Re: [Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME (Summit mockups)

Tomasz Janowitz wrote:
Michael Sweet wrote:
OK, I've finally had a chance to put a demo together that shows the
expandable UI functionality with the print dialog.  The demo is not
yet fully-functional (i.e. no actual printing, the options are made-
up), but it does demonstrate the basic idea.

You can download the source code and see an animated image of the
dialog at:

Comments, etc. welcome!


1) I would change the order of summaries from {printer, pages, quality,
copies} to {printer, copies, pages, quality}, since i think 'copies' is
generally more often used than 'pages', and 'quality' would be probably
least used.

:)  I actually started with that order, but decided that putting the
copies pane at the bottom (near the "print" button) would involve the
least mouse movement in most cases...

2) I don't know if it is a good idea, but i would change 'print to' so that
it contains 2 options:
* printer (expanded when marked just like in your demo shows up)
* print to ps/pdf file (or export to ps/pdf file); this option when set
collapses the list of available printers; '*' is for check box

I'll fiddle with that over the next few days.  I'm still not sure
whether to use a radio button or just list it along with the printers
(or something in between, i.e. having an item 'stuck' at the top or

Anyways, the main thing is to have one place to select the destination;
as we've covered on the DA list, "print to PDF" may not be the most
intuitive way (and apps might want to provide print, save, and export
to PDF depending on their application and users)

3) I would rearrange options in 'copies' dialog - look at attachment; in my
opinion 'range' field should be wider so it was able to contain more ranges
(even if this field was able to scroll when one get's to end of field -
i.e. when the beginning of ranges would hide behind left field border)

I was actually thinking of doing two columns in each pane to minimize
the overall height of the window.  Then we can have a more traditional
page selection on the left and copy selection on the right with the
graphical image showing how the copies will be produced.

4) There should be option (in settings ?, another sub menu: preferences ?)
for customizing the behaviour of tabs, say:
tab behaviour: 1)expand on selection (default), all expanded, selection
expanded: {*printer,*copies,*pages,*quality} 2)*collapse tab when another
is selected
then one could set this dialog to keep open only current tab, all tabs open
all the time, some open all the time, some other could stay opened after
picking them, or just collapse when moved to another tab

Ideally I'm going to make the dialog remember how the user last left
things, so they can just set it up as they like.  I've also thought
about the "only expand one pane at a time" behavior, and thought that
was perhaps best left to a separate mouse button (middle button?)
since the purpose of the expandable dialog is to allow the user to
see more than one "tab" or pane at a time.

5) There is no 'pages per sheet' menu (i would place it after 'pages',
before 'quality') as of now.

Right; I was thinking it might be incorporated into either the copies
pane or the (currently missing) finishing pane, but we'll see.  This
is just a quick proof-of-concept for the general idea of the expandable

I know, that this demo is supposed only to show general idea of this
solution, but i just couldn't resist myself commenting on it. I don't know
if any of this suggestions make real sense, so i'm looking forward for your
 opinion on them.

I do appreciate your comments and will be incorporating your
suggestions into the next release, which will likely be a working
demo (i.e. you will be able to actually print with it... :)

	Finally i must say that i like this idea more every second now. Does it
have a chance to be part of next major gnome release ?

I dunno, you'll need to ask the GNOME gods about that, I am just
a lowly FLTK hacker. :)

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Publishing Software

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