[Qgis-developer] Gui design - non modal layer properties dialog ?

kimaidou kimaidou at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 03:00:46 PDT 2014

2014-03-27 15:24 GMT+01:00 Anita Graser <anitagraser at gmx.at>:

> Thanks for bringing this up Michael!
> Am 27.03.2014, 14:05 Uhr, schrieb kimaidou <kimaidou at gmail.com>:
>  I have one thing in mind which IMHO would be great to have in QGIS
>> regarding the layer properties dialog :
>> * Make it non modal, so that the user can still pan/zoom the map, or even
>> select other tools
> +1 What I really would want is to be able to pan and zoom the map to be
> able to see how the style looks at different zoom levels and regions.
> Sometimes it's also necessary to use the identify tool while designing a
> style.

Exactly ! Not just for styling and labels, but also for other properties
such as actinos, fields, etc. . This will help a lot configuring some tools
.In the current state, the workflow is a bit exhausting sometimes :
change properties -> close the window -> check the changes (actions,
fields, lables, etc.) -> confirm you need to change the properties ->
re-open the windows -> change properties -> close the windows -> try, etc.

> What's the worst case that could happen if we just make the dialog modal?
> Somebody could try to delete the layer from the layer list, or close the
> project, or ...
>  * When the user changes the active layer, the whole content of the opened
>> layer properties dialog is refreshed with the layers properties.
> +0 That might be confusing if changing layers happens by accident because
> of a wrong click. The user might not notice and start misconfiguring a
> layer.

This is a good point. However, many softwares behaves like this. For
example Illustrator. When you select an object, all the properties panel
are refreshed or even changed if the properties are not the same that the
previous object. When you think about it, even the QGIS composer dialog
behaves like this : the "Object properties" tab is refreshed when you
select another object.

I think the user can learn this new behaviour. We can try to help him a bit
by writing the layer's name (title) in some place above the properties
dialog in big letters and a bright and shiny background. During courses, I
often have people who indeed open the properties dialog for the wrong
layer, but are not able to even see it because the layer name is written
only in the small upper window bar.

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