Subject: RE: lists stuff
From: Joaquin Cuenca Abela (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Nov 29 2000 - 09:23:26 CST
> Ok Joaquin,
> I stand corrected. Now the main thing our dialog has going for
> it is that it is simpler, Modeless and will be able to gracefully handle
> many open documents and views. I think we can learn from MS though. Our
below I discuss a bit why I think that 1) our dialog is not simpler, 2) it
doesn't has to be modeless.
Please, keep reading:
> > ? The word's dialog box shows all the time a preview of the
> current list
> But you can't type while it's up.
but Martin, that's not a feature, that's an (IMHO wrong) UI decision.
If I want to type, I type. If I want to change/create a list, I open the
list dialog, and when I've choosed the list that I want to make, I close the
Sometimes the modeless character of a dialog is useful (for instance, the
statistique (word count) dialog box), sometimes is a bug (for instance, the
spell checker dialog, or the list dialog).
> > > 5. Do instant updates to preview to reflect the changes
> theusers makes to
> > > their selection.
> > ?? the preview of the dialog box that pops up when you select
> > shows exactly that
> In our dialog as soon as change ANYTHING in any element of the dialog the
> preview is immediately updated. Dont press OK or anything it just does it.
just to clarify, in Word you have *EXACTLY* the same feature. You don't
have to click any button in order to see a realtime preview. There is a
preview when you select "Customize" *AND* when you don't select "Customize".
> > MS can do it very very easily... when you click in customize,
> select the top
> > left label (again), and change the contents from
> > i.
> > to
> > <<2>>--<3>.(i)
> No that's not what I meant. The "--" and "." only appear between labels in
> a multi-level list. We also gives users the option of displaying the list
> label in a different font to the rest of the document. I don't know how
> useful this is but we can do it so it is offered.
ok, all that can be done in word, too. Just choose the "Hierarchical" (or
something like that) tab, and you will see a world of options (btw, it
offers more options that the abiword list dialog).
> > > We can rather easily. How useful is this level of flexibility? I don't
> > > know but Power Abi users can do it.
> > So, again, what are the problems with the MS list's dialog box?
> it seems to
> > me much more intuitive than our dialog. For instance, say that
> you want to
> > create a bulleted list, with some fancy symbol (not a bullet), in the MS
> > dialog box, you will see a serie of little previews with sexy
> symbols, just
> > pick your favorite one and it's all (you can even use a custom
> image like
> > symbol, and in abi you cann't (if I remember correctly))
> > In Abi you have to select your symbol from a drop menu, and you
> don't see
> > the symbol until you have selected it. You only can see the name of the
> > symbol, but the name of the symbol gives FAR less information
> than a preview
> > of the symbol, for instance, several days ago Mike sent an email just
> > wondering about what symbols were associated with each name:
> > <quote>
> > TRIANGLE_LIST Don't know what this should look like.
> > DIAMOND_LIST A8 ("Symbol" font)
> > STAR_LIST Don't know which of the stars to use.
> > IMPLIES_LIST Don't know what this should look like.
> > TICK_LIST Don't know what this should look like.
> > HAND_LIST If this is to be a hand with a finger pointing
> right, I've got
> > it at 0x46 in Wingdings.
> > HEART_LIST A9 ("Symbol" font)
> > </quote>
> Fair enough. Our approach makes a smaller dialog that is easier for power
our dialog is not smaller. I've opened the unix shot of the dialog of some
days ago (the latest changes in the UI have not changed the size of the
dialog significatively) and I've taken a screenshot of the word dialog with
word list dialog: 428x354
abi list dialog: 438x351
the size is pretty much the same (the abi one is a bit bigger, specially if
we take in account that the unix shot that I've used was a dialog without
> users and maybe easier for simpler things too.
I don't think that our dialog is easier nor for power users nor for
"less"-power users, for several reasons:
1) the word dialog give you more clues about the list that you're going to
create (my last argument was that it's hard to figure what is TICK_LIST, but
everybody could understand it if you see an image of it).
2) The easier things are far far easy to do in the word dialog box than in
our dialog. For instance, the first time that I took a look at our dialog
(I wanted to test it before the 0.7.12 release) I had some problems with it,
I switched to irc and I meet Sam there. We spoke a bit about the dialog,
Sam opened abiword and said me:
"Look, it seems that I've found a way to reproduce that bug. Open the
dialog, select a type for your list, click in AbiWord so the dialog lost the
focus, and... voila! the type selected in the dialog disappeares"
Both, Sam and me, were thinking that actually that was a bug. Only after I
realized that it was a supposed feature (heavilly related with the modeless
character of the dialog). I know for sure that, to me, the dialog look&feel
seemed very confusing.
(disclaimer: that's an approximate quote, Sam, please, if you don't said
that, or you didn't think that it was a bug, just nuke me in public)
3) The hard things are, too, far easier to do in word than in abiword. For
instance, I don't know (yet) what's the supposed meaning of the "%L" that
you can see when you click in customize. Nor the meaning of "Resume list"
(or something like that). In contrast, I figured out very quickly how work
all the features of the word list's dialog (and it was the first time that I
opened the word list's dialog).
> A smaller dialog is more
> appropriate for a Modeless dialog.
but 1) the dialog is not smaller and 2) I don't think (by the reasons that
I've stated) that it has to be modeless.
P.S.: Maybe it would be useful if I commit some screenshots of the word
dialog to cvs. What do you think?
-- Joaquin Cuenca Abela firstname.lastname@example.org
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Wed Nov 29 2000 - 09:28:26 CST