[scribus-dev] Who is going to kill the style dialog ?

Alexandre Prokoudine alexandre.prokoudine at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 03:47:19 CET 2010

On 10/30/10, Louis Desjardins wrote:

> Can we simply get rid of this dialog and have the style created at right
> hand click ? Bug 300 or so by Lyam, back in 2004 or something.
> Please do us a favor and kill this dialog.

Unfortunately this is exactly where you are to be reminded that I'm
subscribed to this list and therefore have many amazing ways to annoy
you :)

The big issue as I see it is that UI of Scribus is a patchwork.
Everybody wants to make this app rock. Sadly, this is not enough. Yes,
in an ideal world little elves would take a vacation from Santa's
factory to do the work for you. In the real world Santa's factory is
called Adobe and all the elves are slaving away for it 24/7/365 and
are jolly glad to do so. So you've got that extra bit of work that is
called "spending all our spare time on unpaid project only to be
annoyed by some clever wannabe-usability dick who never wrote a single
line of code" :-)

We've just had a hot discussion at #scribus, and I'd like to reiterate
that before any further changes to UI are made, the team should take
one step back, look at the whole thing and come up with a new design
for UI. When I say "should", I really mean the nasty heartless
attitude towards people who work on the project in their spare time
:-) And when I say "design", I don't mean icons on buttons (whose
style is eclectic again now that new Render Frame icon is introduced),
I really mean design as in God-like "thoroughly analyzing things,
constructing bones and adding them some meat and muscles and only then
-- the skin and, finally, make-up". (Not that your basic god is
expected to approve make-up in principle, but I digress.)

Let's agree that before things get implemented they should be analyzed
for whether they are going to contribute to consistence of user
experience. Whether they will provide the fastest way to get the job
done. And so on and so forth.

Here is a couple of main principles I can come up with while I'm still
awake that should be used as reference whenever you start coding

1. In typography everything is experiment (therefore all aspects of
layout and typesetting can be changed at any time, on the fly).
2. In a document and between documents everything is reusable
(therefore any kind of objects can have styles and be cloned).
3. Every change can be undone within same session, and as many changes
to shape and look of objects as possible are non-destructive.
4. The way to get the job done as fast as possible is to focus on
content, not ornaments (therefore modal dialogs and sidebars are
weapon of last resort).

In my anything but humble opinion it's rather pointless discussing any
details until things like this are understood, agreed and settled. A
special remark for Christoph: I know you still want details, but you
won't get any until the first stage is passed. Also, note how
following those would shape the long-suffering document format in
certain ways already.

Oh, by the way, I've already heard the
but-people-have-different-habits argument. I don't buy it. We'd be
still living in rainforests on trees if we all sticked to our habits
as if we had nothing better to stick to.

And now you unsubscribe me :-)

Alexandre Prokoudine

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