UI redesign question

A forum for research and development of the user interface of FreeCAD

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triplus
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by triplus » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:33 am

Reading this thread was like taking a trip down the memory lane.

Thanks.

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microelly2
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by microelly2 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:11 am

I still want to remember the pie menu
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 90#p141903

the_document
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by the_document » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:51 am

Most professional software packages, especially CAD like Solidworks, Autocad, BricsCAD and plenty more (not to mention popular windows software) use ribbon ui. There are many advantages for ribbons they include complete display of every tool and menu item, best organization (no menu forests), great customizability (although you cant do much with gtk+ can do plenty customizing with qt) and rapid tool detection and selection. Freecad does have menu forests and its user base is likely adapted to it. Even so it is no reason to withhold from ribbons. Ribbons offer much more especially if used with a more capable toolkit like qt, in which you can rearrange items on the fly or select which tools to show and hide.
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chrisb
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by chrisb » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:03 am

You could well make a proposal of how to organize such a ribbon. Perhaps it is convincing. But be aware that this takes a considerable amount of time and perhaps people here will not want it.

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NormandC
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by NormandC » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:21 pm

There are a few things I dislike of the existing Ribbon UI implementations. I'll list three:
  • Widescreen displays are ubiquitous now, and a ribbon takes a huge chunk of much needed vertical space away. It is incomprehensible to me. With regular toolbars, you can move them anywhere, including on the sides.
  • Some icons are arbitrarily made bigger than others, the others made much, much smaller than for a regular toolbar, thus making them harder to select. How is that a usability enhancement?
  • Ribbon organisation often move all view icons into a separate View tab, which means you have one more click to do to change some view setting, and then one other click to go back to the tab you were on. How is that a usability enhancement?
I do not mind if someone decides to implement a native ribbon UI in FreeCAD, as long as they don't try to force it on me. DraftSight still allows for quick switching to the "classic" UI with regular toolbars, and I belive LibreOffice will do the same.


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Joel_graff
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Personally, I don't have an issue with the ribbon UI, but it definitely requires more screen space. I think a tabbed workbench would be better, while preserving the current toolbars. If anything was done at all, I'd vote for considering @pablogil's approach.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails

herbk
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by herbk » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:16 am

chrisb wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:03 am
... and perhaps people here will not want it.
I'm definitely one of them... :)
Gruß Herbert

triplus
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by triplus » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:33 pm

microelly2 wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:11 am
I still want to remember the pie menu
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 90#p141903
Soon. ;)
Joel_graff wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Personally, I don't have an issue with the ribbon UI, but it definitely requires more screen space.
Microsoft products have a big user base. Therefore if such company does some UX thing. That likely will get discussed frequently. Like the "iPhone introducing the notch". Hard to believe on how much discussions such a thing triggers. Microsoft used one approach out of infinitive possibilities. And it became a standard to some. Mainly because of the huge user base involved.
I think a tabbed workbench would be better, while preserving the current toolbars. If anything was done at all, I'd vote for considering @pablogil's approach.
Tab bar approach is a common approach used in a lot of applications over the decades. A few years back we had a similar discussion and luckily things didn't stop just at the discussions. Therefore if you would like to use the "@pablogil's approach". Here is what you have to do:
  • Tools -> Addon manager -> SelectorToolbar -> Install (FreeCAD restart is needed)
  • Edit -> Preferences -> General -> Style sheet -> Light or Dark variant (whichever variation you prefer)
  • Position the toolbars accordingly.
  • Tools -> Accessories -> Selector toolbar (fine tune the experience)
P.S. You will find TabBar in Addon manager too. This is where it all started. A lot of functionality has evolved and is now part of a set of FreeCAD UX related standalone modules. Therefore such functionality will get removed from TabBar eventually.

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Joel_graff
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Re: UI redesign question

Post by Joel_graff » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:07 pm

triplus wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:33 pm
P.S. You will find TabBar in Addon manager too. This is where it all started. A lot of functionality has evolved and is now part of a set of FreeCAD UX related standalone modules. Therefore such functionality will get removed from TabBar eventually.
Ok, thanks. I'll check it out. Below is a link to the Bentley Microstation (CONNECT Edition) UI. They inplement exactly what I was talking about above, with a dropdown to choose different workflows that reorganizes the ribbon UI.
https://communities.bentley.com/other/ ... the-ribbon

Note, I'm not advocating adopting a Ribbon UI - I think this feature could be added to the tabbar addon as it is. I simply provide it as a reference.

Also on the patent issues regarding the Ribbon UI, Microsoft made it pretty clear they patented the Fluent UI, which is the *entire* UI system used in Office - not just the ribbon, and that was the lawsuit that Corel just lost. Thus, an application that implements a Ribbon UI shouldn't be in any trouble - in fact, MS freely licensed the entire Fluent UI to anyone who wanted to use it, on the condition they weren't directly competing with MS Office, which, I'm guessing, is the basis for the Corel lawsuit.

That said, we should have no issue adopting a Ribbon UI in FreeCAD, if someone thinks it's worthwhile. I'm not stumping for that, but it doesn't seem as though there should be any legal concerns to do that.
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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