[MonoDevelop] Thoughts on Monodevelop's gtk designer:

kev tripzero at nextabyte.com
Mon Mar 16 08:48:43 EDT 2009


I'm a complete newbie when it comes to gtk development.  Therefore the
following observations and comments are coming from someone who has
neither used monodevelop's gtk tools, or any other tools for gui
development.  Due to some frustrations with monodevelop's designer, I
ended trying to use Glade3 to do the UI.  I shall try to point out some
of these frustrations.

I'm using monodevelop from svn.

1) When adding a widget container, the default size is very small.  It
appears to default to about 1px in height.  It feels to me that it
should default to "fill" the entire canvas.  This applies to all of the
containers I used, VButtonBox, Fixed, HButtonBox.

2) Glade's containers have grid markers.  These were useful to me when
aligning buttons in specific areas.  In Designer, I had to guess.
Snapping functionality would be a nice addition to grid lines in Designer.

3) I really liked how in Glade3, the V/HButtonBox(s) had placeholders
for the number of buttons it was allowing.  Dropping a button in these
placeholders was very intuitive to me.

4) The points around the widgets, eight in total, gave me the initial
impression that I could resize the widget by clicking on the point and
dragging it.  I discovered later that those points are used for
positioning?  The real way to resize the widget, in my case a button,
was to adjust the requested width and height.  This was the case in
Glade as well.

I feel that it would be intuitive to allow the adjustment of the
"requested width/height" by dragging the mouse on those points.

So what did I like?

Lots!  I liked Designers Properties layout better.  It seemed more
intuitive to  use icons with buttons, or select "stock" buttons from the
library.  Overall, I love the improvements that have gone into
monodevelop in the last 6 months.  It's getting really good.


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