Re: Alternative user interface

Quick disclaimer: I'm not a developer and can't speak for the
dia development team. But I do use it a lot and I thought I'd
add my comments.

I still have not found a decent diagram drawing software for
GNU/Linux with the user interface I want. Dia appears to have
the features, but I do not like the user interface. So I
would like to contribute to Dia: design and implement an
alternative user interface. Ideally this alternative user
interface and the normal one could be toggled.

A complete toggle would probably add more confusion than it
would solve. Small improvements to the user interface as it is,
however, might be quite valuable IMHO.

My idea for the diagram editing software user interface is
also based on context sensitive menus, but slightly different
from Dia and Gimp. The basic idea is the move current context
sensitive menus elsewhere, and move the shape palette into
the context sensitive RMB menu. This would speed up the
initial creation of the diagram. I strongly dislike the need
to drag shapes from palette.

You don't have to drag shapes from the palette; just click on
the shape, then click or drag in the diagram and the shape is
formed. Turn off the 'Reset tools after create' option and dia
will not auto-revert to the arrow select tool. This is the same
as the way many paletteised applications work.

For example, when I right click on empty space on diagram, I
want to get context sensitive palette of shapes, directly,
not in any submenu, and nothing else than that palette. When
I right click on handle, I want to get palette of suitable
connectors. Left click would still be select, left drag for
move etc. I actually don't like the middle button, because it
is too stiff on my mouse at work, and I have none at home..

Well, your middle mouse button hardware problems are hardly
dia's fault then :) But, yes, I agree, dia's menus ought really
to have a little more context-sensitivity. Then again, if they
change around too much, this would increase the confusion
again. "I wanted option X, but now it's under Y/Z, now it's at
the bottom of the menu, now at the top... etc."

I would also like to have simpler == faster ways to delete
and duplicate shapes. My vision goes along shift-drag from
existing shape == duplicate with interactive placing,
shift-click/drag from empty space on diagram == paste with
interactive, control-click == cut.

I would also like a 'duplicate' menu item. The shift-drag
sounds good. But dia can do this right now with copy, paste.
It's clumsy, but it _does_ work.


Andrew Ferrier

email: andrew junk new-destiny co uk

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