[Qgis-developer] Better Menus for QGIS 1.0

Tim Sutton tim at linfiniti.com
Mon Jun 30 16:38:44 EDT 2008

Hi Tom

I agree the changes you suggest would take QGIS to a next level of
polish prior to a 1.0 release. On non mac platforms menus on dialogs
are atypical though and I would prefer to #ifdef that behaviour into
mac specific blocks. I think edge cases such as composer which stretch
the idea of being a dialog should be better addressed by embedding
them into the main window while hiding the map canvas and updating
toolbars and menus based on context. We could provide a menu item in
the view menu to switch between composer mode and map view mode. All
the other dialogs that I can think of off-hand should not require /
display menus on non mac platforms.



2008/6/30 Mars Sjoden <amagine at telus.net>:
> As a user,
> Yippee!  Would love to see these changes!
> +1
>> Developers,
>> As we approach QGIS 1.0, I would like to see a menu overhaul both to make
>> QGIS more accessible to new users and to bring QGIS into compliance with
>> Apple standards. I will prepare a revised menu design and implement it if
>> the general concept is acceptable. If any Mac standard conflicts with other
>> platform standards, I will conditionalize these differences just for a Mac.
>> 1. The menu system should be somewhat like a table of contents. When I
>> first use an unfamiliar application, I check the capabilities by scanning
>> through all the menus. If I don't find a menu item with a phrase related to
>> the task I hope to accomplish, I conclude that the application doesn't do
>> it. At present, some QGIS functionality is accessible only though toolbars
>> and context menus. A new user shouldn't have to guess the meaning of icons
>> or where to click to get a context menu even though these make great
>> shortcuts for initiated users.
>> The Mac also has a Hide/Show Toolbar window control. An application should
>> be fully functional when toolbars are hidden. Apple's Human Interface
>> Guidelines says "Make sure that every toolbar item you create has an
>> associated menu command."
>> 2. Every QGIS window should have an associated menu bar, either the main
>> menu bar or its own menu bar. The application menu bar is displayed across
>> the top of the screen on a Mac; this space becomes blank when there isn't an
>> associated menu. At present, Print Composer and Attribute Table windows have
>> no menu bar.
>> 3. There is no Window menu and windows get lost below other windows.
>> Although it's a bug, some already open QGIS windows don't move forward when
>> the command to open them is invoked again; a Window menu would let you know
>> what's open. There is also no Edit menu; the highlight state of the
>> Copy/Paste menu items should provide a clue for where these functions are or
>> aren't available.
>> Apple's HIG says: The menu bar ... is always visible and available ...
>> Always contains ... a Window menu ... contain the following menus, if they
>> make sense in your application ... an Edit menu"
>> Moving beyond these Mac usability issues, I would also like to see
>> consistency between menus and toolbars. For example, the File menu uses the
>> order New, Open, Save while the File toolbar uses New, Save, Open. I find
>> this confusing. A similar oddity is that New Layer is in the Layer toolbar
>> but Add Layer is in the File toolbar. Combining two menus into one toolbar
>> might make sense but having two almost corresponding menus and toolbars
>> where a few items are in one menu but the other toolbar is also confusing.
>> Now that the feature set for QGIS 1.0 is fixed, I think we should take the
>> opportunity to review and organize all existing commands. What do others
>> think?
>> Tom
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Tim Sutton
QGIS Project Steering Committee Member - Release Manager
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