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How uniform can GUI clients be? -- was: Re: Gui Clients

From: Joerg Bullmann <joerg_at_fontworks.com>
Date: 2001-01-30 04:38:50 CET

Ben, Kevin, others

>that he'd rather have someone really sit down and *design* a single
>uniform gui across all platforms. I agreed that he made sense, and

Interesting thought. Let's have a look at how it is
in CVS. The fact that there are three (3 ! ;-) client
implementations for the Mac be left aside here, even
though this kind tells a story in itself, alas not a
juicy one [interested parties let me know ;-)].

But let's compare the Windows and Mac UI's. In windows,
you have a "direcory browser" on the left side and a file
list on the right side of the main CVS window.

For windows people this seems to make sense because this
folder browser file list combination is used in many
applications and people will therefore feel at home

On the Mac, we don't have this. Instead, here traditionally,
you have combined folder/file views that show complete folder
structures in hierarchical lists. On the Mac this concept
originated in the finder list view sometime in Mac OS 7 and
people adopted it widely here.

Aside from the fact that this combined hierarchical list
view allows for selection of items in more than one folder
at the same time which does not seem easily possible in
Windows (I might be wrong here, please correct me), it is
the "natural" way people work and think on the Mac.

So, to come to my point: how *uniform* can an SVN client

How should the SVN commands be represented? I'd suggest
an "SVN" menu with entries for all SVN commands. If people
select them, they could be presented with dialog boxes
where they can enter options via check boxes, popup menus,
etc. A toolbar could optionally be there.

The user's work space could be shown in a window with
a hierarchical file and folder list (Mac), a folder browser
file list combination (Win). This window would then show
the state of the files in the module (work space) so the
user easily sees what's going on (what's changed, what needs
check in, etc.). It could also allow access to cached file
logs or file diff output (stuff that has been received from
the server in a SVN diff or SVN log or some other command).

How should the work space window look on X/Motif/Gtk/Java/TCL
or so? Certainly I'd vote for the hierarchical file and
folder list like on the Mac ;-))). In MacCVSClient, I have
also implemented a "filter" option. With this you can
restrict the display to e.g. only locally modified files,
lost files, unknown files, files that had a diff when you
last ran a CVS diff -r version-1-0 -r version-1-1 or some
such. This is great because it often hides away thousands
of list entries so you can concentrate on those 23 files
that are of importance to you right now.

Do we want a log window that shows all the server responses?
I like it. But I think I recall someone (was it one of the
Greg(g)s?) speaking out vehemently against it some time ago.
My memory might fool me here.

A GUI SVN client could offer simple diff and conflict viewing

What about file types and Mac OS resource fork handling?

>I'd like to recommend that *all* the volunteers interested
>in guis just sit down and start a real discussion about how
>the gui should look and feel.

May another one of those near-religious wars start. Or
rather not. 8-))

Hope my ideas can help here and spark off a bit of detail
discussion. I'd love to meet up with people to talk through
this in kind of a workshop, but I'm in Hong Kong and can't
really afford a ticket (snivel).

Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:20 2006

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