Re: Announcing the 'Sheets and Objects' dialog

On Mon, 8 Apr 2002, Steffen Macke wrote:

Coming soon to a cvs server near you.

Right, but before I would like some more people to test Michael's awesome

Trying out... this is Wonderful!  I was hoping to see the ability to make a
personalized sheet at run-time.  A pretty good (and familiar to many users)
setup, too.

I say once any serious bugs are out of this, we need a new release.  This
is too good to not get out there.

I like in particular that you show whether it's a programmed object or a
shape.  And having visible line breaks is also good.  You're also pretty
good about ghosting things that cannot be changed, such as you cannot
remove a built-in sheet.

Now for the nitpicking:)

Bigger things:
Could the dialogs *please* be made non-modal?  I know it's a bit of a
bother to make the callbacks, but I really, really dislike modality.  It
breaks the illusion of multitasking.

I get a segfault any time I try to Apply changes to any of the following
sheets: ER, UML, GRAFCET.  The remaining sheets are ok (except for the two
affected by the next problem).

When trying to save the sheet for Pneumatic/Hydraulic, it fails because of
the slash in the filename.  The filename is a distinct entity from the
sheet name.

Apply doesn't remove things from sheets.

Keyboard shortcuts for the buttons would be very nice.  

Smaller things:

The scrollbar on the sheet display comes in too early -- try selecting UML
and resize till all objects is show, the scrollbar is still there.  It
seems to not understand the wrapping of shapes either -- make the editor
really wide, and the scrollbar will appear at up to 8 times the required
height.  It should depend on the number of lines, not the number of items.

Double-clicking should bring up the edit dialog.

The sheet selections should stay after Apply and Revert, and if possible,
the selection in the toolbox should stay as well.

The dialog when removing objects is irritating, since the only alternative
in it is very rarely used.  This is a somewhat radical design change:  Make
it so that if you click in the sheet area outside the icons, or on the
sheet selector, no icon is selected, but the sheet name is highlighted.
Then operations should apply to sheets (Remove ghosted for built-in sheets,
Up and Down would reorder the sheet list (if that is possible)).  It has to
be clear that it's the sheet that's being worked on.

The Revert button should not close the window.  The Apply button probably
not either.  Depends on whether this is a window that people would normally
have hanging around, or just occasionally open.

The minimum size for the two sheet displays should be smaller, I thing down
to one (maybe two) icons wide and one (maybe two) icons high.

The edit dialog should ghost the Type field when editing an existing shape.

If you move line end markers together using up and down, they coalesce.
I'm not sure whether that's a bug or a feature.

Suggested improvements, not to be done before the basics are OK:

Would it be possible to drag items around in addition to using the
  copy/move/up/down buttons?
How about creating shapes without a (visible) intervening step of saving to
  disk?  Basically ask for a name and description, and it will save the
  current shape with that name and load it with that description?
How about shift-click to select multiple shapes?
Could the line break arrows have no box around them, so they don't look
  like actual shapes?

A shape importer plugin would be useful, so you could re-edit shapes and
make two-way interaction between Dia and the Sheets & Objects window.
However, there are still a few things that must be done by hand, such as
setting connection points.

That became a rather long list.  As soon as at least the crash bug is gone
we should put this in CVS, even if there are more changes coming up.  Thank
you again for a great addition to Dia.


Lars Clausen (| Hårdgrim of Numenor
"I do not agree with a word that you say, but I   |----------------------------
will defend to the death your right to say it."   | Where are we going, and
    --Evelyn Beatrice Hall paraphrasing Voltaire  | what's with the handbasket?

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