Sheets: Something smarter [Re: Chemistry Library For Dia]

On 25 Oct 2002, Lars Clausen wrote:

Date: 25 Oct 2002 22:08:53 -0500
From: Lars Clausen <lrclause cs uiuc edu>
Reply-To: dia-list gnome org
To: dia-list gnome org
Subject: Re: Chemistry Library For Dia

If you post a pointer to the files here, we can certainly include it in the
standard distribution.  So far, we just add sheets in, though in the near
future we will have to come up with something smarter.  I'd love to see
chemical shapes in Dia.

the sheet window in Visio is the same type of list as in Windows explorer
and similarly has options to view with small icon large icons etc.
This is quite smart as it uses a standard component.

The Dia sheet window could be turned into a file list but then we would
need a buttonized list view which i remember from Mac OS9 but dont think i
have seen in GTK.  I find the button list a much more sensible
user interface because selecting a shape from a sheet is no
different than
selecting a tool from the toolbox, it would still be nice to be able to
change the view settings and perhaps have a small icon and description

I was also considering that a menu with lots of subfolders was not a great
way to view so many files, something more like a tree view that unlike a
menu allows you to have more than one branch or sublist expanded at a

I had wondered why the sheet inteface was really necessary.  Why not
recusively check all the files in the shapes directory and create a sheet
for each folder and add each file to that sheet. But then i realised that
there might be a significant overhead and that also the sheet system
allows you to have a differnt layout (something a bit like vfolders
methinks) and lots of meta description information that you could not have
if you had simply worked it out based on the directory structure on disk.

At any rate it would be nice if Dia could autodect (autogenerate a sheet?)
for you based on the directory structure as this would allow you to
arrange sheets and objects by moving the files around on disk and then you
could use sheets to duplicate the same shape in different sheets or that
you wanted to just save some overhead at startup.

In the short term higher level categories to group the sheets into (menus
and submenus in the GUI) would do the trick but in the longer term i
really think we can produce something easier and more user friendly than
Visio, Kivio, Rational and others.


Alan 'random ideas' Horkan

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