMO the most critical one.
The best improvement I could suggest for the tabribbon would be adding
icons, as it looks a bit plain and the many tabs undistinctive and hard
to pick out at a glance, as it is. An option for icons-only, no text,
would be nice, but I'm not sure how it fits in with the gnome/gtk
guidelines. But icons and text would at least break up the long string
of instinctive tab labels a bit.
Of course, seeing the icon improvements already made elsewhere in pan, I
suspect you're already on it, and this is just the initial skeleton
Also, currently the tabs seem quite wide, apparently all set to the width
necessary to display the longest text one, status and notifications.
Either/both variable width or shortening the name of that one (maybe just
notifications?) will help dramatically, as it'll mean less clicking of
the arrows to see the other tabs. That's another argument for icons-only
as well, since they'll be MUCH shorter and will thus allow the whole tab
list to show at once for many people. (That's the primary reason I'd use
Alphabetizing the tabs would also help, tho I'd suggest keeping a
"general" or the current behavior tab first as an initial open-
preferences landing tab. There's enough tabs now to make the
alphabetizing useful, particularly with the scrolling ribbon tabbar when
only a tab or two are show at a time.
Meanwhile, as PKovar suggested a couple weeks (?) ago, combining some of
the only-a-couple-options tabs might help. Charset, fonts,
notifications, applications, upload and autosave, are all small enough
that the could potentially be combined into fewer tabs. I'd say fonts
could absorb charset, apps could absorb autosave and the cache size
settings from the behavior tab could move here too, behavior could then
take notifications since cache size would be gone, and upload encoder
size could move into either posting profile or group options, since for
instance ISO-image groups are likely to want rather larger chunk sizes
than image groups so making that a per-posting-profile or per-group
setting makes a lot of sense.
Alternatively, if the tabs labels are all set to icons-only, the tabs
will be small enough that splitting out each section in behavior into its
own tab would be reasonable.
Another alternative would be nested tabbars. This works especially well
with (larger) icons for the primary tab groups, in a setup much like
firefox's preferences dialog. or take a look at the setup of firefox's
configuration mania addon dialog, if you have it installed, for nested
tabbars with a text label rather than icons implementation. The only
problem with this one is that then someone has to decide how the primary
categories are setup and which one gets each current tab.
Meanwhile, three suggestions about the new hotkeys tab. =:^)
It definitely needs the sorted/grouped. I'd suggest grouping by window
first and then by menu, with the main window menus listed first, and
subsequent windows only listing additional options that don't appear on
the main menu. That's the organization I've been using here with
accels.txt for years.
Alternatively, make it a listview, with click to sort column headers,
possibly with window, menu, submenu and hotkey columns. If you click an
entry it then pops up a mini-dialog (or alternately expands the entry
into a second row with settings options, only one expanded at a time so
clicking one collapses the previous one) allowing to change or delete it,
instead of the text-box table in the current implementation.
If that's going to take a bit to implement, shorter term, at least insert
a bit of explanatory text at the top, directly under the tab bar, saying
what it's all about. The tab's rather overwhelming at the moment, and
deserves a line or two of explanation for now at least, with the sorting/
grouping coming later if it's going to be more than trivial to implement.
Finally, when I opened preferences, the new and unsorted hotkeys tab was
the first one shown, with only one other tab visible on the tabbar. That
was VERY overwhelming, even expecting the new hotkeys dialog/tab (which I
opened prefs in search of). My immediate reaction was that this must be
the new shortcuts/hotkeys dialog, but what happened to the other tabs,
since only one was displayed? I thought the build must have gone
terribly wrong some how and omitted the code for all the other tabs
entirely! Then I clicked the next tab and in so doing saw the arrows,
which I then clicked to reveal other tabss, but PLEASE, don't open the
hotkeys tab first, at least in its presently overwhelming form, or you
WILL have pan newbies running screaming for the exits! I've been a pan
user for years and LIKE config options, and that was /still/ close to my
reaction -- WHAT HAVE I DONE -- HOW DID I BREAK IT NOW? Given that, I
can only imagine what a typical afraid-to-touch-the-config-for-fear-
they'll-break-something user might do. Running screaming for the exit
must surely be close, however!
If the usual behavior/general tab is shown first, as pan used to do, then
the effect of the hotkeys tab even as it is, when people click on it,
won't be so bad, since they'll have seen a rather more normal config tab
first and thus be a bit more confident in their ability to work with
pan's config, before getting hit with the definitely formidable and
imposing hotkeys tab.
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman
- [Pan-devel] Feedback: New prefs dialog layout,