Re: [Gimp-developer] Search Action dialog feature

Am 15.01.2014 19:11, schrieb Simon Budig:
Tobias Oelgarte (tobias oelgarte googlemail com) wrote:
I can't really follow your arguments. You want something to be
either the one thing or the other. But does a user really want the
one thing or the other?
Well, as far as I interpreted peter it could be a third thing also.

However, what is lacking is a design goal: What is it you're trying to
achieve? Stating negative goals ("it is not a help system" or "it is not
a command line language") can help, but ultimately you need to describe
what you want to achieve. And for the first step you probably should
avoid incorporating your proposed solution ("typing") into the goal
("finding actions"):

That is it's purpose:

1. Finding an functionality by typing in a related term
2. Looking up or changing the shortcut for a functionality
3. Finding and executing an functionality that is used quite seldom.
While the name might be known, the location often is not (hovering
over menus takes way longer as typing).
What has the higher priority? Finding actions? Speeding up frequently
used operations? Speeding up rarely used functions? Exploring

If you look at the product vision for gimp you'll see that we use it as
a tool to set priorities: We focus on complex image manipulation tasks
and we don't focus on Gimp being used as a JPEG viewer.

The same focussing is necessary for individual features to make sure
that there is a clear target for the UI architecture. And I think this
is the background for peters questions: He wants to understand the
targets for development: If it is about exploring functions then this
*might* collide with the goals for accellerating work. And unless we
clarify our priorities here, we'll be stuck with a swiss army knife,
which comes in handy at times, but is not really a good tool for any of
the functions it offers.

It's about to make Gimp more accessible and to increase work speed at the same time.

Work speed:
For example we can look at the multitude of filter effects. I for myself struggle with the common task to find the right filter inside the UI. It's not that i wouldn't know which filter i want to use - i even know it's name -, but it is hard to locate it inside the main menu and sub menus, searching for it's menu item by looking at all the names. A search functionality can speed this task up immensely, by just typing in a fraction of the filters name.

Now we could say that we only want a filter navigator or something like that. But why should we limit it to that, when we could also provide a general interface to explore functionality? At the same time it could (optionally) include a history of recently used actions (with last settings). We do that for filters already, but the history is limited to one entry and it only works for filters.

If you know all your tools and also know exactly where to find them, then you might ignore a search. It's like typing in an URL that you know. But if you are not sure, then you use search engine or the browser history, which is quicker as trying to enter the right URL multiple times.

Accessibility for new users:
New users are not used to the names of various menu items and tools. A search can also include alternative names for the same functionality (maybe used by other programs). It can additionally expose more information about the tool (for example a short description, a link to the help page, the shortcut if present, ...) or allow to directly adjust major settings of an action without to open the settings popup dialog.

That would be more or less my expectations of such a search functionality. I really like this features in Blender (Operator search [SPACE], History of Operators with previous settings [F3]) already, even though they could need even further improvements.

Greetings from
Tobias Oelgarte

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