[MonoDevelop] Some minor usability suggestions

Michael Hutchinson m.j.hutchinson at gmail.com
Tue May 6 11:30:40 EDT 2008

2008/5/6 László Monda <laci at monda.hu>:
>  > > * The incremental search bar shouldn't contain a combobox.  Embedding
>  > > options within the combobox makes the search functionality obscure, as
>  > > its mode is not immediately visible.  Also, the "Find Previous" and
>  > > "Find Next" labels should be replaced with "Previous" and "Next" labels
>  > > respectively for optimal space usage and it'd be more intuitive to use
>  > > up and down arrow icons.  My suggestions here are based on Firefox.
>  >
>  > We should follow the GNOME HIG, not Firefox.
>  I think all of my above suggestions would improve the search interface
>  and I respect consistency provided by the HIG, but extracting options
>  from the combobox is clearly an improvement, since currently it's
>  impossible to see the mode of this interface element and it's very
>  confusing this way.

I agree that it would be nice to display contents of the dropdown menu
within the find bar, but we'll run into space problems, even on
1280x1024. There are now three options (one more that last time you
looked, I suspect), and this could well grow (e.g. glob expressions).
Don't forget also that some translations may have longer strings.
Ideally we need a widget that will shunt options into a menu when
there isn't space for them.

Anyhow, the stock Next and Previous icons on my system are left/right.
Maybe we should use icons rather than arrows, but the directions won't
change for most people.

>  I don't know what section of the HIG tells you not to do that, but as
>  Federico stated earlier, the HIG should act as guidelines, not rules.
>  http://www.gnome.org/~federico/news-2007-10.html

Yeah, but Firefox has historically had poor HIG compliance, so isn't
perhaps the best model for many things. However, he FF find bar is
generally pretty nice, EXCEPT that they don't handle the case where
the window is too small :)

>  > > * Line numbers and code seems to blend together when folding is
>  > > disabled.  Line numbers should have a slightly darker background than
>  > > the white background of the default theme, this would clearly
>  > > differentiate line numbers from code and it'd be more pleasing visually.

This looks like a colourscheme issues, since it's fine on the "Oblivion" theme.

>  > > These are small usability improvements, but I think they are relevant.
>  > >
>  > > Congratulations for MonoDevelop!  It keeps evolving nicely, it's really
>  > > a great experience to use a quality IDE on Linux.
>  > >
>  > > Should I report some of these suggestions as (separate?) issues in
>  > > bugzilla?

Yes, please. It helps us keep track of things much better than the
mailing list does.

Michael Hutchinson

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