Start Page Redesign

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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:13 pm

So I've made some progress on a general refactoring of the Start WB as well as removal of the commit list. github branch

Screenshot from 2017-03-01 06-06-03.png
Screenshot from 2017-03-01 06-06-03.png (208.63 KiB) Viewed 153 times


There's still quite a bit of work in refactoring to do, but the whole "CSS & JS inside HTML inside a string in a Python file" situation is a little improved.

One issue is that as soon as I got rid of the commit list, the right-hand description div was longer than the column on the left, even though it had the CSS property height: 100%;... so I hard-coded it to 640px here. I'm just curious if that looks alright to people with other types/sizes of displays.
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:27 pm

kkremitzki wrote:So I've made some progress on a general refactoring of the Start WB as well as removal of the commit list.


Don't take this in the wrong way and i am looking forward to see some results. And i do imagine majority of users doesn't care to see the commit list. Therefore it likely indeed does make sense to remove it and use the area for something else.

But as pull request are not posted on the forum any more this was/is more or less the only place i looked for commit updates (daily basis). And likely the only reason on why i have Start page set as default workbench.

Anyway don't mind my observation too much but i needed to say this. Beyond that i am looking forward to see some changes made!
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:43 pm

triplus wrote:
kkremitzki wrote:So I've made some progress on a general refactoring of the Start WB as well as removal of the commit list.


Don't take this in the wrong way and i am looking forward to see some results. And i do imagine majority of users doesn't care to see the commit list. Therefore it likely indeed does make sense to remove it and use the area for something else.

But as pull request are not posted on the forum any more this was/is more or less the only place i looked for commit updates (daily basis). And likely the only reason on why i have Start page set as default workbench.

Anyway don't mind my observation too much but i needed to say this. Beyond that i am looking forward to see some changes made!

No, you completely have a point here; although a lot of people might not want or need to see the commits, plenty would like to see them, as well. Ideally, the whole box should be toggleable as just one of the widgets on the Start WB. This can be accomplished as well, but it's a good opportunity to bring up some of the shortcomings of the Start WB that I'd noticed.

For one, I'm not sure it's necessary for it to even exist as a "workbench". IMO, it should be an option to load the "FreeCAD Start Center" when the app starts, an option right after "enable splash screen" in Edit > Preferences. If it's totally removed as a workbench it should also be accessible after startup in the event it was closed or someone didn't load it by default. Perhaps an option like View > Start Center.

Anyway, the whole thing being based on HTML/CSS/JS seems like a limitation. Naturally I'd like to have a rich widget system, and although I could write the whole thing in JavaScript or use a framework, it seems like a bad idea when we have Qt for that. Of course, the effort for a complete rewrite vs the reward, in comparison to all the other things that could be done...
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:38 pm

How's this for a compromise (since I'd mostly like to get the initial refactoring in):
- reduce # of commits shown from 15 to 5
- swap Latest commits and Example projects so the examples are more prominent
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yorik
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby yorik » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:55 pm

Thanks for attacking that kkremitzki! Long time this start page needs some care
I think we could get rid of the blue background image too, just to get some fresh visual...
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:03 pm

I am guessing something like this can serve as a reference and as a starting point just fine:

onshape-1-small.png
onshape-1-small.png (107.38 KiB) Viewed 120 times


https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 15#p153512

In my opinion something like that (but simplified as much of the functionality on the image is related to the fact application is run in the browser and it needs it) likely could be achieved by restructuring and styling effort applied to the existing Start page. But it is up to you to decide if you want to build on existing solution or to build something else.
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:27 pm

Yeah, I gave it some more thought and, as much as it pains me to write JavaScript, I think I'd better try implementing some more of the ideas on this thread with what's already existing. Hopefully it's not a sunk cost fallacy situation.

Thanks for the link btw, that's very much the sort of thing I have in mind.

What do you think about my idea of breaking out the "FreeCAD Start Center" (what I'd like the Start WB to become) into something besides a workbench? I suppose if I get the WB functioning the way I want, I could make it so that having the config option "Load Start Center on start" behaves similarly to having the Start WB be default and then switching to another WB (the "true" starting WB in the options.) Then View > Start Center could behave similarly.

For this to behave properly though it may require your PersistentToolbars functionality.
Last edited by kkremitzki on Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:37 pm

Also, an update on my next steps:
- re-add commits tab since I didn't include it when I broke out the HTML, CSS, and JS from StartPage.py
- consolidate vertical space by making "Start a new project", "Example Projects", "On the web", "Latest commits" panes half their current width and in-line together (4 rows become 2)
- Expand "Recent files" pane to feature (up to) 4 preview-based mini-panes, in-line, like I drew in this post: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=19971#p153978
- Nice-to-have: If file preview is disabled or fails to load, fall back to something that looks nice (the fallback feature I can handle, the looks nice part.. not so sure)

Edit: at some point I will also make sure this is Python 3-compatible because I know it isn't right now, but because I'm moving quite a bit around I figured I'd wait.

As far as updating the background image, I'm all for it! I could even do a re-styling based on the new colors! But I have no idea what to pick. Suggestions anyone?
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:45 pm

Triple post activate!

In viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21005#p162589 Jee-Bee points out that the "Getting started" link in "Start new project" goes to https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/index.p ... orkbenches. That's kinda weird. Suggestions for a better place in the wiki to link to?
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sgrogan
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby sgrogan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:55 pm

kkremitzki wrote:In viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21005#p162589 Jee-Bee points out that the "Getting started" link in "Start new project" goes to https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/index.p ... orkbenches. That's kinda weird. Suggestions for a better place in the wiki to link to?

Getting_started :)