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Re: How uniform can GUI clients be?

From: Mark Murphy <mmurphy_at_collab.net>
Date: 2001-01-30 14:36:30 CET

> I totally agree that it might be hard to make really intuitive
interfaces for
> different platforms that are uniform and still match the paradigms and
> peculiarities of those particular platforms.
> Still, just guessing here, most platforms would probably use the same
> approach and only the Mac would differ.

Rather than focusing on the differences, maybe we can start listing
places where we can be the same.

For instance, I think all the GUI environments we've been talking about
support two main types of menus: window menus (the kind that drop down
from a bar just under the window title bar) and context menus (the kind
that pop up when you perform a platform-specific type of mouse click on
an object).

While we may depict a folder/directory differently, the context menu
operations to be performed on one should be fairly consistent (i.e.,
add, remove, update all, commit all, ... for a folder/directory).
Similarly, most of the options off of the window menus should be
similar. There are still likely to be platform-dependent options in both
types of menus, but we can probably get 80% consistency. After all, the
goal behind uniform GUIs should be transferable knowledge (if I know GUI
A, I can figure out GUI B quickly) vs. absolute identical functionality.


> I'd say that there shouldn't be a need for a menu with "SVN commands".
> There's a GUI and the "commands" should be replaced with GUI
operations as
> far as possible. Of course, allowing some commands and a shell prompt
> power users is still a feature that could be left in there but I'd
prefer if
> the GUI would not feel like just a fancy layer ontop of the SVN
command line
> commands. I'd want that a GUI-user shouldn't need nor have to know the
> client commands.


> > Do we want a log window that shows all the server responses? I like
> > But I think I recall someone (was it one of the Greg(g)s?) speaking
> > vehemently against it some time ago. My memory might fool me here.
> I'm against it. Sure, it can *exist* if you select to enable it and if
> wanna do some under-the-surface debugging and see exactly what the
server did
> say. But I think that the GUI should present information and progress
data to
> prevent the need for a "server log".

I envisioned a log window (a.k.a., "transcript", stemming from my
Smalltalk days) mostly showing exactly which files were affected on
recursive and wildcard operations (e.g., update). The transcript would
be toggled on/off, and probably default off, but I think it could be
useful for batch operations.

BTW, I am finally(!) getting some time again and will be helping out
Bill Tutt with svn_com wrappers around the SVN client API, so we can
start rolling more functionality into the UI.

Mark Murphy
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:20 2006

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