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New attempt at a mockup for metadata. What are your thoughts?… - LogJam [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Nov. 7th, 2002|06:38 pm]
New attempt at a mockup for metadata.

What are your thoughts? Do you want to use my work as a template?
(Debian users: apt-get install -t unstable glade-2.)

Update: My links were all wrong. Fixed now.

[User Picture]From: abiku
2002-11-07 07:27 pm (UTC)
I really like this. I have a few comments addressing all three of your "Issues to fix" -- take them with a grain of salt.

* I'm used to seeing the mood & music dialogs (for lack of a better term) near each other.

* I almost never (read: 99% of the time) use either the "Preformatted" or "Backdated" options. Would it make sense to keep them hidden by default and just have them selectable via the "Entry" drop-down menu up top? That would free up some of the window real estate.

* I like the way the "Check Friends" icon is in the 4.0 release; it's small and has all the options available if you right-click it. Greyed out by default, but colored when it's enabled. That's how I expect it to work.

* You could free up even more window real estate by making the "Security" menu a lock icon like the original, smaller "Check Friends" icon that, when clicked, popped up a menu giving you your security options. This would allow you to move them elsewhere within the window without worrying about taking up a large amount of space.

* I miss the option of having the journal you wish to post to in a drop-down menu in the main window.

So, if you actually took all of my suggestions and implemented them (I don't expect this, but for sake of example/discussion, let's assume you did), here's how I would potentially re-arrange the window:

* Under the usericon, put the drop-down to select the journal in which to post the entry.
* Below that, have the "Comments" drop-down.
* Relegate the "Options" checkboxes to menubar selections under the "Entry" menu. When active, have a checkmark next to the option in the menu.
* Under that, have the Mood box. If you intend to include the mood icon in the display, having removed the "Options" checkboxes should allow you a bit more room to play with on the sidebar.
* Under that, have the "Music" box, which could be small like the mood box, or all the way across under the left sidebar and the entry window itself. (Just above the bottom bar with Delete/Submit.)
* Make the "Check Friends" icon small again like in the 4.0 release and make the "Security" drop-down into a Lock icon that opens a pop-up menu when clicked. You could put those next to each other in the bottom left of the window in line with the Delete/Submit buttons, or move them around as needed. (Some users may find it confusing having the two next to each other when they do drastically different things? Not sure. Having them small icons will allow you to put them anywhere, though...)

My $0.02.
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[User Picture]From: frew
2002-11-07 08:00 pm (UTC)
I agree to all of that.
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[User Picture]From: incernus
2002-11-07 09:58 pm (UTC)
and where is a field for "other" mood?
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2002-11-07 10:07 pm (UTC)
You would just type the "other" mood in the box.
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2002-11-09 08:27 am (UTC)
I'm not sure this warrants its own post, so I'm just replying to my comment and hoping people see it.

I don't have glade installed (and I don't even know how to use it, really), so I resorted to Photoshop. This is a possible rearrangement of the interface as I described in my other comment. Right now, the icons I've used in the interface are not a part of LogJam, and may not even be the best choices, but they're what I had on hand this morning.

* The lock icon should display a pop-up menu with the security settings for the post.
* The pencil icon is just a suggestion and should display a pop-up menu for comment options on the post. (Disable/Enable/Don't Email/etc.)
* I'm not sure people will like the small text field for the current music, but it seemed to fit well enough under the other settings. The CD icon is just a suggestion for a button that would detect the current music. It seems obvious enough what a button there is going to do, so I don't feel it's necessary for a button large enough to hold the word "Detect." This could always be moved to the bottom of the window and stretched across above the Delete/Submit buttons.

This layout seems to work well enough, especially if you intend to include the mood icon above or below the menu like you were suggesting earlier. There's enough room on the side, now, to handle it. The backdate & pre-formatted options should be relegated to the Entry menu. You can display a dialog or otherwise modify the main window when backdating is selected, if you want to display a date/time/calendar thing. I don't think the option is used regularly enough by most people to warrant taking up the space in the main window.

Enough talk, though. Here's the image:

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From: compwiz
2002-11-07 08:06 pm (UTC)
or you could just give into the win32 design of the popup metadata window..
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From: evan
2002-11-07 08:47 pm (UTC)
That always annoyed me.
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[User Picture]From: teferi
2002-11-07 08:47 pm (UTC)
Are you actually going to be using libglade in LogJam, or is this just for quick mockups? Just curious, I've used it for the latter a fair amount.

I've got to say, I still like the old win32 client/old logjam client ui - subject line, entry text entry field, and dropdown under that for metadata and options. Clean and simple.
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From: evan
2002-11-07 09:01 pm (UTC)
I'm just using it for a mockup. I think it's a good idea in principle (if everyone used libglade for their UI we wouldn't have to rewrite interfaces when we port to handhelds) but implementing that sort of idea in C is ugly.

I liked the old-style when I wrote it, but it quickly annoyed me because everything stretched out into uniform fields. Especially with a 100x100px user icon, it gets too tall too quickly.
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[User Picture]From: decklin
2002-11-08 07:09 pm (UTC)
I think it's cluttered. Read this essay by mpt. I don't have the inclination at the moment to install glade et al and do a different mockup in response, but, I'll try to comment.

I think a screenshot should definitely *not* be sufficient to convey what's going on in the interface. That is to say, not everything you could possibly use should be on the screen at all times. The userpic is a bad idea. 100x100 pixels of wasted space, just staring at me, even when I don't need to think about it? I understand that I'm a one-userpic guy, but even if I had ten I would only need to *see* them when I'm actually choosing one. gtk2 should make it easy enough to have an image/text combo as a menu item, no? Then, we can reduce permanent real estate fomr the control to a button that pops up the menu.

I would apply this principle to most of the other elements as well. Do I *really* need to see the current date and time? I can load a docklet if I want to, or just check my bloody watch. The only time I need to deal with the time, again, is when I'm changing it. Let me pop up a dialog easily which allows the date to be set and automatically switches "Use current local time" (see, now you don't have to worry about keeping it short) to off and "Backdate entry (won't show up on friends list)" to on if modified. Or not; maybe that would be annoying and we should make the user turn on backdating explicitly.

(In fact, i would change the semantics of "Now" from a checkbox to a radio allowing the user to pick from the system time (non-editable) or an editable time box. They should be able to funge the time *without* turning backdating on -- I don't see how to accomplish this in the mockup.)

I wonder if migrating some options to the menu bar wouldn't make more sense. Preformatted and comments don't seem to merit all that much screen space. Of course, this means not being able to just look at all the properties of an entry without fiddling.

Checkfriends can still have the bottom row. I like the text label, actually; colors are just not self-evident (i think I'll start using that instead of "intuitive") enough.
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From: evan
2002-11-08 09:16 pm (UTC)
I just read that essay a few minutes before you posted your comment. I was about to send them mail mentioning ROX (in particular) but I see they knew about it already. As a free software programmer I do my best to restrain myself from following the mistake other free software programmers are so often blamed for: even if your UI is really creative, when it isn't consistent with the user's expectations (or at least the other software it's running alongside) it's more annoying than useful. Movements like the sort ROX encourages are good, but those sorts of changes have to be at that level and not in each particular application.

The date/time is there mostly for when you're editing an old post, but I agree with you that is isn't too useful, which is why I tried to reduce it to the minimum in my mockup. You're also probably right about using menu, and I'll try that now; before, I was trying to keep all post-specific data in the client window so I didn't want to move "Preformatted" into a menu, but if I move it along with a majority of the remaining options it may make more sense.

I added the check friends label because I didn't find the colors too useful, either.
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[User Picture]From: decklin
2002-11-09 08:40 am (UTC)
Regarding the editing old posts bit... I have found the 4.0 way of doing it kind of clunky (or maybe I'm just used to 3.0). If I'm working on a new entryh, and then I decide I want to edit an old one, I have to save first because when I load the new entry it overwrites my "buffer". Then, if I'm editing the old entry and I say nah, screw it, I want to make a new one after all, I have to quit, restart, and login again (since "Update" is now "Save Changes". I suppose I could just do a useless save operation if I haven't changed anything, but that seems like just as much of a kludge.)

I'm not recommending you go back to the 3.0 style of the "edit old entry" window being functionally different from the normal one, but I would prefer spawning a new window to re-using.
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From: evan
2002-11-09 10:59 am (UTC)
You can also do Entry->New. (?)

martine@trout:~/projects/logjam$ head -20 TODO | tail -6

Multiple windows (most of the structure is already in place, but there
are some weird subtleties about settings-- should a settings change
affect all windows, or just the window that the settings dialog was
pulled up on?).

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From: (Anonymous)
2002-11-10 02:28 pm (UTC)


i really want a livejournal but i dont know how to get one without having a friend who uses it..
i have a ujournal but livejournals are much more appealing to me.
when i try to download these things you have i dont really know how to open them or anything, i dont even know if this is what i have to do to get one!
if you could just get me a code or any other way to get an LJ it would be majorly appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: abiku
2002-11-11 07:17 am (UTC)

Re: pleaseplease!!

This is the LiveJournal for a specific LiveJournal client. You cannot use the client if you don't already have a journal.
If you want a code to create a journal, try looking at codesharing; they're the place to go begging for codes.
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[User Picture]From: starfighter
2002-11-11 10:50 am (UTC)


i'm using debian/unstable and i'm wondering why there's still only version 3.0.3 there?

please prod the package maintainer with something mildly electric ,)
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From: evan
2002-11-11 11:53 am (UTC)

Re: urf

I CC'd him when I released 4.0. I'll take a shot at it today (I use and love Debian as well).
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From: (Anonymous)
2002-11-12 08:42 pm (UTC)

Random suggestions

Disclaimer: I don’t use this software, so take the following with as much salt as you think necessary. I just wrote the essay (http://mpt.phrasewise.com/stories/storyReader$374) mentioned earlier (http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=logjam&itemid=47138&thread=263970#t263970), came across this discussion in my referer logs, and had nothing better to do right at the moment.

This is a message composition window. So, why not lay it out the same way as the message composition windows (http://images.google.com/images?q=message+compose) in most e-mail programs? That is, metadata stuff at the top, and composition area underneath. (The “Comments enabled” control should probably go at the bottom, to the left of “Delete” and “Post”, since any comments will appear under the post on the page itself.)

I agree with decklin that the userpic is probably a waste of space (depending on how likely it is that any particular user will change their pic for an individual post). But if you retain it, you could put it at the top left of the window, with the Subject, Music, and Mood fields to the right. (If the userpic can be changed by clicking on it, indicate that using a button-like bevel.)

Other random suggestions:

  • In general, a table of fields looks neater (and is easier to scan) if you right-align the labels and left-align the fields. Like this:

    Music:[____________[ Detect ]
  • That the “Detect” button belongs to the “Music” field is something that should be indicated using spacing (putting the button closer to the “Music” field than it is to the fields above/below), rather than using “<-”.

  • In general, having the word “enabled” or “Disabled” visible in a GUI indicates either redundancy or the wrong control being used. If the “Comments” option menu contains only two items (“enabled” and “disabled”), it would probably be better as a checkbox (“Allow comments”).

  • Why “0 Public”? Why not just “Public”? Is “0” an implementation detail?

  • For “Check Friends Enabled”, the “enabled”/“disabled” rule applies again. It would probably be better as a checkbox (“[/] Check Friends”).

  • For the “Delete” and “Submit” (perhaps “Post” would be better for non-bondage types?), either have an icon for both of them or neither of them, not just one.

— mpt

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