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Re: Roadmap for 0.92

On Fri, 1 Aug 2003, Lars Clausen wrote:

> >> * Consider the file format -- old versions of Dia can't see children.
> >
> > I really should add the Dublin Core metadata to the file format, title,
> > author date etc and try and update the DTD.
> >
> > it should be easy enough if i get off my ass and just do it
> Don't make this your first priority.  It'd be nice, but is not essential.
> Some of your point below are more important.


> > I would very much like to specify the version number in the file format.
> > I would like to also have the importer warn users that importing newer
> > documents into older versions of Dia will definately cause severe
> > dataloss.
> There is a file format version, but that has not been used a lot.  It's
> mostly been for figuring out backward compatibility.

/me must double check the file format ...

> >> UI:
> >> * Need some indication on the left/right arrow icons that these are for
> >> selecting arrowheads.  I've had several bugreports of people who
> >> couldn't figure that out:(
> >
> > dont do anything too complicated, longer term I think something radically
> > differnt would be far easier to use (i have a few ideas, not practical in
> > the 0.92 timeframe though).
> I was thinking of having a vague outline of an arrow for the non-arrow case.

Well I was thinking that the arrow ends should have some sort of an active
target area and that by clicking neat the end of an arrow you could change
the shape at the end of the arrow.  Trying to go for the direct
manipulation kind of idea.

I was also thinking that we might also be able to go for the more
conventional menu item/dialog approach, Visio, Smartdraw et al. have
something like Format Line Style.
I'll try and post screenshots of the behaviours I have seem

> > There is a bug report filed suggesting that we should not have a Dialogs
> > menu, but I was stopped in my tracks by not having somewhere to put the
> > python console.  (sorry, i would normally provide a bug number but I am
> > short for time).  I still think that Layers would be much better as the
> > last item of the View menu and that Properties should be the first item
> > of the Object menu.  (dont get me started on what a bad usability example
> > the GIMP is...)

> There is something to be said for redundancy.  Many programs now have the

To be pedantic this is repitition not redundancy and the thing to be said
about it is that it is confusing and bad usability.  Not sure if the Gnome
HIG explictly recommends against duplicate menu items, I'll try and find
it this weekend hopefully.

> same function in menus and toolbars, for instance.  The Dialogs menu is
> good for when you remember there was this dialog about Layers, but can't
> remember if it was put under Edit or View or Objects or what.

To help old users it might be worth having the duplicate for only one
Conceptually the Layers are part of the view or part of the Document, and
the properties are the properties specific to the current object.
(If we later wanted to add File, Properties it is a bit messier though.)
The bug report includes more of my objectsions to the whole concept of a
Dialogs menu, ... must resist temptation to make pun about GIMP being Lame
... too late...

> >> Other:
> >> * Apply remaining patches.
> >
> > I think I can probably hackt together a working patch that would give a
> > menu item Edit-Duplicate, I know it would improve my efficiency in Dia.
> > Agian i just need to get off my ass and do it.
> That'd be nice.

I'll try again and make it my priority, my brain is in a better state now
than it was last time I tried.

> >> * Get Win32 runtimes in order.
> >
> > I would like to see the next version of Dia for windows built against a
> > shared GTK 2 if Hans and Steffen dont mind.  I would be surprised if
> > users of Dia on windows dont have any other GTK applications (the GIMP at
> > least).  For convenience though the Dia installer would probably still
> > need to bundle the GTK installer in case a user didn't already have it
> > and only install as necesary.
> >
> > Being able to use GTK-WIMP with Dia would be even better.
> Can't say too much about this.  Having a working Win32 Dia is more
> important than using shared libs for it.

Not important but I thought I might mention it anway, I previously had a
few differnt GTK Windows applictions all sharing the same GTK.  (Pan,
Gaim, WorkRave and others I forget but I installed just about every GTK
windows appliction I could find.  The shared gtk for windows is avialbe at
http://www.dropline.net as far as I can remember).

> >> * More use of object menus, in particular for sheet-specific things.
> >
> > not sure i like the sound of that, but I am not entirely sure what you
> > mean.
> What I'm thinking of is to have the objects in a sheet work better with
> each other.  It doesn't matter if UML doesn't know of SADT objects, but
> there could be much labor-saving done by them knowing the most common
> procedures.  For instance, I imagine putting inheritance between two
> classes is very common -- why not have 'Inherit From' in the Class object
> menu that'll let you just select the parent and the line is set up?  That
> kind of thing -- making each sheet simpler to work with in its own way.
> > I think it would be really helpful if we had an "Add to Sheet" option, to
> > add an object (the current selection) to the current sheet.
> >
> > At the moment users (that is to say me, myself and I) have to copy the
> > selection to a blank document and save as .shape and then open the sheets
> > and objects dialog, switch to the sheet you want and add the shape.
> True, that'd be good.

but not a release blocker and I filed a report.

> >> * Conversion of remaining non-stdprops objects.
> >
> > * Add more shapes
> >
> > We currently have some very fine shapes and it would be a terrible shame
> > to ship another Dia release without them.  Top of my list are the
> > Cybernetic Circuits shapes.  I figure writing the makefile should be easy
> > enough - I just need to do it - but I dont relish the prospect of adding
> > in a zillion _ underscores _ so that various bits and pieces can be
> > localised.  As a selfish English speaker I would be very tempted not to
> > be bad and bother allowing localisation of those shapes until later.  A
> > script of some kind to help automate the process of adding in the
> > underscores would be very very helpful.
> If it's just a question of turning <name> into <_name> etc, then I can send
> you a perl script to do that.

I think it nearly is that simple.

> > Aside from adding more shapes there are not any issues of mine that
> > should hold back the release.  Most of my suggestions are niceties that
> > could wait but with a reasonablely clear targets and deadlines I will do
> > my best to put other distractions aside and get some of the stuff I want
> > done, done in time.
> Why do you take a crack at Duplicate first, then start going through
> accumulated shapes?
> -Lars

I should warn you that because of work and a certain beligerrant Operating
Systems Manufacturer refusing to allow me to instal the software because
they no longer provide support for my perfectly adequate operating system
that I have been forced to squander many hours upgrading to 'Newer
Technology' and I expect I will have to waste many more hours sorting out
drivers and service packs.


Alan Horkan

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