Author Topic: Interface Overhaul?  (Read 14531 times)

jackuars

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Interface Overhaul?
« on: June 01, 2013, 08:54:55 »
This maybe just me, but I think Multi Commander's interface has become a little old fashioned. I would love to see an overhaul in the interface and make it more attractive.

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 11:42:39 »
Well it depends on what exactly you are referring to in the UI. Icons ? Layout ? other ?

However. Yes I would like to upgrade it too..BUT, UI design and implementation takes a lot of time so the decision is what to spend the time on.
New features or Improved UI.

Right now the time is spent on new features.

Also a lot of modern UI that look nice are that because they are very simple slimed and dumbed down. MC will not be that because the target user for MC is a power users. Features and function comes first. UI second.
But if you have any specific UI improvements idea please let me know. And if they do not take to much time to add then I might be able to squeeze it in between adding features.


 

jackuars

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 12:57:41 »
I know that MC mostly focus on features and I love that, and I'd have no problems with the current interface if I was still using Windows XP and MC would look fine on it. But with Windows 7 raising the bar for the UI looks, it's just that I feel improvements can be made in this regard.

jackuars

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 12:59:04 »
What language did you use to create MC?

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 14:03:18 »
I know that MC mostly focus on features and I love that, and I'd have no problems with the current interface if I was still using Windows XP and MC would look fine on it. But with Windows 7 raising the bar for the UI looks, it's just that I feel improvements can be made in this regard.
Win7 mostly added glass stuff. and I was planing on adding something like that but it is to resource intensive.. And in Win8 it was removed again. so that was scraped.

I don't really know what to change to make it look more modern. (without removing features..)
RibbonBar ? instead of toolbar. Hmm nore sure. Take to much UI space.
new icons ?? well I can't draw and since MC is free there is no budget to but professional made icons. Have to relay in free icons.
what else hmm I don't know. If anyone have any idea on how to improve the UI to be more modern then write a post or email me.

What language did you use to create MC?
C++

avantuser1114

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 07:39:45 »
 -Maybe allowing the menu items to have icons will help. Currently only 'File Search' has one. Also, please allow the users to configure the menus  and menu items(rearrange, delete, add...). 'Menu customization' lets the users add their own Menus and Menu Items for those menus but it doesn't allow the same functionality for the original menus(File, Edit, View, Configuration..etc) and menu items..Icons for the menu items will make main menu more lively..
 -You can also allow more UI elements(such as the quick launch bar, move/copy progress bars, menu items dialog(?, not sure what it's called), etc..) to have their colors configured..And speaking of colors, 'modern colors' are more than just plain colors, they also have gradients and the likes..
 -An option to display item path in the address bar in a 'explorer-like breadcrumb' (the one seen in windows explorer)..current crumb bar works fine but though it allows almost the same functionality as the breadcrumb, it isn't as modern..

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 08:22:46 »
-Maybe allowing the menu items to have icons will help. Currently only 'File Search' has one.
That is because of technical reason and should work soon.  But not all command will gets icons since I can not draw my self and have to rely on free icons I find.

Also, please allow the users to configure the menus  and menu items(rearrange, delete, add...). 'Menu customization' lets the users add their own Menus and Menu Items for those menus but it doesn't allow the same functionality for the original menus(File, Edit, View, Configuration..etc) and menu items..Icons for the menu items will make main menu more lively..
It is something that I been looking into. However it is not an easy task,  The why MC works with menus are very special. MC is build around a plugin architecture. Everything in MC is almost a plugin, and all plugins can dynamically adds there items to the menus.
Allowing customization would require quite a bit of work and design changes.

-You can also allow more UI elements(such as the quick launch bar, move/copy progress bars, menu items dialog(?, not sure what it's called), etc..) to have their colors configured..
Most UI element takes there colors from what it is configured in Windows. And if you change that it will change in MC.
I have done some tests with overriding some of the colors but the result has not been good since some Core UI element would not change. so the look was not great.
Also the user configuration for it would be a mess, but it depends on how much of the configuration is exposed.

And speaking of colors, 'modern colors' are more than just plain colors, they also have gradients and the likes..
Not anymore :) Modern as in Windows 8, then gradient are gone everywhere. (since it require a lot more CPU cycle. and that is not good for the battery)
Have been think to allow gradient background in the explorer panel. But because of performance reason I decided not to. But might allow it anyway.
(Also showing a custom images as a background, but same performance issues. )

-An option to display item path in the address bar in a 'explorer-like breadcrumb' (the one seen in windows explorer)..current crumb bar works fine but though it allows almost the same functionality as the breadcrumb, it isn't as modern..
Problem is that Windows does not expose their built in crumbbar for 3de party apps to use.
There might be some tweaks I can do to mine.

avantuser1114

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 09:58:46 »
-Windows Explorer(in both selection and copy/move dialog, etc) itself uses gradients.. so maybe it's not that resource hog..
-The breadcrumb in the address bar doesn't need to be exactly like Windows Explorer's, maybe changing '\' with '>'(what i mean exactly is the one in WE) is enough. Clicking the folder name will open it and pressing '>' will display the subfolders bar..upon clicking, the background of the folder name and '>' should change..
-I noticed that the sizes in the explorer panel are now converted to higher units (KB to MB) when they reach 1.20..it still doesn't start from 1024 but it's much better now..thanks for that....
BTW:
-Are you using Qt Creator for UI design?
-When will the SDK be released?


Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 10:20:27 »
-Windows Explorer(in both selection and copy/move dialog, etc) itself uses gradients.. so maybe it's not that resource hog..
Yes they still have in some places. But it was also removed in a lot of places.  Because every cpu cycle counts. that gradient require many many times more cpu then plain color.  Performance is not always speed but also watts. How much power a program usage. And now when more then half of all computers are battery powered it is even more impotent.

-I noticed that the sizes in the explorer panel are now converted to higher units (KB to MB) when they reach 1.20..it still doesn't start from 1024 but it's much better now..thanks for that....
It starts from what ever unit size you set in settings 1024 or 1000 bytes per kb.

BTW:
-Are you using Qt Creator for UI design?
-When will the SDK be released?
No MC is not using QT.  Visual Studio 2012.

SDK - Well... it should have been out. As I said before MC is build using a plugin architecture and all these internal plugins are using the same SDK that will be released. So the interface for MC is large. But there is only very limited documentation.
I been spending quite a bit of time cleaning it up making it ready. I plan to release a preview soon. But I think I need to create a couple of sample plugins too.
To begin with extension will need to be created using C++. I was planing to create a C# proxy so that extension should be created using that. But I do not have the time for that.

avantuser1114

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 10:34:17 »
-Seems the argument with gradient is convincing.
-In my case the sizes weren't converted unless they reach 1.20. But I haven't used the recent beta so maybe it's the reason. I've only tried 1412.

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 10:50:59 »
-Seems the argument with gradient is convincing.
It if for Microsoft so they can say that now with Windows 8 you get xx% more battery life :)
But as I said. I have plans to maybe add it as background color option file the explorer panel.

-In my case the sizes weren't converted unless they reach 1.20. But I haven't used the recent beta so maybe it's the reason. I've only tried 1412.
hm 1.2 might be correct. There is a threshold before it turns over.
If a file is 1018 bytes you see it as bytes.. but if the file grows 7 bytes to 1025 bytes. it is still not interesting to show it as bytes ?
Showing the file as 1Kb can be anything from 1024 - ~1500 bytes, and 2Kb can be anything from 1501-2500 in size.
The more you go up in size the less the exact value is interesting.  It is when changing size unit that it becomes interesting to keep the old a little longer until a threshold is reached so that it is not interesting anymore.


avantuser1114

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 11:00:57 »
it's still best to start from 1024...

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 11:03:48 »
it's still best to start from 1024...
I don't agree. :)

ice-man

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 11:38:47 »
No MC is not using QT.  Visual Studio 2012.

SDK - Well... it should have been out. As I said before MC is build using a plugin architecture and all these internal plugins are using the same SDK that will be released. So the interface for MC is large. But there is only very limited documentation.
I been spending quite a bit of time cleaning it up making it ready. I plan to release a preview soon. But I think I need to create a couple of sample plugins too.
To begin with extension will need to be created using C++. I was planing to create a C# proxy so that extension should be created using that. But I do not have the time for that.

C++ is fine okey for me. Will the SDK work with Visual Studio Express 2012 ?
Intel i7-6700K - Running on latest Windows 10 64bit Insider Preview

Mathias (Author)

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 12:01:56 »
No MC is not using QT.  Visual Studio 2012.

SDK - Well... it should have been out. As I said before MC is build using a plugin architecture and all these internal plugins are using the same SDK that will be released. So the interface for MC is large. But there is only very limited documentation.
I been spending quite a bit of time cleaning it up making it ready. I plan to release a preview soon. But I think I need to create a couple of sample plugins too.
To begin with extension will need to be created using C++. I was planing to create a C# proxy so that extension should be created using that. But I do not have the time for that.

C++ is fine okey for me. Will the SDK work with Visual Studio Express 2012 ?

No not that one. That is only for "metro"-apps but "Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop" should work.
But it is not locked to VS2012. You should be able to use VS Express 2010 and possibly also other compilers then VS (Note sure. Have not tested)



avantuser1114

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 09:48:59 »
it's still best to start from 1024...
I don't agree. :)

you won't allow an option to start from 1024?

Jungle

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Re: Interface Overhaul?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 10:22:57 »
And i still think there should be a choice between kilo and kibi (decimal and binary prefixes).
kilo can't be 1024 and kibi can't be 1000.