[Qgis-developer] Re: Working on Symbology Improvement for the GSOC

Tim Sutton lists at linfiniti.com
Sat Mar 31 17:00:21 EDT 2012


On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 10:08 PM, aruntheguy at gmail.com
<aruntheguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> After working with the Symbology as a user for the past couple of days and
> trying to accomplish various things, here is my idea of simplifying things:
> Decouple Style management and Style application (renderer) logic at the GUI
> level itself.
> First let us start where it all begins, simplification of the GUI and
> reducing the number of modal dialogs that keep opening as we go customizing
> the symbol layers. This presumably is the best approach as it gives the
> possibility to provide almost infinite customization options to the user.
> But, customization of layers is not going to be my priority when I am
> applying styles, or at least thats not what I intend to do. I just want to
> see the styles and pick the most suitable.
> If I want to be creative and design new symbols/styles, which I may now use
> or may not now use, why should I be doing it in a layers properties dialog.
> I would rather have a designer where I can design my styles of the liking. I
> ma even get to preview a composition of all the symbol styles that I have
> created.
> So the idea is to create such a decoupled designer, which is something like
> a "Style Manager ++ (decoupled)". I am writing the possible solution and a
> couple of ideas as a proposal which might contain some over sighted goals.
> Kindly go through, evaluate and comment.
> Proposal:
> + Remove Symbol Creating/Editing capabilities from the "Style" tab of Layer
> Properties and retain only application(renderer) customizations like, size,
> color, angle etc., This will remove the iterative dialog popup situation and
> also keep the clutter in the UI to minimum.
> + Create a new symbol designer, that can be summoned up from Menu rather
> than from the properties
> + The designer to perform following functions
>     - Create new symbols/styles
>     - Grouping and management of styles through a tree structure
>     - Create and manage virtual groups (or themes) that would pull symbols
> from various groups and a combination of renders to create a overall
> cartographic stylesheet (almost same as present save/load style).
>     - Ability to save a retrieve such stylesheets (duplicates the present
> save/load style)
> Apart from the above solution, the GSOC proposal to include,
> - Creating tree structure for managing the SVG symbols
> - Creating a non-modal widget type editor to change symbols on the fly or
> adding that capability to the Layers legend.

Yes that is the right direction. Another item on the roadmap is to
have the option to right click on a classes symbol in the layer list
and invoke the symbology editor directly.

I think if you can achieve what you lay out above it would be a huge
improvement in usability. The focus should be as much as possible on :

- simplicity (it should not be difficiult to work out how to create a
style you see on a map somewhere)
- efficiency (it should be quick to create, edit and clone styles)
- consistency (element of least surprise)
- minimising screen real estate (so it can work on devices with smaller screens

I don't want to overload your project with requirements, but at least
consider (ie not that you need to implement it but youd ui should make
allowances for this future feature to live on tge gui) in your design
the idea of 'social styling' where you can download and upload styles
into a central repostory using a well defined api. This would have two
use cases:

- uses want to obtain styles shared by others
- users want to share the styles they have created

The style repository should be user configurable, defaulting to QGIS's
official web style sharing site (which doesnt yet exist) but could be
changed to e.g. and corporate style store.



> --
> Regards
> Arunmozhi
> Twitter: @tecoholic
> Website: http://arunmozhi.in
> IRC Nick: teco
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Tim Sutton - QGIS Project Steering Committee Member (Release  Manager)
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