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Rob

USA
2601 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2012 :  19:14:34  Show Profile  Visit Rob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok, so some of you out there are aware of the various requests to change some things about S+ that would affect the UI.

What I'd like is for some folks to put together some mock screens to show how you'd make the interface (Preferences and Actions) look if you had it your way!

This is just to get some ideas to make sure whatever updates are made, considering it will be a re-write, consider all possibilities so another re-write doesn't have to happen again.

Think about expanding and scaling issues, like what if X feature were added, where would it go? What would it affect? I'd like to put together as flexible an interface as possible. As I've mentioned before, there's always a chance that I may (*gulp*) use a higher-level language for the UI just to make things easier and more visually pleasing. This would ONLY be the UI, the core still native WinAPI and efficient...but opening the UI would be a heavier hit to RAM..but only when open; normally this wouldn't be the case. Also, what are your thoughts about that idea?

I know, I know, the forum doesn't support uploading images. But, there are at LEAST 1000 free image hosting sites out there, bayimg.com, imageshack.com to name a few.

So let's see what you've got! The less I have to think about it, the more likely I'll do something with it =)

beholder

60 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  08:00:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, seeing everyone is as enthusiastic as you are, I decided to plug into this discussion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnMzu1h1gxc

Here is a video screencast, an Event Ghost tutorial/demo of the interface and setting of various stuff. Think guy is setting his remote, pressing buttons on the remote and setting them up in EG actions. This is why I don't need to post screenshots, everything is there and more. Perhaps you can inspire yourself with it. EG is btw made in python and it's quite big and clunky app, library-wise.

My approach to UI is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. SI's interface was quite fine and it could be disabled/enabled with one click in desktop, something S+ doesn't do. This is what I'd like to see.

But In general I do not share your enthusiasm about changing S+ UI, I am more focused on functional changes, feature additions and performance enhancements. And as much internal settings configuration as we can bear. Give me just XML settings and I am happy. I don't need the fancy checkboxes stuff.


Current fav pr0nstar: Tiffany Thompson
http://fuskator.com/full/m1sngU7WhFQ/4921_kindgirls_teen_tiffany_Tiffany+Thompson.html
 
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Rob

USA
2601 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  12:56:23  Show Profile  Visit Rob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Believe me, I feel the same way. However, you and I are in the minority. Most people want a UI to manage everything from, S+ hasn't changed too much at the core since December. But in order to make it a utility that people would actually bother using, I spent a lot of time putting a simple but nice UI together.

In reality, I don't know if/when a rewrite will happen as I feel S+ is generally fine in function and presentation. I put this post here just to see what people came up with..in the off-chance I was inspired, or if nothing else as material to use for later. The only valid reason for change is to support multiple gestures being assigned to a single action, but even then I don't truly feel it's all that necessary as it isn't hard to copy/paste a Lua script or even put it into a function in StrokesPlus.lua to centralize the logic if it were a complicated script.

Like the saying goes: "You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time."

It's pretty obvious I'm at the point of maintenance and minor updates. Though, I'd still like to see how people would change the UI if they could. Or even make their own, everything that controls S+ is in StrokesPlus.xml; any development platform has plenty of tools for working with XML!

There's a direct correlation between any major changes and that "donations to date" number above
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imafishimafish

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2012 :  10:36:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's what I think:

- Preferences UI - Who cares? You look at it once right after installing.

- Actions UI - I think using somewhat heavier UI framework would be OK. It would be perfectly acceptable If there were a couple of more DLLs installed for UI support. As long as these were only loaded when the UI is in use, as you mentioned. I don't want to see the S+ install bundled with a JRE or anything similarly huge.

Action UI features:
- I'd like to see a nicer Lua Script edit control. Not being able to double-click and select a whole word without selecting some of the surrounding syntax is annoying. Also syntax highlighting would be nice. A new UI framework would make this easy, or if you stick with the Win32 API you could look at Scintilla or some other enhanced edit control.
- Context menus: Being able to right-click on an action to rename or delete would be nice. Also clicking on an App or the Global Actions and being able to select "Add Action" from there would be nice.

Edited by - imafishimafish on 05/17/2012 10:37:54
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Rob

USA
2601 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2012 :  19:57:36  Show Profile  Visit Rob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Created a .NET project just to use the form designer to play around with a new layout. Mind you, I didn't setup image lists, so you'd have to imagine the tree/gesture lists having the gesture thumbnails (like currently) and the modifier check boxes would have a little more vertical spacing between them. Probably be some other eye candy around the form to spruce it up (nothing overboard) like tips, maybe a toolbar/menu (though I don't know what would be in it).

Yes, that's a gesture list for assigning more than one gesture to an action. That code isn't in place, but it won't be that difficult, it just breaks the XML structure, so I'm going to have to work on a conversion check when starting S+ where I'll add a new attribute to the config element for the config structure version (for the new structure when multiple gestures can be selected per action) which will detect an older version and convert the gesture name nodes under each action to a nested <Gestures> element. So you won't have to do anything whenever that upgrade happens.

I'm just trying to come up with something that can reuse as much of the existing code as possible and stay within the Win API (though the Lua edit box would use Scintilla for a better script editing experience). I'd prefer not to add in extra libraries/frameworks if I can avoid it...and I don't feel it's necessary to do so at this point. An overhaul like this wouldn't be too challenging, but would greatly improve the overall look and feel of S+.

Part of this overhaul would also hope to enable S+ to be used on the new config window as well instead of having to draw outside of it or not have access to things like a copy or paste gesture, etc.

I will also be adding action copy/paste context menus as well as enable/disable and probably some other little nice-to-haves. The function reference tree would be drag and drop to the Lua code edit box as well.

Thoughts? Complaints? Suggestions?

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HarryS

11 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  10:34:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I actually think the UI is mostly fine, love the change to have all the different options in the same place like you've done in 2.0 with the tabs.
An autoupdate feature would be sweet, at least have the settings xml file(s?) created if they are missing, twice now i have forgotten and overwritten my settings when updating ;D
The file names are sort of cryptic and there are like three xml files.

Great work though, i have totally ditched strokeit and only use S+ now.
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Rob

USA
2601 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  10:53:36  Show Profile  Visit Rob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, I'm pretty happy with where things are for now...not going to make any sweeping changes for a while.

The only reason I don't like the autoupdate idea is that S+ already runs with admin privileges which some people aren't crazy about, the last thing I'd want to do is make them suspicious because S+ also accesses the Internet. Though, I suppose if it is defaulted off, there would be no network activity and someone could block S+ in Windows Firewall. Of course, the biggest reason would probably be not wanting to code all of the networking stuff into S+.

I'll try to think of something, even if I just provided a script or bat file. However, if you download the _chg ZIP file, you just drop all the files into your S+ folder and your settings are left alone. And only StrokesPlus.xml contains your settings, ActionHelp.xml is just for the drop down of available actions and StrokesPlus_PAD.xml kust contains information about the program (the Portable Application Description file for use with sites who recognize them: http://pad.asp-software.org/).

S+ does create the StrokesPlus.xml if it's missing (although it's completely empty when created, no gestures, actions, etc.), and ActionHelp.xml isn't required, but S+ will tell you it couldn't load it and that the actions drop down will be empty.

I know there are some things about S+ that aren't polished (like autoupdate), if I could just stop coming up with enhancements, maybe I could get around to the less important (read: less interesting) things
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imafishimafish

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2012 :  15:06:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HarryS

twice now i have forgotten and overwritten my settings when updating ;D
The file names are sort of cryptic and there are like three xml files.



I have overwritten my files in the past too, but now with the Customizable configuration files path (http://www.strokesplus.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=347) I have my StrokesPlus.xml and StrokesPlus.lua in a safe place, and can extract a full program zip file without worry.
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dele

4 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2014 :  04:58:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Searching available actions in the dropdown list is somehow laboriously.
May be a tree (or something where one could use a keyword search) would be more user friendly.
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Rob

USA
2601 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2014 :  15:50:21  Show Profile  Visit Rob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Scintilla (the Lua code editor used in S+) supports autocomplete, it;s something I'm looking into for the next major version.
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