UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

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NormandC
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UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby NormandC » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:14 pm

Hey guys,

Months ago I had a heated exchange with someone influential in the G+ 3D printing community. He's an open source advocate and says what's preventing him from using FreeCAD is its "poor UI". I'm sure you've figured out why this exchange was "heated". ;)

I still believe he was rather harsh on FreeCAD's usability, but some of the discussion has since percolated in my brain. ;)

One of his gripes was that there is no visual clue as to which mouse navigation mode is active.

Hence this proposal: to add a mouse navigation indicator in the bottom program window bar, at the far right.

I'm thinking of something like this, with a small mouse icon:
FC_Mouse_Model_indicator_01.png
FC_Mouse_Model_indicator_01.png (6.73 KiB) Viewed 858 times

(Yeah I know, my mouse icon is terrible. It's not easy making one this small... :? )

Besides the mouse icon, the navigation style would be printed. Of course here, I didn't draw the rectangle wide enough for longer named styles like OpenInventor...

And clicking on the indicator label would bring the Navigation style menu to set the navigation style:
FC_Mouse_Model_indicator_02.png
FC_Mouse_Model_indicator_02.png (14.89 KiB) Viewed 858 times


This menu would be accessible in any environment. Currently, the Navigation styles menu is unavailable in the Sketcher workbench.

So, what do you guys think? Would Qt allow this? Would it be hard to implement?
cox
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby cox » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:39 pm

NormandC wrote:Hence this proposal: to add a mouse navigation indicator in the bottom program window bar, at the far right.


When would this be helpful, is this not normally a set it and forget it setting?
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pablogil
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby pablogil » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:07 pm

+1 I like the idea

I often change from one scheme to other depending if I'm using the computer with the integrated trackpad (I use "Gesture navigation") or on the desktop ("Maya gesture navigation").
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easyw-fc
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby easyw-fc » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:23 pm

+1 from me
sometimes there is the need to change style of navigation to select/manipulate some object in different WB, so having the navigation status would be a nice feature
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yorik
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby yorik » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:51 pm

I like that idea too! There is a lot of available space on the status bar.
triplus
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby triplus » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:16 am

If nobody else will look into it i can try to turn this into working module over the next weekend:

Navigation.png
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triplus
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby triplus » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:38 pm

I looked into this today a bit and i feel i will manage to create module that does this. Nothing is straightforward task as the data can't be fetched from anywhere and therefore it will need to be preset. And i didn't find anything unique to get the signals from therefore QTimer will likely take care of keeping the setting between navigation menu and indicator in sync. There aren't any signals emitted that i am aware of that would indicate when the indicator needs to be added therefore i had to come up with a custom solution instead...

What we are basically talking about is having something like a tray in the status bar. Now the next thing on the list could be indicator position in it. As this will be the only one for now i can just put it where i want it to be but if more developers would create such 3rd Party indicators in the future some sort of position management logic would make sense.

Anyway i shared some background if anybody is interested or stumbles here in the future. I will do the Navigation Indicator as a proof of concept and hopefully somebody will find it useful and that is that for now. Once finished i will open new thread about it named NavigationIndicator in Python scripting and macro forum section. As we don't have more appropriate section for such work and it is more likely potential users will find it there. Or moderator can move this thread there and name it appropriately.

If the icon from the image above would be provided i would use it.
ickby
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby ickby » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:01 pm

Out of curiosity, why a Module? This is something that could definitly go into master
triplus
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby triplus » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:59 pm

ickby wrote:Out of curiosity, why a Module? This is something that could definitly go into master


If i would be proficient in C++ likely i could implement such features directly. That is find the place in FreeCAD code where such indicator should be created/added and likely more optimal solution could be used to re-use existing navigation menu for indicator purposes and inserting in status bar to be done in correct sequence from the start. As that isn't the case i have to work with what i get and can figure out the way to do it.

But it isn't all that bad as it might sound. I feel that using a module approach and to have this self contained functionality in it can actually make sense in a lot of use cases. Therefore having such modules in master might prove a viable solution in the future. Currently things like better signalling on what "boot phase" FreeCAD is in is missing or i haven't found it yet. Therefore i have to use all sorts of mechanisms to detect this on individual base. For example when are toolbars made available, when is status bar available...
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NormandC
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Re: UI improvement proposal: mouse navigation indicator

Postby NormandC » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:59 pm

triplus wrote:If the icon from the image above would be provided i would use it.

As I said it really looks bad. It's too detailed to display in very small size. I was thinking of removing the "wheel" and only keep the two buttons. I'm also not sure about it being fully black. It was really just a quick hack to show my proposal.
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