[Bf-committers] Interface issues (Was: Proposed Tuhopuu stuff in 2.26)

Matt Ebb bf-committers@blender.org
Thu, 30 Jan 2003 11:15:24 +1100

Hi Chris,

> I've been mulling this over a bit ... I would never
> be able to implement the modifications to the
> features you recommend in time for the feature
> freeze so the choice is then: a) accept them
> 'as is' but acknowledge that from a UI perspective
> they aren't great, or b) work on them more first,
> for a future version.

Actually after giving this a bit of thought, I think I agree that it should
be left in 'as is', and put on a todo list of things to improve. Although it
is disappointing to see UI considerations glossed over, in this situation
it's probably the best idea.

Right now, there aren't really any guidelines or plans for Blender's UI that
have been *thoroughly thought through and tested*. Because of this, things
get really messy - it makes it very difficult to try and evaluate how each
feature, each UI control, etc. fits in to a consistent scheme; you have to
think about each element piecemeal. Just as it's not a good idea to
implement features' interfaces semi-arbitrarily that don't fit in to any
sort of consistent plan, it's also not a good idea for people like me to be
suggesting changes (regardless if they're better UI-wise or not) if they're
also done without respect to some sort of consistent guiding plan.

For the time being, I don't think any major problems will be caused by not
having optimal interfaces, since Blender in it's current form is already
plagued by inconsistent, inefficient and confusing interface implementation
details which need to be fixed up too. I think what needs to be done as soon
as possible is to devise an overall structure/roadmap/set of guidelines for
Blender's UI that's internally consistent and that can then be referred to
when adding new features and fixing up interfaces of old ones. The research
and testing of such a plan would be the right place to come to some sort of
consensus on conventions and to tackle the sorts of issues like 'visual
clarity or efficient use of space?' (or can you have both? or alternatives?
etc..) I'd be happy to help work on or get such an effort off the ground
since my areas of expertise and interest are in visual communication design
and information design.