Re: line width window (patch)

On Wed, 2 Jul 2003, Krzysztof Foltman wrote:

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 11:16:00 +0200
From: Krzysztof Foltman <kfoltman onet pl>
Reply-To: dia-list gnome org
To: dia-list gnome org
Subject: line width window (patch)

This patch does the following to the line width dialog box (the one that
shows up after double click on line width control):

- reverses the OK and Cancel buttons (HIG stuff), uses stock buttons (so
Alt+O stands for OK) and gtk_dialog_new_with_buttons
- makes OK button default
- stops spin button from grabbing Enter key (so it can be used instead
of Alt+O)
- gives focus to the spin button on dialog reactivation (so that you can
enter the value immediately, not having to TAB through the dialog)

Any comments ? (I'm a Gtk+/GNOME newbie so it may be entirely broken)

Sounds pretty good.

You have grabbed the Enter/Return key for okay and at the same time the
focus is on the spin button (thats the same as a slider right?).  If that
works so much the better.

This is against CVS right?  When you say entirely broken does that mean
you have not compiled and tested it, or do you just mean that you are
unsure about the ideas and style?

Generally we do want to comply with the HIG, but I often see people taking
too much of the HIG at face value and not considering the specifics of the
application.  The HIG is a useful generalisation, hence _guidelines_ and
it simply cannot be very specific, so long as you think Dia first and HIG
second it will be fine.

This is not a criticism of your work at all and I would love to see more
patches that make Dia more usable, I just want to state my concerns up
front and hopefully avoid asking you later asking you to change your

There are other HIG related changes I have in mind, some better thought
out than others.  I usually file them in bugzilla with the usability
keyword and sometimes also the HIG keyword.  I would be very grateful if
you were willing to fix any outstanding bugs at all, even one or two.  I
should do more myself but I really suck at GTK hacking, which I became
painfully aware when trying (and failing) to do some HIG patches to the
GIMP, so I file bugs first and eventually I actually get around to
providing patches.

I also think the way the line width widget works may be improved.
Currently it favours some arbitrarily chosen values and makes setting
other - users' preferred - values a bit tedious. Maybe those changes
would make some sense:

Hub pointed out to me the how the Line Properties Dialog is very
inconsistant from the Line Widget in the toolbox.   Hopefully he will
also outline what he thinks could be improved.

- double click changes  current object's line width (for example: click
a line, click "width 1", line changes width to 1)
- have the "enter custom line width" dialog as a separate button/item on
a line width area
- being able to modify the predefined line widths - maybe via
right-click/Settings on a line width area ?
- some sort of preview for user line widths ?

I am having difficulty visualising this, so I will have to hold off on my

I saw a presentation at GUADEC of a drawing program from the Parc in the
60's, and what was particularly interesting was that by clicking on the
head of the line you got a dialog that allowed you to easily select from
the various types of arrow heads.  More of that kind of direct 'realistic'
manipulation of objects would be really nice to have in Dia from a
usability point of view.  Not that is particularly relevant, i just wanted
to share that with the list ;)


Nice work, great to have you helping out.


Alan Horkan

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