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Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

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

Moderators: uckelman, Tim M

Please vote for the following feature requests

Ability to customize text for standard deck commands (Draw selected / Draw multiple)
6
24%
Ability to hide standard deck commands (Draw selected / Draw multiple / Reshuffle)
4
16%
Ability to hide deck global key commands
7
28%
Option to hide at module/map level the command keys associated with a certain right click command
3
12%
Ability to poll and modify order/values of List sub-components in Turn Counters
5
20%
 
Total votes : 25

Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » January 26th, 2012, 6:46 pm

Hello, I have browsed for a while the feature request tracker but not found the following features, which I think might be kind of straightforward to include asap. Apologies in advance if, instead, they are/were already discussed elsewhere.

Moreover, I hope I do not breach any rule by starting a small poll, hoping somebody might find my requests reasonable and useful enough to vote for them. However, if I do breach some written or unwritten rule, please, go ahead and delete the all post or poll, and please accept my humble apologies. :)


DECK related:

1) I think it would be nice to be able to customize the text showing when one checks "Allow multiple/specific cards to be drawn", because sometimes decks are not at all made up of cards but of other kind of pieces

2) It would also be nice to be able to hide the "Allow multiple/specific cards to be drawn" deck commands as well as the send all deck to other deck (Reshuffle) whenever some conditions are not met (see Restrict Command trait on basic pieces)

3) Similarly, it would also be nice to be able to hide deck global key commands (again, see Restrict Command trait)

PIECE/STACK related:

4) The actual command keys associated to a trait are not really needed by players, and are actually rather confusing, I think. For example, if a unit has a delete trait with associated "Delete" text and "CTRL-D" command, the player should only see "Delete" (unless the module designer really wants to show keyboard shortcuts for everything). In other words, there should be an option to avoid displaying command keys associated with a trait: just show the text. Ideally this option could be at module (or map) level.

TURN COUNTER related:

5) It would be really nice to be able to alter the default order defined in any List sub-component, without having to manually do it by hand. I mean, for example, exposing the strings listed in the List as global properties, which one could then access and modify via set global properties traits.
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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » January 30th, 2012, 12:31 pm

Wow, are these completely stupid suggestions or too difficult to even read/comment/vote or just who cares? :?
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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby uckelman » February 1st, 2012, 5:41 am

barbanera wrote:DECK related:

1) I think it would be nice to be able to customize the text showing when one checks "Allow multiple/specific cards to be drawn", because sometimes decks are not at all made up of cards but of other kind of pieces

2) It would also be nice to be able to hide the "Allow multiple/specific cards to be drawn" deck commands as well as the send all deck to other deck (Reshuffle) whenever some conditions are not met (see Restrict Command trait on basic pieces)

3) Similarly, it would also be nice to be able to hide deck global key commands (again, see Restrict Command trait)


This should be fairly straightforward to do in VASSAL 4.

PIECE/STACK related:

4) The actual command keys associated to a trait are not really needed by players, and are actually rather confusing, I think. For example, if a unit has a delete trait with associated "Delete" text and "CTRL-D" command, the player should only see "Delete" (unless the module designer really wants to show keyboard shortcuts for everything). In other words, there should be an option to avoid displaying command keys associated with a trait: just show the text. Ideally this option could be at module (or map) level.


I would strongly encourage you to reconsider not providing hotkeys to players. Hotkeys are one of the things that experienced users use in order to be able to work efficiently.

TURN COUNTER related:

5) It would be really nice to be able to alter the default order defined in any List sub-component, without having to manually do it by hand. I mean, for example, exposing the strings listed in the List as global properties, which one could then access and modify via set global properties traits.


This should also be possible in VASSAL 4.
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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » February 2nd, 2012, 5:34 pm

Belated thanks for you reply.

Regarding #4: in the kind of module I am writing - where I try to control game flow and enforce all rules - using command keys/hotkeys would just be confusing and it would be nice to have an option to hide them (just show the command text). Just curious if this a difficult feature to implement or it would be a piece of cake... in which case, some developer pray consider it :) .
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Feature requests.. sim

Postby uckelman » February 2nd, 2012, 6:05 pm

Thus spake barbanera:
> Belated thanks for you reply.
>
> Regarding #4: in the kind of module I am writing - where I try to
> control game flow and enforce all rules - using command keys/hotkeys
> would just be confusing and it would be nice to have an option to hide
> them (just show the command text). Just curious if this a difficult
> feature to implement or it would be a piece of cake... in which case,
> some developer pray consider it :) .

If the reason you're want to hide hotkeys is that they attach to entries
which are not supposed to be user-triggered at all, then you can use
named triggers in 3.2.

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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby irishwulf » February 2nd, 2012, 6:17 pm

Regarding #4, I didn't vote for it because I agree with Joel - if you have a menu entry I think it should have a hotkey. If it's not really supposed to be user-accessible, just don't enter a command name and it won't clutter up your context menu at all.
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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » February 2nd, 2012, 6:57 pm

Regarding #4, I didn't vote for it because I agree with Joel - if you have a menu entry I think it should have a hotkey. If it's not really supposed to be user-accessible, just don't enter a command name and it won't clutter up your context menu at all.


Wait, maybe I didn't explain myself clearly.

I would like a user to right-click on a piece and see, for example, "Clone", "Fortify", "Delete", "Mask", "Send home" etc without him/her seeing "Clone CTRL C", "Fortify CTRL F", "Delete CTRL D" etc.

In other words: this are command that the user needs to be able to do, not something that it should be hidden from them (for that I use no text, restrict commands etc etc).

For my module at least, the CTRL C, CTRL F etc part of the right click menu is just confusing.

Think of the standard deck commands like "Reshuffle" or any other custom deck global key command: they don't show the CTRL something part, just the text.

Why couldn't be the same hiding of command key be done for normal stacks? Ideally, I think, it could be optionally hidden at map level, like one can hide "movement ending here" or similar.
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Feature requests.. sim

Postby barbanera » February 2nd, 2012, 7:01 pm

uckelman wrote:If the reason you're want to hide hotkeys is that they attach to entries
which are not supposed to be user-triggered at all, then you can use
named triggers in 3.2.


Not sure what named triggers will do, but it sounds promising (but maybe not for what I was asking about, see previous reply).
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Feature requests.. sim

Postby uckelman » February 2nd, 2012, 7:28 pm

Thus spake barbanera:
>
> > Regarding #4, I didn't vote for it because I agree with Joel - if you
> > have a menu entry I think it should have a hotkey. If it's not really
> > supposed to be user-accessible, just don't enter a command name and it
> > won't clutter up your context menu at all.
>
>
> Wait, maybe I didn't explain myself clearly.
>
> I would like a user to right-click on a piece and see, for example,
> "Clone", "Fortify", "Delete", "Mask", "Send home" etc without him/her
> seeing "Clone CTRL C", "Fortify CTRL F", "Delete CTRL D" etc.

So, what you're wanting is what I thought you wanted originaly. Thanks
for the clarification.

I claim that not providing hotkeys for program functions is bad design.
As a result, I'm opposed to implementing this.

> For my module at least, the CTRL C, CTRL F etc part of the right click
> menu is just confusing.

Why do you think having hotkeys for these things is confusing?

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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: [Feature Requests] Re:

Postby uckelman » February 2nd, 2012, 7:48 pm

Thus spake barbanera:
>
> Not sure what named triggers will do, but it sounds promising (but maybe
> not for what I was asking about, see previous reply).
>

Before 3.2, every action had to have a hotkey, even ones which were
only intended to be triggered by other actions, not directly by the
user. This led to module designers choosing very unlikely key
combinations as hotkeys for such actions, in order that they not be
accidentally triggered---but that's only a band-aid, not a real
solution to the problem. For 3.2 we've added actions which can be
triggered by name rather than by hotkey, so that this ungainly
workaround is no longer necessary.

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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » February 2nd, 2012, 7:57 pm

I claim that not providing hotkeys for program functions is bad design.
As a result, I'm opposed to implementing this.


What about deck commands then? They don't provide hotkeys. Bad design?

Why do you think having hotkeys for these things is confusing?


Well, I think a lot of people are a bit scared off from using Vassal because it still has a bit of a geek-type feel. The idea you have to right click on something is already scary enough, I think (most people expect to left click or maybe double-click to interact with something), so that reducing further sources of possible bewilderment to newbies is maybe a good idea, imho.

It could be an option, at least. If not at module editing level than at client interface level ("Don't show command keys" in the preferences).
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: [Feature Requests] Re:

Postby barbanera » February 2nd, 2012, 8:02 pm

uckelman wrote:Before 3.2, every action had to have a hotkey, even ones which were
only intended to be triggered by other actions, not directly by the
user. This led to module designers choosing very unlikely key
combinations as hotkeys for such actions, in order that they not be
accidentally triggered---but that's only a band-aid, not a real
solution to the problem. For 3.2 we've added actions which can be
triggered by name rather than by hotkey, so that this ungainly
workaround is no longer necessary.


This is really interesting. It will definitively save me from a) beating my head on the wall whenever I have to come out with a new key combination (lots less needed if I can use names) and b) save me from adding tons of restrict command traits.

Very good idea, thanks in advance to all the developers.
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Feature requests.. sim

Postby uckelman » February 3rd, 2012, 5:56 am

Thus spake barbanera:
>
> > I claim that not providing hotkeys for program functions is bad
> > design.
> > As a result, I'm opposed to implementing this.
>
>
> What about deck commands then? They don't provide hotkeys. Bad design?
>

I would say they should, and it's bad design that they don't. There are
many things in VASSAL 3 that I won't defend as good design choices.

> > Why do you think having hotkeys for these things is confusing?
>
> Well, I think a lot of people are a bit scared off from using Vassal
> because it still has a bit of a geek-type feel. The idea you have to
> right click on something is already scary enough, I think (most people
> expect to left click or maybe double-click to interact with something),
> so that reducing further sources of possible bewilderment to newbies is
> maybe a good idea, imho.

I can't recall any GUI I've seen that raises a context menu by left- or
double-clicking---I would find that surprising. Can you give an example
of one?

> It could be an option, at least. If not at module editing level than at
> client interface level ("Don't show command keys" in the preferences).

Will someone who finds the display of hotkeys in menus confusing be
advanced enough to go looking in the preferences for a way to turn them
off?

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Re: Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Postby barbanera » February 3rd, 2012, 5:47 pm

I can't recall any GUI I've seen that raises a context menu by left- or
double-clicking---I would find that surprising. Can you give an example
of one?


Well, I don't know about you, but just about 95% of what I do on my computer, from editing
a text or surfing the web or watching a video, is left-click or double-left-click controlled.

I can only remember using right-click only when needing more "advanced"
functionalities (like "print this page" or "check the authentication certificates" or "view
page source" on a web page), which I don't really use that often.. or with Vassal.

I know that replacing right click menu with anything else (like a context sensitive toolbar
or sidebar) is a LOT more development work. I am just saying that it would be nice, in an
ideal world, and more immediately popular with most gamers. I can only thank the Vassal
creator and developers for giving us this amazing tool, whatever the possible "constraints"
of its present GUI.

Anyway, to go back to the original argument, If you right click on this page do you see
"Back CTRL-B", "Reload CTRL-X", "Print ALT-F10" or just "Back", "Reload", "Print" ?

Will someone who finds the display of hotkeys in menus confusing be
advanced enough to go looking in the preferences for a way to turn them
off?


Yeah, best option would to leave that option to the module designer :)
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Feature requests.. sim

Postby uckelman » February 3rd, 2012, 6:32 pm

Thus spake barbanera:
>
> > I can't recall any GUI I've seen that raises a context menu by left-
> > or
> > double-clicking---I would find that surprising. Can you give an
> > example
> > of one?
>
>
> Well, I don't know about you, but just about 95% of what I do on my
> computer, from editing
> a text or surfing the web or watching a video, is left-click or
> double-left-click controlled.

Note that I asked specifically about raising context menus, not
interaction generally.

>
> I know that replacing right click menu with anything else (like a
> context sensitive toolbar
> or sidebar) is a LOT more development work.

Whether it is or isn't a lot of work doesn't cut any ice with me,
because changes like this would go into VASSAL 4, not VASSAL 3. I'm
mainly interested in whether what you propose is a better design.

The thing which I expect would be frustraing about replacing context
menus with a tool- or sidebar is that these need not be anywhere near
the piece being manipulated, so would require much more mousing than
what we have now (or would drive everyone to learn the hotkeys).

>
> Anyway, to go back to the original argument, If you right click on this
> page do you see
> "Back CTRL-B", "Reload CTRL-X", "Print ALT-F10" or just "Back",
> "Reload", "Print" ?
>

That's interesting---I'd not noticed before which programs have hotkeys
indicated in context menus and which don't. (I'm checking this on
Linux.) Firefox, evince, eog, gnome-terminal, nemiver, and kcachegrind do
not. GIMP and Inkscape do. Eclipse does for a few context menu items, but
there are ones which I know have hotkeys that it doesn't display. Gvim
doesn't have context menus.

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