What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

A place to discuss and plan OpenSource xTalk (not exclusively LCC based)
and Community Builds of LCC ...Ask NOT what xTalk can do for you...
Get involved you DO have something to contribute, no matter your skillset!

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A place to discuss and plan OpenSource xTalk (not exclusively LCC based) and Community Builds of LCC
Ask NOT what xTalk can do for you... get involved you DO have something to contribute, no matter your skillset!

What would you like to see in the next version?

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tperry2x
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What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Here's what I've just added (after the 0.94 release, but these things will go into 0.95).
screenshot.png
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I've made the guides that show when you drag buttons and such around the card an option. (Having this as an option that can be turned off also speeds up loading time for those who don't want it).
preferences-guides-toggle.7z
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What I'm planning next...
mockup.png
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I want to re-enable the updates, and this pic above is only a quick mockup. My plan though is to enable updates and automatic patching, so it just happens and people don't have to download a 400MB+ file for each release.

Sound good?
So, hence the poll at the top. What would you like to see appear next? - you can change your vote at any time.

Edit: Thinking about the future of OXT, and how the engine needs so much work, I'm currently pinning my hopes on a positive response from Rebecca Bettencourt:
https://github.com/kreativekorp/openxio ... b4a8f4232f
foxtrot47
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by foxtrot47 »

tperry2x wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 7:13 pm Sound good?
So, hence the poll at the top. What would you like to see appear next? - you can change your vote at any time.
I know a lot of work has gone into de-branding OXT, and it looks like a UI/UX redesign is well within your sights. Regarding changes to the Tools and Object Inspector palettes, have you folks established/published a design worksheet/guidelines on the direction of OpenXTalk's UI/UX?

If not, I can certainly give feedback here. I see a great opportunity to set OXT apart from the competition, but I can also pipe down if you've already established a vision. :)
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tperry2x
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

foxtrot47 wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:08 pm ...have you folks established/published a design worksheet/guidelines on the direction of OpenXTalk's UI/UX?
I certainly haven't, and I don't think any other plans are afoot as far as changing the way the UI looks goes. It was mentioned on this forum elsewhere (can't find it now, but did totally agree with it) that LC are going for "modern" ux layout, which actually means you have to "search" for a tool in some cases.

I'm a big fan of keeping the more traditional layout, the coloured toolbar buttons, but I also see the logic in tying a lot of this together and fixing ux visual issues throughout the IDE.

Paul did mention that he'd like to see a horizontal inspector palette, akin to quarkxpress properties palette.
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Although I have memories of quark, not all of them good. Used it in publishing for many years, lots of bits about it were tied in old ux design. I don't want to use it as an out & out copy, but I do get what he means.

The horizontal inspector was great at setting properties of selected objects quickly. It was very efficient. I'm extremely keen we DO NOT go the Microsoft ribbon route, as hunting through tabs to then have to find various sections, then drop them in, is absolutely counter productive - so personally I'm totally against the ribbon approach. I do like the idea of everything being immediately at your control with one single click. A contextual floating horizontal inspector palette does have a lot of merit in my opinion.

Tools that can be detached, ripped off the main palette, arranged however one might like might be an interesting idea too:
palette_web_tools-318264413.jpg
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You can see much see how LC / OXT shares a lot of it's layout with earlier versions of quark.
quarkxpress-screenshot.jpg
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I know this is an older design idea, but for a usability study, it works really well and keeps all tools instantly visible while keeping out of the user's way as much as possible.
q2id-quark-to-indesign-for-mac-big-3786410479.jpg
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InDesign used the very same horizontal inspector idea too. Granted, OXT isn't a DTP package, but the use case is kind of the same. You want to maximise the amount of available screen space at all times, yet everything should be within 1 click access.

I'd even mulled over the idea of adding a windowshade-esque option to the palettes.
windowshade-1338650092.png
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(so you can double-click the title bar of any floating window to have it 'zip upwards' (or zip left / right) depending on the orientation).
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tperry2x
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

I'm all too happy for suggestions, otherwise I just tend to go off in a direction and do my own thing. That's not always to everyone's tastes, so I'd rather people offer suggestions - particularly where layout is concerned.

I don't mind doing a job once, and redoing the entire layout is a large job. But to undo and redo ones work quickly gets very tiresome and demotivating. So I'd always rather people give their feedback first.

This is also my idea with the poll above. I didn't want to go off on a tangent, to only find I have to redo / undo it all.

I take the same view on ux design as Richmond mentioned on here previously. Anything I do layout-wise will not use "modern" UX design. I largely reject that approach and the direction LC are going. Most of my UX will no doubt look "old skool" but there's a reason that approach persisted, it works.

I'm more than happy for your feedback. I'd rather everyone voiced an opinion, rather than having nothing to go on at all. Please do not 'pipe down' :D
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richmond62
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

Here's the most recent picture of the upcoming LC 10 interface:
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

This outlines why I won't be going along the same route.
There are clearly more tools available on the left than what can be shown.
So the user would have to scroll vertically up and down to find what they are after, rather than a single simple click.
Doesn't sound like a big deal, but as a usability study - this just slows anyone down having to hunt for a required button.

Both palettes to the left and to the right take up a lot of screen space. Is that really necessary. As screens are predominantly landscape (yes, I know some folks prefer to orientate their screen in portrait), but for most landscape mode is the norm. Because of this aspect ratio, it makes good sense to me to have a horizontal inspector.

(added my vote to this at the top).

Likewise, what are the icons on the far left representing? I'm guessing one is the tools, but what are these?
Screenshot at 2023-11-23 10-28-14.png
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There's no text description underneath, so a user is left guessing what they are.

This isn't to bash their interface design choice - they can do what they want, and that's fine.
But, I won't be wanting to follow this route. Also, this is all inside a browser. While this is great in theory, it does have it's downsides, performance lags, and sandboxing limitations.
Worse still, you end up with things like this while the online instance is being fixed:
Image
Again, I won't want to follow this route and I'm focused on keeping whatever we have as a desktop-based program first and foremost.

Many may disagree with this approach, or think I'm just old-skool, but you should also not require an internet connection to contemplate developing something. Also (if running in a browser), let not forget that browsers are a moving target of code. Something major could be changed tomorrow in a browser which breaks all of this UI, which then means more work to backpedal and fix. You then end up with trying to support different browser instances and lots of else if statements for potential different versions.

Whereas, if it's a desktop program, you compile it and it's static. The only things likely to break it are huge operating system changes (such as moving to a different processor architecture), which is normally announced well ahead of any changes to give developers time they need to play catch up.

Which is exactly where Apple currently are with Rosetta 2 and ARM.
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richmond62
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

Whatever anyone wants to do hereabouts, as soon as internet-connexion dependence and in-browser interface comes in I am out of here faster than the proverbial bullet out of a gun.

As I have stated before, I am NOT a socialist, but I am of the pursuasion that everyone should start with a level playing field (as far as that is possible), and there are PLENTY of places in the world where internet connexion is, at best, intermittent; and that should not be something that stops someone from learning how to program.

Oh, and a GUI that takes over the whole screen does not make me happy: after all, with xTalk at least, I'm always doing a 'dance' with GIMP, Inkscape, a Font design program, and a text-editor: and while that's not a problem in the comfort of my study at home where I have my 27" iMac and 2 27" monitors, it is a bit of a bugger with laptops and my MacOS Sonoma machine currently "slumming it" with a single 27" monitor.

When I teach programming my victims use 1024 x 768 monitors.
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foxtrot47
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by foxtrot47 »

I can do a LOT with that kind of feedback, thank you!! I started a mock-up last night, currently about 60-70% complete. UI/UX is my jam, so I'll bring something to the table once I've got at least two distinct options for review.
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

Erm: if you are designing an all-screen GUI then you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
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tperry2x
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Enabled the online updates again (as promised), and this is how I'd like all future releases to come through. It takes seconds, rather than updating a 400MB+ file each time. I also have a cunning plan re the MacOS codesigning thing, but that's a work in progress.
screenshot.png
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Looking at how the votes are going:
votes-as-of-nov.png
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Obviously, fixing the engine has emerged as top priority. Hopefully foxtrot47 can wade into this and have a look, however I'm slowly getting my head around C++ as well.

The object/card inspector is interesting, so I'd potentially like to create a horizontal one at some point (as mentioned further back with pictures in this section).

Equally, the documentation (or lack of), is an equally pressing to-do item.

Picking up on raising awareness of OpenXTalk Lite (OpenXTalk in general), I wondered about what we can do on this front. I think videos of OXT Lite in action (a YouTube channel), example user guides, downloadable stacks... all those things would definitely help. You never know, we might even generate revenue if we had enough views through the youtube channel to afford us a C++ engine guru!

(This may be wishful thinking, but better to have a goal?)
Equally, my Norfolk-tones may not be best for narration on Youtube, but what do people think of the Youtube idea?
(I've added that as an option to the votes, but the votes get wiped out - feel free to add your vote!).
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richmond62
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

I've got a fairly snobby-sounding English private school accent which I can revert to (after 43 years of doing my damndest to soften), and could do some YouTube things.

Although, between Norfolk, Posh Public schools, Scots farms (my 'other' accent/dialect), North American, and so on, I wonder if a series of sobtitles (i.e. subtitles to a silent film) might not be a better bet all round.

Certainly, IFF I can run off a fully-functional Devawriter Pro set of standalones for L/W/M I shall then start on a set of Youtube films that deal with stages in the construction of my 'PISMO' programs for entering text in Glagolitic (no, not Sqaure Croatian Glagolitic - although that might come later) and Old Cyrillic.

ALL the 'stuff' on my two 'FarceBook' pages: one for pensioners, the other for school children, lend themselves to flimettes: especially the bits about side-scrolling games and animations . . . so, bit-by-bit . . .

HOWEVER, anything but the most 'goofy' xTalk program will require learners to muck around with:

1. A bitmap processor [GIMP. Photoshop].

2. A vector processor [Inkscape, Illustrator].

3. A font making program [FontForge, FontLab, Fontographer]

AND one should have some basic Mathematics [how to generate curves using SINE and COSINE].

Surely our job is NOT to teach people how to work with those things . . .
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

richmond62 wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 1:16 pm ...Surely our job is NOT to teach people how to work with those things . . .
SR.jpg
Agreed, it definitely isn't. There are other videos for that kind of thing (and dare I say it, even school :lol: ), however if our Youtube videos inspire anyone extra to get involved (I'm not just talking about the education sector here, I mean anyone), then it's done the job of raising awareness.
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

Personally I am agonising whether to use my Dad's Blundell slide-rule, or my Thornton one in any Youtube videos. 8-)
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These choices are so, so tough.
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Why not both? The important thing is we get something 'out there'
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

Why not both? The important thing is we get something 'out there'
We might be arreested if we got something 'out there'. 8-)

The bit about the slide-rules was meant as a leg-pull.
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tperry2x
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Haha, I know. Don't worry.
And I also thought 'putting something out there' would get someone arrested for indecent exposure.

:lol:

But, joking aside, there are considerations - such as I probably don't want to have something like a pot noodle sat on my desk as I'd be seen as 'advertising' that product over a competitor... like SuperNoodles.

These are probably valid things to think about if we make demos showing anything, but anything I make probably won't show the surroundings, it'll focus on the desktop IDE (probably with the background turned on?) Not sure yet. Even my desktop could be seen as advocating unsplash and someone's royalty-free image.
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

This is really what I meant . . . .
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SShot 2023-11-27 at 15.54.36.png
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by tperry2x »

Anything like that, although making the animation non-blocking to clicks in the IDE while playing, and setting the colour of the card to white would be cool.
simplescreenrecorder.gif
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It would be even better if it could 'walk' with the directional arrow keys, jump, and had collision detection... like perhaps using the animation engine https://livecode.com/extensions/animati ... 6-0-0/get/
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Re: What I'm adding, and what I'm planning next...

Post by richmond62 »

It would be even better if it could 'walk' with the directional arrow keys, jump, and had collision detection...
Did that about 7 years ago (and subsequently) with kids in my school. The BEST way to teach this is to find soem 'orrible online game and copy its functionality.

intersect is great for collision detection.
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