[JDEV] UI opinions..

Vivre Draco cfc at paganpaths.org
Fri Aug 6 01:14:59 CDT 1999

   I'll add any long suggestions in a separate message, but I'll use 
this one basically to "second" other ppl's suggestions and add short, 
quick suggestions of my own.

On 4 Aug 99,, Tim Lesher sounded off on Re: [JDEV] UI opinions..:

> 1.  Must minimize to task bar in Win32.

   Assuming you mean the systray where the little icons go, then I 
agree this is an absolute must. You might also consider having an 
option to shrink to a tiny window that just shows a few stats, i.e. 
how many messages you have waiting, how many of your buddies are on-
line, your current status, etc. You might include an option to have 
"VIP" users in your roster whose names will be displayed here when 
they're on-line, and/or will cause a "user is online" dialog to pop 
up. Also, you might set it to show any new user who comes on-line in 
this miniwindow for a few seconds or something.

> 2.  Must give reasonable options on what to do on an incoming
> message (pop up a window/flash a taskbar icon/send an "away"
> message/etc).  Ideally, this should be configurable by which user
> sent the message, or which "buddy group" the sender is in.

   This would definately be nice.

> 3.  Show status (online/offline/idle/away) right on the user list.
>  I use AIM at work, and it's a real help to be able to see who's
> in, who's out, who's out to lunch, who's busy and won't be able to
> respond for a while...) 

   This too is an absolute must.

> 4.  Kill the standard Window menu; use something that takes up less
> space, like the ICQ button. 

   Not sure what you mean.

> If there are extra gizmos like the AIM "Search the Web" bar, allow
> the user to hide them. 

   Another must.

> 5.  This is a little more out there, but skinnability a la WinAmp
> would certainly attract a certain segment of the online crowd. 

   Igh. But yes, it would attract certain ppl, so as long as you can 
turn off skins and have it use your Windows/Mac/whatever colors 
instead, this would be ok.

   Also, it'd be nice if you could get a list of on-line users from 
the systray in a menu-style. Like just right click on the icon in the 
systray, go to the "roster" submenu or whatever and see what's there. 
Clicking on someone's name in the menu could either do whatever the 
default double-click action in your roster window is (presumeably 
sending a message), or bring up a dialog with buttons to choose what 
to do, from send message, file send, or whatever options. You might 
make the tooltip for the icon include info like how many messages 
pending, how many users in your roster are on-line, how many have 
showed up/left since the prog was last unminimized, etc.

On 5 Aug 99,, Jerrad Pierce sounded off on [JDEV] UI:

> I have 3 better words: modular modular modular 
> why should I even have to have the forsaken search bar, etc. In
> memory if I'm not displaying it. 

   I agree completely -- However, making it modular as you've 
suggested is just one way of making it configurable -- A very good 
way, too. :)

On 5 Aug 99,, Scott Robinson sounded off on Re: [JDEV] UI opinions..:

> Microsoft had the right idea when it allowed users to just drag
> and drop the buttons they liked onto the tool bar. 
> Configurability with simplicity is the way everyone _wants_ to go,
> but getting there seems to be the problem. Bars or menus? Both? 

   I agree; nothing I said goes against allowing you to simply drag 
and drop buttons (not that you said it did, but just to clarefy), in 
fact where I referred to a "graphical toolbar creation tool," I was 
thinking of things like allowing simple drag & drop rearrangement and 
such. But, it might be convenient to also have a central toolbar 
manager you can go to, and I want it to be extremely extensible, so I 
don't want it limited to a set of standard buttons, which is why I 
think it'd be good to specify buttons similarly to how I said.

> While the ICQesque interface is generally agreed to be evil, that
> is what the user expects. 

   Really? I find the interface of ICQ 98 quite nice. Then again, I 
wouldn't touch ICQ 99 with a 10 foot pole... Bloatware....

> Skins? Customizable UI? If we wrote a standard (read portable)
> Jabber client that supported radical modification of the UI with a
> few nice defaults that we created, I would think this would solve
> all our problems. You may say "but that would be to hard! Think of
> all the code we'd have write to specialize the interface..." 

   This sounds like SUCH a good idea. I would love to see this 

> When that Jabber install program boots up, its only question should
> be "How do you want Jabber to look? ICQ/AIMesque? mIRCesqe? ..."
> and etc. 

   Agreed. Optimally, it should also bring up screen shots when you 
click each one :)  

> As always, I'm officially "on crack" so anything I say can be
> disregarded. 

   Hey, nice disclaimer...

"Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, 
 and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them." 
--_Catch-22_, Joseph Heller 

Copyright 1999 Vivre Draco (cfc at paganpaths.org)
excelsior ad infinitum -- http://www.paganpaths.org/~cfc/

More information about the JDev mailing list