Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

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Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:51 pm

After the Toolbar viewtopic.php?f=67&t=28147 the Tools Palette viewtopic.php?f=66&t=28162 and the Inspector viewtopic.php?f=67&t=28184 I also tried to imagine how could be a redesigned Project Browser window.

It's just a try so let me know what do you think, which parts you hate and which you love (if any)...

--

There are two proposals:

1. Version 1 retains the existing functionality of the Project Browser (the selected items do not match the selected controls of the card).

2. Version 2 unifies the selection between Project Browser and the card (the selected items match exactly to the selected controls of the card).

The system 1 (existing functionality of the Project Browser) in my opinion, is very complex to understand for the users and gives rise to many errors (but allows to act on non-visible objects e.g. controls in another card).

The system 2 is much easier to understand (but does not allow to act on non-visible objects e.g. controls in another card).

The second is by far my favorite and it would make a big leap in terms of usability to LiveCode.


Version 1:

LiveCodeProjectBrowser9.jpg



Version 2:

ProjectBrowser19.jpg


Note: All concept of this post are updated according to the discussion below.
Last edited by Mag on Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:37 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby jacque » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:53 pm

This revision would make the project browser almost usable for me. I never use it because the vertical layout doesn't work for large projects, which has been my main focus recently. But another reason is the visual clutter that makes it too hard to find and distinguish one object from another. Your suggestion addresses that very well.

Reducing the icon clutter at the bottom is brilliant. Even at larger sizes it is still too hard for me to tell these apart because the icons are all square. (And using folder and document icons for objects is just wrong.)

My only suggestion for the bottom alignment popup would be to make it a panel rather than a menu. During layout I'd like the alignment tools to be persistent and within easy reach. The icons could remain if they were larger, more distinctive, and labeled.

I still don't understand why the selected line, which has been the "active" target for more than 30 years on every platform, has been replaced by a dotted box. I can't keep straight which one is which. I ruined more than one layout by assuming my selection would be the recipient of an action.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:41 pm

Hello Jacqueline, I had also noticed these usability problems with the Project Browser. It 'a shame because I think this palette can help so many new users to understand how LiveCode works at a glance.

Currently, the Project Browser tools (align, duplicate and so on...) are designed to work with the objects, without the need to select them in the card. And it is cross-card (you can select objects in more than one card, also the not visible current card).

Unfortunately, an user can think that the selected line item on the Project Browser correspond to an item selected in the card, as happens in Photoshop (what is selected in the Layers palette is also selected in the canvas). But it is not the case and this is a problem that causes difficulties for users.

From what it seemed to me (but I could be wrong), the only features that uses the selection of items in the Project Browser are alignment tools, vertical/horizontal layout, grouping, duplicates and delete buttons (if there are other uses I have not noticed so far).

So actually the selection of items in the Project Browser does not help much. I do not think it's worth creating confusion to user for so little. So, if you want to increase usability quality, the possibility to select lines in the Project Browser or should be eliminated or should correspond to the objects selected in the card. But I am afraid that this would change completely the use of the Project Browser, as it was thought by the LiveCode team.

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 21.48.01.png


Also, I believe that, the tools now present in the footer should be put in another place (for example in the Toolbar, or in a special palette) and should act only on the items selected in the card.
Last edited by Mag on Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:03 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby mwieder » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:51 pm

I do think that the alignment tools should be in the Project Browser rather than in a different palette, because they act on the selected object(s), and the PB is (or should be) a main way to select objects.

But I agree with Jacque about the (un)usability factor of the PB currently. I have accidentally selected and acted on the wrong object because I thought I had it selected in the PB. It's not so much the visible effects that bother me, but the workflow issues seem to have taken a major step backwards from the (deservedly so) much-maligned Application Browser.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:09 am

mwieder wrote:and the PB is (or should be) a main way to select objects.


This is what I also dream.

This would be a great revolution for the interface.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:03 pm

Ok, I posted a new version of the image where the selection of an object on the card is indicated by an icon, and the selection of an item in the Project Browser is indicated by a checkbox. Maybe now the scope of the Project Browser is a bit more clear, I think.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:51 am

There are two versions now, if interested please read the first post to see the new concepts and learn more.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Jeanne DeVoto » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:52 am

I would suggest a single disclosure arrow to show and hide the options at the bottom, rather than a separate one for each pane. (If you're using one of them because you're doing layout-intensive work, you're likely to need them all. If you're not using one, you're probably not using any. And it's easier to click one arrow than three.)
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:30 am

Do you mean something like this? (please see the image on the top post)
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Jeanne DeVoto » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:54 am

Yes, exactly.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mag » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:08 am

Thank you for your contribute.

I updated the window with a bar where you can search for items and filter to show all items or only items present in current card (please see the second image in the first post).
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mikey » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:18 pm

Do we have any community members working on the PB? I've been running into PB issues (found another doozy, yesterday), so I'm adding it to my list of IDE things that I'm going to start trying to work on/contribute to.

What other threads do we have that would be relevant? Similar to the thread I just started on the dictionary, do we have a running wishlist of things we like and don't like? I'll add one: I miss the thumbnails that were in the PB in 6 and 7. I'd at least like the option to see them, again.
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby FourthWorld » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:54 pm

Mikey wrote:Do we have any community members working on the PB? I've been running into PB issues (found another doozy, yesterday), so I'm adding it to my list of IDE things that I'm going to start trying to work on/contribute to.

What's the bug report number/URL?
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Re: Proposal for changing a bit the Project Browser

Postby Mikey » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:37 pm

bug 19172.
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