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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Nation dialog

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Nation dialog

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To: Vasco Alexandre Da Silva Costa <vasc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Nation dialog
From: Alan Horkan <horkana@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 02:45:49 +0000 (GMT)

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003, Vasco Alexandre Da Silva Costa wrote:


> > having both pictures and text is brilliant (for example icons only makes
> > it hard to distinguish Irish or Ivory Coast, Italian or Mexican and text
> > only is harder to scan quickly (only a contrived example)).
> Thanks.

> > I am always glad to see a developer who keeps in mind smaller displays
> > when they design, until very recently i was still using a very small

> > The alignment of the elements seems a bit off.
> > I would have put "Leader" so that it aligned with "Robert Menzies".
> > I would have put City Style top aligned rather than center aligned agains
> > the list (but i am not sure what the HIG says on this, I need to
> > properly read through the pages I link to rather than just skim reading).
> The HIG didn't seem to be very specific about this. I originally used top
> alignment. But then it looked a bit awkward because it wasn't properly
> aligned with the label on top of the nation list. I tried aligning it and
> it still looked awkward somehow.

Don't hesisitate to ask usability@xxxxxxxxx they love this shit.  You will
get a few conflicting answers but that makes it all the more easy to
choose the answer you like best.  It worries me when people slavishly
follow the Gnome HIG (Human Interface Guidelines), i have seen people
trying to add/remove particular menus just because they were in examples
in the Gnome HIG.

> > "Select a nation" with "Nation" right underneath it seems redundant.
> > I never much liked those outliner boxes and would simply remove it.
> > This section of the HIG about Frames seems to back me up.
> >
> Actually the problem is GtkFrame is not HIG compliant. If it was the
> string would just be text in a bold font with the contents right
> shifted 6 pixels and there would be no boxes. From what I read eventually
> they should fix this so I used it.
> Once GTK+ is HIG compliant it will look like it is meant to.

Do the best you can and comment the code so that the next guy will be
aware of any compromises you were forced to make.
I would not hold my breath for GTK fixes, these people value stability
first and foremost no matter how right you may be it is likely any non
essential 'bugfixes' will be rejected or at best only applied against CVS.
Less than ideal but understable, they cannot test the many implications of
even the tiniest changes.

> I could make my own widgets, but I think the GTK+ people should fix this
> in the library where the changes belong. I removed all the other lines.
> The only ones remaining are artifacts of GTK+ HIG non-compliance: the line
> in the dialog separating the buttons from the widgets and the lines of
> the GtkFrame.

i can only repeat what i said above.
there have been mumblings about Glade produce a variety of different
incompatibilities depending on how you use it.  I can only commend you
for being wise enough to try and follow the guidelines in spite of how
difficult it can be.

> The head GTK+ people seem to be insensitive regarding changing it to
> follow the HIG. I think they are being dumb. It is about time Linux apps
> started having consistent interfaces. I thought it was odd that GTK+ did
> not have user interface guidelines for years. I mean, even Commodore bothered
> making guidelines for the Amiga UI!

usability@xxxxxxxxx has some well respected people on the list and they
also occaionally appear at #usability
non confrontational bugzilla reports and asking the right people in the
right way can produce surprising results.

Duhvelopers are a lot like judges, they dont like being wrong.  Give them
the opportunity to be right without forcing them to first admit they were
wrong, let them quietly mumble something about not having all the
information :)

> > The task order is different from the old dialog which is a little
> > disconcerting.  (I see it as 2 columns and i read from right to left so in
> > effect it is pick nation, pick leader, pick city.  The old dialog was one
> > column, pick nation, pick city, pick leader).
> > Have you tried arranging the new dialog as a single column?  (I have no
> > idea if this would be better, i am totally biased by my personal
> > preferences and being familiar with the old dialog).
> I did. It was too tall and didn't look nice (it was way off Golden Section
> proportions). Also, you are supposed to pick the nation before
> anything else. Leader afterwards. Few people bother with the city style 
> option.

"Golden Section Proportions" sorry i am not familiar with this phrase?
How tall? (in pixels, give or take 50 for window decorations).
Off the top of my head i believe that so long as a dialog is not too tall
for a small display, that you can get away with stretching it horizontally
quite a lot before it looks silly.

In fact i dont think i was paying enough attention earlier and my comment
about ordering was totally wrong, i dont know what i was thinking.

> >
> > not and ideal example but hopefully you will agree that a little bit more
> > layout space around the Quit,Disconnect,OK buttons would look nicer and
> > more consistant.  More about layout in this section of the HIG.
> >
> I will look into this.
> > Again I really hope this was constructive criticism.
> > Thanks for the software.
> No problem! :-)

My pleasure, i always appreciate developers who are willing to listen and
seriously consider what i have to say before disagreeing.

Plenty more hopefully constructive criticism where that came from, but
dont ever hesitate to argue with me or point blank tell me to shut up (i
wont necessarily listen but i wont get offended either).

I could probably be more helpful if i could actually run FreeCiv (client).
I was able to compile without incident but something dodgey about (not the exact name) and it would not run.  This was using
source tarball from (roughly) Feb 22 i think, compiled on FreeBSD (but it
could have been linux).  If anyone cares to mail me offlist i will
reproduce the exact error message and check the details.

Off to get my ass kicked again in a multiplayer game of FreeCiv :)
Thanks for your time, thanks for the software.


Alan Horkan

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