[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Frontend redesign

> From ravi
> []  I meant the right edge of the window, which is
> no harder than going to the left edge.

I must disagree with that.  Without some sort of leader...............
it becomes very easy to point at the wrong button when they appear
in the right, rather than the left, margin.

	Of course, if you {
		indent a lot {
		} margin
	is very good.  B-)

>      I think the best use of double-clicking on the selection
>      handle (the button that is used to concretely manipulate
>      a selection) is to open a new document that is linked to
>      that selection with a default link type, like "marginal
>      note". This makes it very fast and easy to annotate a document,
>      and is conceptually close to the other uses of double clicking.
>   This almost works.  The problem is that it is too hard to make
>   different types of links.  Consider having a bunch of buttons that
>   appear to the side of the selection, one for each of the few frequent
>   link-types.  Actually, I prefer having a floating palette from which
>   to create the link.  One of the options could be to create a floating
>   link.
> Perhaps we can have a menu in the new document that allows you to
> choose the type of link, and it is remembered for the next time you
> double-click on a selection.

How about leaving the link type unspecified until you're about to commit,
then asking?  (Or is that what you're doing already?)

Have you noticed how the "smbl" button works on the wizard?  It pops
up a menu of 10 symbols.  You can select on with a digit key, or use
an arrow key to get a set of ten symbols.  (You're scrolling around
on the entire special character set.)  The symbols seem, at first, to
be in an arbitrary order.

The trick is, when you actually select a symbol, it becomes the first
one on the list, and the others move down until its previous place is
filled.  An LRU list.  The special characters you habitually use
rapidly migrate to the first menu.

Another wizard interface handyness is the way it looks up memos or
names in the phonelist:  Type in a string, then down-carat and up-carat
scroll you through the memos/names containing that string.

A memu for link types with a similar feel:

	> (blank)
	> type you made last
	> type you made next-to-last
	> etc.

You could:
  - Doubleclick on one
  - Scroll around
  - Fill in the blank line with a new or existing one (and
    doubleclick it)
  - Fill in the blank line with part of an existing one, and
    scroll around through just those link types whose cannonical
    name contains that string.

>      If the selection handles are visible in inactive windows (and I think
>      they should be), then you can make a link by a modified drag operation
>      from one to the other. Hmmm, let's try laying this all out...

Doesn't have to be an inactive window.  Just allow a selection handle to
continue to exist while you make another selection in the same window.

(Rubber-band between them as you are making a link, perhaps?  That's
 a strong mnemonic for what you're doing.  Once the link is complete,
 the band can disappear and the normal display of a link appear.
 You'd want a small pause, or to blink it, for operator comfort.
 That would be a good time to do febe to actually make the link.
 If the backend isn't too fast or two slow, you can let the febe
 timing show in the pause/blink.  [Or a switch:  Fixed time for
 users, time-it-takes for backend hacking.  Leave the switch
 available to users, so the more curious or paranoid can see when
 their links have gotten to the backend.])

> []  and having a
> copy following the mouse and connected to the original by a
> rubber-band line for a shift-option-drag (link).

Oops.  I should real all the way through before replying.  B-)
Just a bare rubberband for a link makes more sense to me, though.
Less clutter.

How about a coffeecup or briefcase handle for an icon, rather than
a button?  Then mutate to a dagger or spike, perhaps with a shrunken
outline of the text above it, when you're dragging text to be
inserted at some other position.  (You want to be able to specify
the insertion point clearly.)