Re: [Usability] RFP: File chooser user interface

I dont generally approve of acronyms but for shorthand I will refer to
the 'File Open Save As dialog' as 'FOSA dialog'.

On Mon, 8 Sep 2003, Owen Taylor wrote:

> This is a request for proposals for how the file selection user
> interface; what we are hoping to do is to get a number of user
> interface proposals, pick one or combine elements from multiple
> proposals, implement a first draft, and then refine from there.

> There are also several ways that the application can customize
> the user interface:
>  - The application can provide a set of filters for the user to choose
>    between. (JPEG files, etc)
>  - The application can provide a widget that previews the currently
>    select file.
>  - The application can provide an arbitrary extra widget to packed
>    into the GtkFileChooser interface. (for example, a "open read-only
>    checkbox" to the interface.)

I dont know how much you plan to preempt these inevitable extra widgets
but if there was a standard example of the following (and if they are any
good) then applications would be less likely to implement their own
inconsistant versions

Read-only checkbox (as suggested)
A thumbnail preview widget
An options button.

The "options" button would be to open a dialog for setting import/exprot
options like compression level (file formats like zip/png/jpg etc), to
discourage developers from popping up a dialog ever single time to ask you
what optiosn you want.  Far better to set the import/export settings for
the base case and provide an optiosn button for the times where you want
to tweak them.  Nobody wants to be asked to change the export settings
absolutely each and every time.

> Limitations of what is implementable
> ====================================
>  - For GTK+-2.4, we'll need to stick to linear lists of
>    files, rather than grids of icons. Later revision of
>    the user interface to use a gridded display is possible,
>    so a design that woudl ideally use a grid, but can
>    initially use a list is a possibility.

Aha! Different kinds of icon veiws, to me that seems l ike making the FOSA
dialog almost like a proper File Manager like Nautilus an idea some people
(notably mpt) are very fond of.

For people who wish the FOSA dialog to be more like a file manager, and
just as a generally useful feature I would very much like the designers to
ensure that even though it is a "dialog" that it be fully maximsable
(including the necessary window decoration).

Even though it is a dialog, and due to some technicality I never quite
understood dailogs are not supposed to be maximisable (at least not by
default) I am convinced it would be very useful for it to be maximisalbe
and allow users to make full use of the available screen space for the
dailog should the so choose.  When a dialog has extras like a Thumbnail
Preview it is particularly useful to make full use the available screen

I have other suggestions which I will try and describe thoroughly later, a
major one being convenient access to some preset locations
(desktop/home/documents/picutures/user defined foleders/recent folders
even? perhaps by some sort of bookmark system) but nothing radical, just
little detials over and above the current Ximian File selector which is
fairly good.

Oh and serious thanks to Owen for sitting down and sorting out the
fundamentals of the FOSA dialog.


Alan Horkan

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]