RE: Dia's user interface

Lars Clausen wrote:

On Tue, 23 Apr 2002, Adrien Beau wrote:
On Sunday 21 April 2002 14:43, Lars Clausen wrote:

If there are any,
could you point out the worst problems that Dia has in its
interface?  I'd like to turn some attention to that as we
work towards a 1.0 release.

It's a minor problem, but it seems to me that "Diagram modified!"
is almost always displayed in the status bar. If I understand
correctly, it is just a file modified indicator.

First error with that: never ever shout at your users. No
exclamation mark. Personnaly, in the few GUIs I've written,
I've only used excl. marks in "impossible case" dialogs
(where assertions would be better, but I don't use Java 1.4
yet). Always be calm and nice to your user. Especially when
there are problems.

Second error with that: it's way too big for its purpose.
It's distracting to have this status message ever present.
Why not do what Vim (and others probably) do? Put a * in
the window title, as in "varicella.dia *", when the file
is modified, remove it when the file is saved or undo
operations bring the diagram back to the state that was
saved (the latter one being not necessarily easy).

I agree with you on this.  I have considered removing the !, 
but I never
thought of removing the whole string.  Three randomly sampled 
GTK programs
(Sodipodi, Gnumeric and Gnucash) don't have any indication of 
at all.  Gedit has "(modified)" in the window title, whereas 
Gimp prepends
a *.  I think we should go with the *.  Since we warn before closing a
modified diagram anyway, the information is not that important.

Now's the question:  Is there some more relevant information 
to put there?
Currently selected tool?  Number of objects selected (after a select
operation)?  Something?

Current coordinates would be great (even which page you are currently in) -
in the currently selected units :-). When dragging, the offset from the
original drag point in x,y and distance (sqrt(x^2+y^2)). I know this makes
it just like a CAD program, but in many ways Dia is a CAD program - when
drawing electrical (etc) diagrams I have no doubt that Dia is a CAD package.
Distances are useful for designing shapes that have the same proportions,
for drawing simple 'to scale' diagrams, for making drawings look 'nice'
because they're in proportion.

I also vote for the current grid snap status, maybe even clicking on the
value changes it or brings up the dialog to change it.


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