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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Suggestions for additional features for the module editor and Vassal engine.

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Postby Tim M » February 8th, 2008, 12:11 am

First time Ive really looked...

When Splash is on it shows up behind the Vassal window. Not very useful
The issue of chat/map window bar seems to have reappeared with the bar needing to be dragged everytime so I can see the map after game starts.
Launching editor : Edit drop down menu - nothing there
I also always have to resize windows to see module tree (same for just playing modules) This was never an issue before, like its not retaining previous window settings from a previous session

Can't say I'm a big fan at mo :)

Talking thought point :
Changing interface now, then introduce flexdock stuff later on, maybe just me, but I think these things should go together in one lump for less interface confusion later on to end user (the 'whats going on?' factor) in case it needs to change up again due to flexdock stuff.
Should only have to learn interface once - not relearn it again and again..
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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby tar » February 8th, 2008, 1:03 am

On Feb 7, 2008, at 3:30 PM, uckelman wrote:

* Does anyone have an opinon on what the names of the launchers
should be?
Should the player be VASSAL? VASSALPlayer? Player? Something else?

I would go with VASSAL for this. It is the main application.

Should the editor be VASSALEditor? Editor? Something else?

This should then be VASSALEditor. Just calling it "Editor" would be
too confusing, since it isn't a general purpose editor.



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Postby bsmith » February 8th, 2008, 2:29 am

I'm with tar, just "Vassal" for the main app (I'm not a fan of all-caps, too loud), and "VassalEdit" for the editor.
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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby Brent Easton » February 8th, 2008, 3:28 am

* Does anyone know whether the "Translate VASSAL" option really depends
on GameModule? (I think it doesn't.) This matters for determining when
exactly the option is enabled.

Do you mean the 'Translate' -> 'Translate VASSAL user interface' menu option on the Edit Module Window?

No, it should not depend on a GameModule being loaded for editing.

Brent.

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University of Western Sydney
Email: b.easton@uws.edu.au


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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby uckelman » February 8th, 2008, 9:00 am

Thus spake "Tim M":
First time Ive really looked...

When Splash is on it shows up behind the Vassal window. Not very useful

In the player or editor? (It's not that way for me, BTW.)

The issue of chat/map window bar seems to have reappeared with the bar needin
g to be dragged everytime so I can see the map after game starts.

I didn't knowingly change that---I'll have a look.

Launching editor : Edit drop down menu - nothing there

Will fix that this evening.

I also always have to resize windows to see module tree (same for just playin
g modules) This was never an issue before, like its not retaining previous wi
ndow settings from a previous session

I don't know where the 'previous session settings' come from.

This can be fixed by repacking the editor window after the tree is set,
I think.

Thanks for spotting these.

Can't say I'm a big fan at mo :)

Can you predict how would you feel about it if these things were fixed?

Talking thought point :
Changing interface now, then introduce flexdock stuff later on, maybe just me
, but I think these things should go together in one lump for less interface
confusion later on to end user (the 'whats going on?' factor) in case it need
s to change up again due to flexdock stuff.
Should only have to learn interface once - not relearn it again and again..


The flexdock stuff shouldn't affect the editor at all, so no changes there.
In the player, I think it won't affect the menu bar, or at worst it would
add a menu listing what tabs/subwindows you have open.

I have mixed feelings about your general comment on interface change, because

1. Is it better to do incremental interface change so that people are
always more or less comfortable, or do all your interface change at once
to get it overwith? Machiavelli claimed that you should kill all of your
opponents in one go, since people will be reminded that you're a bloodthirsty
tyrant if you kill one every so often. I don't know if that advice applies
to GUI design, though.

2. This change makes VASSAL behave (w/r/t menus) like 99% of other apps
that people have used (which aren't purpose-built games). If the changes
were something novel, I'd agree with you, but in this case you have on the
File menu what you'd expect to be there based on your experience with every
single other application you've used in the past decade.

3. All of the items have the same names as before (I think), and there are
only 13 menu items across 3 menus, in total---if you don't know where to
look but you know what you want, a brute-force search is feasible. If you
don't know whether to look under File, Tools, or Help, maybe you should
look under Help? :)

--
J.

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Re: Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby Tim M » February 8th, 2008, 11:28 am

uckelman wrote:Thus spake "Tim M":
First time Ive really looked...

When Splash is on it shows up behind the Vassal window. Not very useful

In the player or editor? (It's not that way for me, BTW.)


In player. I do not even see splash with editor
The issue of chat/map window bar seems to have reappeared with the bar needin
g to be dragged everytime so I can see the map after game starts.

I didn't knowingly change that---I'll have a look.

Launching editor : Edit drop down menu - nothing there

Will fix that this evening.

I also always have to resize windows to see module tree (same for just playin
g modules) This was never an issue before, like its not retaining previous wi
ndow settings from a previous session

I don't know where the 'previous session settings' come from.

This can be fixed by repacking the editor window after the tree is set,
I think.

Thanks for spotting these.

Can't say I'm a big fan at mo :)

Can you predict how would you feel about it if these things were fixed?


I think it will be fine
Talking thought point :
Changing interface now, then introduce flexdock stuff later on, maybe just me
, but I think these things should go together in one lump for less interface
confusion later on to end user (the 'whats going on?' factor) in case it need
s to change up again due to flexdock stuff.
Should only have to learn interface once - not relearn it again and again..


The flexdock stuff shouldn't affect the editor at all, so no changes there.
In the player, I think it won't affect the menu bar, or at worst it would
add a menu listing what tabs/subwindows you have open.

I have mixed feelings about your general comment on interface change, because

1. Is it better to do incremental interface change so that people are
always more or less comfortable, or do all your interface change at once
to get it overwith? Machiavelli claimed that you should kill all of your
opponents in one go, since people will be reminded that you're a bloodthirsty
tyrant if you kill one every so often. I don't know if that advice applies
to GUI design, though.

2. This change makes VASSAL behave (w/r/t menus) like 99% of other apps
that people have used (which aren't purpose-built games). If the changes
were something novel, I'd agree with you, but in this case you have on the
File menu what you'd expect to be there based on your experience with every
single other application you've used in the past decade.

3. All of the items have the same names as before (I think), and there are
only 13 menu items across 3 menus, in total---if you don't know where to
look but you know what you want, a brute-force search is feasible. If you
don't know whether to look under File, Tools, or Help, maybe you should
look under Help? :)

--
J.



I agree it will make it like every other app w/r/t to #2.

#1 was exactly why I was wondering. Everytime Microshaft comes out with their next new OS ever since back from Win95 it changes a little bit and you have to learn again where things are. They claim it makes things better - maybe it does, but how many ppl are they turning off in the process with the incremental approach?
Where the thought was coming from based off of this - the alienating of users


Question - will we still have a desktop launch icon upon installation? I have a comment about this splitting editor/player if we do
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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby uckelman » February 8th, 2008, 12:50 pm

Thus spake "Tim M":
Where the thought was coming from based off of this - the alienating of users

My gut tells me that this change won't alienate users---and I know it will
make the people who requesed it happy. But I'm not a reliable judge of the
reaction of typical users.

Question - will we still have a desktop launch icon upon installation? I have
a comment about this splitting editor/player if we do

We should have two now, I guess. I don't know myself where the desktop
icon comes from.

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Postby bsmith » February 8th, 2008, 1:48 pm

I think the familiarity new users will feel with the new interface will far outweigh the chance of existing users becoming alienated by it. For the love of God.. think of the children!
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Postby bsmith » February 8th, 2008, 1:58 pm

When I open a module, the old wizard pops up. Is this intentional?
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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby uckelman » February 8th, 2008, 2:07 pm

Thus spake "bsmith":
When I open a module, the old wizard pops up. Is this intentional?


If you haven't turned off the wizard in the prefs, then it is.

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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby Tim M » February 8th, 2008, 2:57 pm

I think you will need two, or it will not be obvious they have become distinct. Someone new (with 1 icon) will think that is all there is to it (playmode) and even if they ventured to look for editor, the first place they might look would be under 'tools'. They might not think to rummage through directories looking for an alternate bat/exe/sh

Joel Uckelman <uckelman@nomic.net> wrote:
Thus spake "Tim M":
Where the thought was coming from based off of this - the alienating of users

My gut tells me that this change won't alienate users---and I know it will
make the people who requesed it happy. But I'm not a reliable judge of the
reaction of typical users.

Question - will we still have a desktop launch icon upon installation? I have
a comment about this splitting editor/player if we do

We should have two now, I guess. I don't know myself where the desktop
icon comes from.

--
J.

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Tim,
Vassal Uber Geek/Guru

Problems? post your OS, Physical Mem, version of Vassal and Java plus the Module in question.
No developer can help with out that info, thx!
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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby rk » February 8th, 2008, 6:02 pm

One other case to consider: when a user is running VASSAL for the first time (i.e. there is no Preferences file) they get the Take-The-Tour/Jump-Right-In dialog. When I tried, it came up along with the main controls window. Either this dialog should block the bringing up of the main controls window or the tour should be moved to the Help menu.

Why is it necessary to split into two executables at all? It seems more intuitive and more consistent with other applications to simply put "New Module" "Play Module" and "Edit Module" entries under the File menu.

rk

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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby uckelman » February 8th, 2008, 8:21 pm

Thus spake "Rodney Kinney":
One other case to consider: when a user is running VASSAL for the first
time (i.e. there is no Preferences file) they get the
Take-The-Tour/Jump-Right-In dialog. When I tried, it came up along with the
main controls window. Either this dialog should block the bringing up of
the main controls window or the tour should be moved to the Help menu.

Thanks. I'll check on that.

Why is it necessary to split into two executables at all? It seems more
intuitive and more consistent with other applications to simply put "New
Module" "Play Module" and "Edit Module" entries under the File menu.

We could do that. Any other opinions on this? I don't find it more complex
or intuitive one way or the other.

Would you expect "Edit Module" just to open the Editor?

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Shut off splash graphic in Vassal 3.0 ?

Postby tar » February 8th, 2008, 8:36 pm

On Feb 8, 2008, at 12:21 PM, Joel Uckelman wrote:

Thus spake "Rodney Kinney":
One other case to consider: when a user is running VASSAL for the
first
time (i.e. there is no Preferences file) they get the
Take-The-Tour/Jump-Right-In dialog. When I tried, it came up along
with the
main controls window. Either this dialog should block the bringing
up of
the main controls window or the tour should be moved to the Help
menu.

Thanks. I'll check on that.

Why is it necessary to split into two executables at all? It seems
more
intuitive and more consistent with other applications to simply put
"New
Module" "Play Module" and "Edit Module" entries under the File menu.

We could do that. Any other opinions on this? I don't find it more
complex
or intuitive one way or the other.

Would you expect "Edit Module" just to open the Editor?

I would expect "Edit Module..." to open a file dialog to choose a
module to edit.
I would expect "New Module" to just open the Editor.

With a file menu-based approach, I would expect a structure something
like:

File:
New Game
Load Game...
Load Module...
--------------
Save Game
Save Game As
Save Log
Save Log As
--------------
New Module
Edit Module...
Save Module
Save Module As

with appropriate items grayed out as necessary. Since the editing
functionality is more of an advanced feature, I would put the edit
menu items in their own section of the menu rather than intersperse
them with the game playing items.

I think the main argument for having separate playing and editing
applications is to avoid confusion for the larger group of users who
just play games using Vassal rather than designing modules. This
keeps the interface for just the players simpler, which is where a
more streamlined interface is more important.


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Postby uckelman » February 8th, 2008, 10:54 pm

New build:

http://www.nomic.net/~uckelman/tmp/vass ... vn3016.zip

Fixed since last time:

* Editor window assumes a reasonable size after loading a module.
* Splash screen displays when there is no recorded preference for
displaying it (because that means it's never been displayed before,
most probably).
* Splash screen displays on top.
* Empty Edit menu removed from Editor menu bar.
* "Translate VASSAL User Iterface" no longer depends on GameModule. (It
had been using the file chooser supplied by GameModule.)

Thanks to everyone who pointed out these problems.

Yet to do:

* Pop up a dialog to get username/password when VASSAL has none.
* Determine why the splitter between the chat and map views positions
itself so poorly.
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