[Qgis-developer] 'File' versus 'Project'

Ramon Andiñach custard at westnet.com.au
Wed Apr 24 16:36:22 PDT 2013

On 25/04/2013, at 02:59 , John C. Tull wrote:

> Hi Larry,
> On Apr 24, 2013, at 10:09 AM, Larry Shaffer <larrys at dakotacarto.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM, John C. Tull <jctull at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Antonio,
>> I think it is more about having consistency for the platform than anything else. We want the user to find the application familiar. The death-knell of many an OS X application on review sites is how non-Mac-like the application feels. Users expect the menubar to exist and to provide a means of navigating standard application operations.
>> Developers will provide their own customization in different formats. Microsoft Office has their "ribbon" interface that provides "organized" drop-downs and formatting elements outside of the menubar, but you are able to do most of the same stuff by navigating the menus and options therein.
>> http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Office-for-Mac-ribbon-default-1024x614.png
>> I think we can achieve the customization desired while maintaining the HIG for OSX.
>> Ignoring the other suggestions for a moment, changing the File menu name to Project (or Composer) does not go against the HIG for OS X (the initial discussion of this thread). This has be established. It does affect user expectations, however.
> I think this is debatable. Per our irc conversation yesterday, there are semantics to what constitutes a document-basis for a program versus a non-document basis. My understanding of the exception in the HIG is that a program that does not have a document that the program operates on can consider removing or renaming the File menu item. From the HIG [0]:
> "In general, each command in the File menu applies to a single file (most commonly, a user-created document). If your app is not document-based, you can rename the File menu to something more appropriate or eliminate it."
> I consider a map project to be a document, whether it is based off of a physical file, *.qgs, as it currently does or whether it is a record in a db, a possible feature for the future of QGIS. I don't see the wiggle room on the HIG for QGIS consequently.

True enough.
It'll look a little odd.
It's not going to be quite expected.

I'll even agree that a project file is a document of a sort.

But GIS programmes, particularly the way QGIS thinks about things use at least 3 different sorts of documents. In this case, Project files, vector files, raster files, then arguably database files and web service files. The menu has them lumped up as File (or Project) and Layers[1].

I think while it will be odd for about 30 seconds, it will make sense and most people will be happy.

(with apologies for side tracking everyone)

[1] I suppose I've always felt a bit odd about the use of File in QGIS's menus because I might touch that once a session, but the vast majority of the files (documents) I use come in through the Layers menu. Doesn't make a great deal of sense to me but such is life.
If we're allowed to rename it to something that better reflects the content, then shouldn't that happen?

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