[GRASS-dev] GRASS-user] command dialog notebook styles

Michael Barton Michael.Barton at asu.edu
Mon Aug 27 09:45:34 PDT 2012

On Aug 27, 2012, at 12:08 AM, Anna Kratochvílová wrote:

> Hi Michael,
> I hope you don't mind adding this discussion to mailing list.

No problem if you are OK with it.

> On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM, Michael Barton <Michael.Barton at asu.edu> wrote:
>> These look nice. I will try to test late in the week when I have time to
>> recompile.
>> A couple thoughts.
>> Multiple options like this give users more flexibility for customizing the
>> look of the program. And if it solves the hidden tab problem, that can be a
>> benefit to use. On the other hand, adding too many options adds more
>> complexity to an already very very complex GUI code, with more opportunities
>> for something to go wrong.
> Once the initial bugs are fixed (I hope there are not many) the code
> should be quite stable because all notebooks have very similar or
> identical API so   in the code you just switch classes representing
> the notebook styles and that's all.

That's good to hear. With probably >100K lines of code in the GUI (a guess that may way under count), I get worried about this. 

>> The other thing to think about is that there is an advantage to having a
>> consistent GRASS brand and look across all platforms. That was the idea
>> behind the gradient green bar behind the tabs. (I forget who first suggested
>> flatnotebook, but I liked them because they were distinctive and not as
>> 'boring' as the normal rectangular ones that are on almost all other apps).
>> Perhaps  there are better ways of switching pages than flatnotebook style.
>> Having the tabs go down the left may be better for example, though it makes
>> dialogs wider and hence eats up more screen real estate. Anyway, after some
>> experimentation, even if switching to a new tab style there is some benefit
>> to settling on a standard style that is the GRASS brand.
>> Can flatnotebook do tabs on the left?
> I'am afraid that it is not possible.
> The point is to let the user choose what he wants. The current tabs
> don't look boring but I'm sure a lot of people would prefer standard
> 'boring' notebook. And still there is the issue with the hidden tabs
> which can be very confusing for not experienced user. Another question
> is which style should be the default one, if the nice but little
> confusing or the standard one?

Exactly. While we might want to keep the choices, we ought to have a default one that says 'GRASS' in its design somehow, but at the same time is not so baroque that it is not easy to use.

> Thanks for comments,

Certainly. I and many others very much appreciate your and Martin's continued work on the GUI.


C. Michael Barton
Director, Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity 
Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution & Social Change
Arizona State University

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