Thoughts on the changes

  • Mark Pazolli

    Mark Pazolli - 2006-07-06

    Hi Stephen,

    I've given the changes a go and I like the new polygon selection tool and the new selection operations but I am unhappy with the changes to the position tool.

    I don't mind switching to the position tool to move around selections but I am not content with this implementation. Some problems include:

    1) Linking the command key to the position tool means every time a selection is active and I go to type a menu shortcut the position tool is selected. This is very distracting.

    2) Not using the option key to float a selection means selections cannot be floated using the right mouse button.

    3) The asterisks in the position tool options are excessive and needlessly clutter the panel.

    4) Rotating floating selections with the position tool no longer works.

    5) Because the position tool is switched to before the selection is floated it is possible to get stuck in a position where the selection tools are falsely disabled. Try this, make a selection, press the command key, select a menu from the menu bar, release the command key (while the menu is still active). Note that the selection tools are now incorrectly disabled.

    6) I can no longer easily paste, move into place the pasted content and anchor it without prolonged use of the command key.

    To fix these problems my suggestion are:

    a) Change it so the position tool is only selected after a selection has been floated using an option-click with one of the selection tools active. (Fixes 1, 2 and 5)

    b) Change it so selections can be subtracted from using the shift-option modifiers and added to using the shift key. Stop using the shift key to create a fixed aspect ratio. (General improvement)

    c) Return to a "This tool has no options." label for the position tool. (Fixes 3)

    d) Make it so a click outside the selection region always anchors a floating selection when using the position tool *except* when the option key is down. (Fixes 6)

    e) Make it so the cursor changes to an anchor when it is outside the selection region. (General improvement)

    f) Make it so that a floating selection can be rotated using as before but instead using the control key. (Fixes 4)

    Please consider these suggestions carefully and give me you thoughts on them. Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time to work on Seashore recently as I had hoped so my replies may be a little slower than usual. There are some other minor changes I also want to see implemented, including making it so that a click "very close" to the initial click with the polygon tool will close the polygon and to make it so the selection mode is universal to all selection tools.


    • Stephen Siciliano

      Ok, I'm glad we are having thing conversation.
      1) quite true, I've noticed this myself.
      2) I'm relatively sure that the vast majority of mac users have the control key mapped to their right mouse button, or have the "right mouse button" mapped to it. Why? Because the control key is essentially the same thing as the right mouse button. I have never heard of anyone mapping the option key to the right mouse button. Maybe if there was a way to do a survey of Seashore users, but I'm pretty sure that having the right mouse button option-click is a rare thing.
      3) Conceded, 4) I didn't notice this, 5) Obviously a bug, 6) True

      Ok, so with your suggestions: a) and b) sound like valid suggestions. I would prefer to leave it possible to force a square selection though. I do not think that the control key is currently being used for the selection tool, maybe that would assuage your concerns of a dual-purpose modifier. My hesitance with c) however, is that there needs to be a simple way to duplicate the selection with the position tool. It seems that you wish to preclude this option. d) and e) are logical, and f) obviously needs to happen.

      I too have been busy very recently, so I haven't put as much work into it as I had hoped. Either way, those other changes sound good.

    • Stephen Siciliano

      I've had a few more thoughts since my last post too. I'm thinking it would make the most sense to stop using the control key as a modifier, because if we ever do wish to implement contextual menus, we will not be able to. For tools that the control key forces a straight line (which I can't make work), the shift key would work just fine.

      Also, I'm wondering about the changes you made a while ago to the New Image panel. What was your logic behind decreasing the size of the text?  I think it would look much better if the text was all the same size. Also, I wonder why you chose to remove the borders around the Presets and Units menus. In general I think that it's much easier for first time users if the menus looked like 99% of the other menus in the OS and had the traditional borders. If your concerns here are about consistency with other dialogues in the App, then I'd gladly spend the 5 minutes to change the others.

    • Stephen Siciliano

      Also, I've been thinking (I have too much time to think and not enough time to code) that it would be best to  have one centralised units system. Not only would this cut down on needlessly duplicated code, but it also would make it easier to add different types of units in the future. I'm not sure though, what form this units centre should take. Should it just be a new class?

      • Mark Pazolli

        Mark Pazolli - 2006-07-10

        Hi Stephen,

        Below are my responses to your comments:

        > I'm thinking it would make the most sense to stop using the control key as a modifier, because if we ever do wish to implement contextual menus, we will not be able to.

        I don't mind using the control key and I'm not worried about contextual menus at the moment because I can't see what use they would be in the main window of an amateur image editing application. If it is essential though we can move to another modifier after the 0.1.9 release.

        > What was your logic behind decreasing the size of the text?

        I liked the way the way it looked though I am happy to move to larger text after the 0.1.9 release. If we can make it look right.

        > I wonder why you chose to remove the borders around the Presets and Units menus.

        The presets and unit menus are much less important than the resolution menu. As such they don't need to stick out. Curious users will easily find them as is. I would however like to move so that unit changes in all the dialogs are made using drop-down menus. Right now the Scale, Boundaries and Layer Settings dialogs still use the click-and-change model.

        > I've been thinking (I have too much time to think and not enough time to code) that it would be best to  have one centralised units system.

        Yes it would be good. The current system means there is lots of duplicated code which is bad programming on my part.

        > Should it just be a new class?

        Yes it seems logical to do it this way.


        • Stephen Siciliano

          I realised, as I was adding it, that a new class for units is something of overkill, because all we are really doing with them is formatting output strings and parsing the users input, so instead I made a few functions, that you can see in the next revision.

          Also, as I was editing the SeaPrefs I realised that now as we have added more options to the New Image panel, we haven't also added them to the Prefs panel. I also rearranged the panel as per Apple's guidelines (liked to in a previous post). In doing this, the new image settings look exactly like i think the new image panel should.

          I'll let you make what changes you think best to the key modifiers, so I can get more of a sense of what you are suggesting.

          • Mark Pazolli

            Mark Pazolli - 2006-07-11

            Hi Stephen,

            The presets pop-down menu in the new image panel no longer works correctly.


    • Mark Pazolli

      Mark Pazolli - 2006-07-12

      Hi Stephen,

      I am not happy with the new Preferences dialog because the titles down the side (e.g. "Window Settings:", "Draw Settings:" and "Program Settings:") make the dialog look uneven. Right now, I think the previous dialog looked better (though I think in the long run the toolbar will work out better than the tabs). To that end, I am going to play around with the dialog probably bringing it back closer towards the previous layout. That said, I am delighted to have all the new image options available in the Preferences dialog.


      • Stephen Siciliano

        Like I said, the reasoning for me doing what i did was because these are the guidelines that Apple made. Following the guidelines makes our App look more like an App designed for Mac OS X, which I think really is our goal. Otherwise, we might as well use gimp.

        This window from the Apple guidelines looks a lot like what I did:

        Note what it says "It does not mean center justification where the left and right sides of an imaginary line drawn through the center of the dialog have exactly the same number of items or characters." I think you were doing that before, as opposed to center equalization.


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