Métamorphose 2, some interface improvements

  • Alberto

    Alberto - 2010-06-10

    Hi, first of all I'd like to say that I often use Métamorphose an I find it a really good program, very helpful.
    Anyway, I think some parts of the user interface could be improved and simplified.
    I did a mockup of what I think should  be changed, you can find it at this address:


    Let me know what do you think about it…

  • ianaré

    ianaré - 2010-06-12

    Some good stuff, thank you for these ideas.

    Now, an important thing to remember about the interface is that it will be translated into many languages. This means for French, for example that text grows, for example "destroy selected" becomes "détruire la sélection", which can cause layout problems. Then there's Arabic, which requires the layout to be reversed. I mention this because the current layout takes this into consideration, I'm not sure your alternative would work as well in all situations.

    Then there is the issue of horizontal space available, the current layout attempts to minimize horizontal usage, to give as much space as possible to the operation panel. I think having the checkboxes and especially the "enabled" text  would eat into space available for the operation settings. I had actually implemented this in an early version of the app but removed it for this reason.

    I like the use of a combo box or menu to add operations, it might make more sense to people to actually see something that says "add operation". I will look into this. One thing that the current interface allows is dragging-dropping into a specific position. Not sure how this would be implemented.

    Placing the move arrows to under the used list does make sense. I will experiment with this.

    The usage of drag and drop to organize operations is very good, I will definitely implement this.

    Finally, thanks for showing me the icons. They are very nice. If you have the time and the desire, you could simply take the ones that you think should be used, rename them, and send me a zip in an email. I will then make the icon set user switchable.

    Thanks again,

    ianare, who is at, gmail, period, commercial ;-)

  • ianaré

    ianaré - 2010-06-12

    Organize operations by drag & drop is now available in SVN. Next version to include this.

  • Alberto

    Alberto - 2010-06-14

    wow, fast reply! :)

    I'm glad to see you appreciated my ideas, and I'd like to say that they are only suggestions and of course you have to decide if it's convenient implement them or not…

    and I'm happy to see you already coded one of these suggestions!

    however. about the translation of elements, I can't get the point.. GUI elements can auto-resize based on their content, so for example a label will change his width when text content changes (so changing the language will affect also widths of elements).
    or course this behavior is eliminated if you use a static layout, like in rules lists.
    My suggestion is to use a dynamic (or elastic) layout also for these lists, in fact I can't understand the need of a static layout here. Ok if you want to maximize space for operation panel, but in my opinion a little waste of space for a dynamic layout is not a big problem.
    another suggestion is to use a resizable split panel between rules lists and operation panel, so space occupied by rules can be optimized as user wishes.

    I prepared some icons, using the ones by Fugue set, here's the link:
    I left some icons the same because I haven't found a replacement.. Let me know what do you think and if you have some critique!
    I suggest you to rename the icons and use a pattern like: <usage>-<name>
    <usage>: could be "action" or "visual", where action means associated with a button or a menu or something that means an action (of course :) ), and visual when it's used for highlight a behavior (like current state of renaming) or in tabs or in file tree
    <name>: the name of the action or the meaning/concept associated with the icon

    if you plan to create another set of icons and let the user switch between them this could be very useful for you when coding and for the one whom create the icon set…


  • ianaré

    ianaré - 2010-06-22

    Hi Alberto,

    All GUI elements are indeed allowed to change, depending on the language, OS, and system font size (GTK only at this point). This can actually be a problem, the interface should not waste space. For example if the width of a button is greater than the width of the column (column is also of variable size, BTW), then this leads to wasted space.

    I will look into the icons you provided, but since a release was just made, this will have to wait until next release. Drag and drop did make the latest release though :-). I will also look into icon naming to make creating new sets easier.



  • Alberto

    Alberto - 2010-06-26

    Of course you have to consider how the GUI resizes according to other elements and text inside them, so you, as developer, decide this behavior.

    I hope the icons are ok! I hope to see tem in next release :)

    Wish you a good work,


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