UI redesign question

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Joel_graff
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UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:48 am

Has any consideration ever been given to adopting a ribbon-style UI?
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yorik
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by yorik » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:43 pm

I personally would want to be convinced that a ribbon UI has any advantage at all...
Besides, it's an almost Windows-only thing. Mac and Linux users would be pretty hard to convince to embrace such a change too...

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Joel_graff
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:02 pm

It seems to me it would be an elegant way to handle specific workflows that rely on specific workbenches and would reduce the need to persist one workbench's toolbar on another...

To me, it really seems like it would be a great way of better managing workflows that span workbenches... and get rid of the menu bar.

It's not so much about changing out tool bars for ribbons as it is making the workbenches available by clicking a tab across the top of the screen, vs having to choose it from a drop down.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by chrisb » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:08 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:48 am
Has any consideration ever been given to adopting a ribbon-style UI?
I need as much space as possible for the 3D view / Sketcher. If ribbons can help to save space at the top - welcome. But remembering the Windows ribbons where the text contents of a document seems to become less and less important, I probably won't like it.

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Joel_graff
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:21 pm

Actually, I think my idea is better understood in terms of browser tabs... Imagine the menu bar and workbenches converted to browser tabs. Clicking on one exposes toolbars specific to that menu / workbench. Like browser tabs, new UI tabs can be added / removed. Adding a tab would open a dialog, allowing the user to select a workbench that they want to add to the UI. Some tabs might be pinned (like the "File", "Edit", "View" menus, etc.) so they can't be closed.

The idea is that you can customize the UI so that the workbenches you use most are always "open", so to speak - they have a persistent tab at the top of the UI. You can add / remove at your leisure and we could even create "workflows" which create UI layouts with specific workbenches for specific purposes (like Arch, CNC, Simulation, Animation, etc.)

I can't say it would necessarily make the UI more functional overall, but it seems as though it would make it more intuitive, possible reduce a little clutter, and possibly discourage a workbench developer from trying to modify the UI at large...
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:33 pm

Here's why I like the idea: FreeCAD is a generic 3D parametric CAD tool. You create / import 3D data and you manipulate it by switching between workbenches to access specific tools. By having tabs at the top, it communicates that idea more intuitively. The user sees tabs marked "Part Design", "Tech Draw", "Animation", etc, and they intuitively understand that those benches are "open" - available for them to use. In the current scheme, you only see the work bench which is currently active - all the others are "closed' or, intuitively, unavailable.

Again, this doesn't change anything about how FC works, but it communicates more intutively how FC is intended to work. It "flows" better, in my mind, I guess. And I think it could useful in managing UI clutter a little bit.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Kunda1 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:48 pm

Joel, I think a ribbon toolbar has been created by someone already in the FC community. I need to dig to find it
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by sgrogan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:56 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:33 pm
By having tabs at the top
See here: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=21403

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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Kunda1 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:08 pm

sgrogan wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:56 pm
Joel_graff wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:33 pm
By having tabs at the top
See here: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=21403
Thanks @sgrogan it was @pablogil (direct link)
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:20 pm

Kunda1 wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:08 pm
Thanks @sgrogan it was @pablogil (direct link)
That's basically it. I would only include the ability to open or close tabs directly from the tab bar, like a browser would.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails

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