v0.12 Win32: Layout->Free mode not truly "free"

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JohnFredC
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v0.12 Win32: Layout->Free mode not truly "free"

Post by JohnFredC »

IMO. Free mode should support all possible positions and tilings of the browser panels.

In v0.12 it doesn't.
John
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Re: v0.12 Win32: Layout->Free mode not truly "free&q

Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote:IMO. Free mode should support all possible positions and tilings of the browser panels.

In v0.12 it doesn't.
How that?? Which position is not possible?
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Post by JohnFredC »

Hi Pierre

I have been unsuccessful dragging the MP browser panels into the following arrangements:

T=Folder Tree
F=Files
P=Preview

Image

Also, it appears that there is an implied hierarchy in some of the arrangements and not in others. One gets different results, for instance, if one drags the Preview panel vs. dragging the Tree panel.

IMO, all panels are logically subordinate in function to the file panel. MP does not implement this completely. See my old posts about the hierarchy of panels here and here.

And here is my concept of a proper panel hierarchy for any image browser:

Image

On the other hand, if a functional hierarchy is not to be observed in the visual arrangement of MP browser panels, then any panel should be dockable in any position. This is probably the best approach since it allows the user to assert any possible visual relationship between the panels... or none at all, regardless of any de facto behavioral/functional relationships between them.
John
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Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote:Also, it appears that there is an implied hierarchy in some of the arrangements and not in others. One gets different results, for instance, if one drags the Preview panel vs. dragging the Tree panel.
The problem is to define with QT what is the top what is the left...
For example, you can't have 1a layout and change by hand to the 2a layout.
For 1a, you have a top/bottom area for F & T, and a right area for P
For 2a, you have a left/right are for F & T, and a bottom area for P
Pierre.
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Post by JohnFredC »

Hi Pierre
The problem is to define with QT what is the top what is the left...
Regardless of the reason for it, users' expectations (gained from using other software such as PSP, for instance) will make it seem as if XnView MP has bugs related to the layout functionality (even though it's really QT that is the problem).

Also, IMO the QT restrictions you mention will impact your ability to add new functionality to XnView via new panels while at the same time preserving "rational" layout behavior.

Please get this right before you get "too far down the road" of MP development. Its fundamental.

Thanks for listening!
John
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Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote:
The problem is to define with QT what is the top what is the left...
Regardless of the reason for it, users' expectations (gained from using other software such as PSP, for instance) will make it seem as if XnView MP has bugs related to the layout functionality (even though it's really QT that is the problem).

Also, IMO the QT restrictions you mention will impact your ability to add new functionality to XnView via new panels while at the same time preserving "rational" layout behavior.
Sorry not easy to explain, but there is no restrictions in QT :-), window in QT must have a central widget and panels widget
http://doc.trolltech.com/4.4/qmainwindow.html#details
So for wanted arrangement, Files panel is no more central but it's Preview panel.
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Post by JohnFredC »

I downloaded QT and QTDesigner to nose around a bit.
xnview wrote:Sorry not easy to explain
No kidding! :shock:
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Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote:I downloaded QT and QTDesigner to nose around a bit.
So you can try the qtdemo and demo/main window
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Post by JohnFredC »

xnview wrote:The problem is to define with QT what is the top what is the left...
For example, you can't have 1a layout and change by hand to the 2a layout.
For 1a, you have a top/bottom area for F & T, and a right area for P
For 2a, you have a left/right are for F & T, and a bottom area for P
Well I am a long way from advising you about implementation, but after a couple of hours prowling around the demos and reading the documentation, I do have a better conceptual grasp of the QT interface behavior and understand the issue somewhat.

I'll post again about this when (er, uh, if!!!) I have something to contribute.
John
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Post by JohnFredC »

Hi Pierre

Possible discoveries, or maybe (my) newbie mistakes:

1. Apparently QT frame/widget docking is only supported to the QT "Main window". I encountered this issue when attempting to set the docking parameters for a widget inside a docked frame. The docking options were grayed out in the QTDesigner property palettes for that widget.

Perhaps that is a QTDesigner limitation only (not QT itself), but if not, it is a serious limitation for UI design in QT, IMO.

2. In the Delphi/Visual Studio/MSAccess world I am accustomed to, one can subordinate an entire form to a frame. This feature promotes modular design by allowing the interface to reuse forms as "sub" forms inside other forms. Perhaps there is a "form" widget somewhere in QT but I couldn't find it in the Designer. For my own UI designs, that would be a very serious limitation.

I'll be more reticent with my UI requests for MP in the future because apparently some of them simply may not be possible.

Too bad LMDTools (my choice for Delphi) aren't cross-platform.

Just my 2 cents (or possibly very much less) worth. :?
John
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Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote: 1. Apparently QT frame/widget docking is only supported to the QT "Main window". I encountered this issue when attempting to set the docking parameters for a widget inside a docked frame. The docking options were grayed out in the QTDesigner property palettes for that widget.
Docking is only possible in a QMainWindow, but you can have a QMainWindow in a QMainWindow
2. In the Delphi/Visual Studio/MSAccess world I am accustomed to, one can subordinate an entire form to a frame. This feature promotes modular design by allowing the interface to reuse forms as "sub" forms inside other forms. Perhaps there is a "form" widget somewhere in QT but I couldn't find it in the Designer. For my own UI designs, that would be a very serious limitation.
Do you have a example with LMDTools?
Yes, there is limitation with the docking system, i hope that trolltech (nokia now) will enhance it.
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Post by JohnFredC »

xnview wrote:Docking is only possible in a QMainWindow, but you can have a QMainWindow in a QMainWindow
I'll check that out.
xnview wrote:Do you have a example with LMDTools
You mean a code example? The LMD site has plenty of resources. I personally don't have something non-proprietary I could send you.

I will play around a bit more with QT this spring, though.
John
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Post by xnview »

JohnFredC wrote:
xnview wrote:Do you have a example with LMDTools
You mean a code example? The LMD site has plenty of resources.
Yes, but i have not Delphi, i'll try the megademo
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Post by thibaud »

for what it's worth, one of the application I use regularly (nuke 5.x) is a real example when it comes to ui layout customization and does rely on QT libraries afaik.

Nuke, along with modorepresent the absolute quintessence of customizable ui layout design to my eyes.
both application have demo downloads and are cross platform. If you ever want to check that out:
nuke download
modo download (reg required)
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Post by JohnFredC »

Yes, I figured as much. The only other platform LMD is available for is C++ builder.

As I said, a shame there is not a cross-platform version. LMD makes good components that have useful properties.

In my old age (now upon me, accelerated by the global economic disaster) I am now learning Java and cell phones. I miss Delphi.
John