[squeak-dev] World menu versus docking bar

Chris Muller asqueaker at gmail.com
Mon Mar 29 19:50:48 UTC 2010

> One thought I had (people, please shoot me down if this is ridiculous to
> you, I'm not sure I've sold myself on it) is: If the docking bar is enabled,
> don't show the menus that appear on the docking bar in the world menu. If
> the docking bar is disabled, the world menu can show it's contents. Yay?
> Nay? Keep in mind this refers to a hypothetical world menu that shared an
> implementation style with the docking bar.

If your goal is to have a smaller World menu, I would tend to answer
to base it on the #simpleMenus setting rather than the presence of
Docking Bar.

The World Menu provides a more-consistent UI than the docking-bar,
more consistent with with Squeak's overall "object-oriented" UI,
because we all know that clicking on an object, whether it is the
"World" object or a smaller object, presents a menu for that object.

Up until recently, I had viewed the Docking Bar as primarily a
divergence from the OO UI to help newcomers used to a
"global-command-menu" to be more comfortable.  Thanks' to Andreas'
value-adding search bar and clock, it looks to now be useful for
experienced developers too.

However, for accessing global behavior, the docking bar still also
requires more energy to use than the world menu, primarily due to the
up-front fine-motor pointing gesture required, and that the keyboard
cannot be used to invoke it like it can with the world menu (via ESC
key).  I wouldn't want accessibility to things I can get from the
World menu to suddenly require this fine-motor gesture every time..


> I've been messing with the world menu since I first started playing with
> Squeak, and having had a look at how the new docking bar is implemented (I
> *really* like the implementation better) I would quite like to spend some
> time rethinking the design of the world menu; I'm not sure I'd want to put
> the effort in if I was the only person who'd ever use the code though, so
> I'd like to get a sense of what people think about it.
> On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM, Chris Muller <asqueaker at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I think it'd be great to give the world menu a make-over..  Having
>> separate menus for the docking bar and world could be "richer"..
>> Maybe the docking bar could be just a sub-set of the world menu,
>> because there are a lot of things that are not on the docking bar,
>> right?
>> I think it's great when we can simplify (e.g., try to improve the
>> system by removal, not addition) the system while at the same time
>> striving to make it more conventional for newcomers.  The challenge is
>> to do it in a way that increases, or at least matches, existing
>> functionality and usability..  For example, right now I'm able to
>> navigate the world menu with the keyboard; I wouldn't want to lose
>> that..  :)
>> Thanks,
>>  Chris
>> On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM, Casey Ransberger
>> <casey.obrien.r at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Awhile ago we added a docking bar, because the world menu is often
>> > harder
>> > for newcomers to find at first than we tend to want to think. We put
>> > some
>> > key use cases there, most key of which is Help, which is probably more
>> > important to newcomers than experienced users.
>> > I noticed that the help... entry in the world menu contained some stuff
>> > that
>> > was very questionably help-related, moved it out to the docking bar. I
>> > pretty much emptied out the help... item on the world menu, so I removed
>> > but
>> > Chris pointed out that not everyone uses the docking bar and put it
>> > right
>> > back, suggesting that we find a way to generate the same menu in both
>> > contexts (which I think is a great idea, and will investigate today.)
>> > The question in my mind though, is: where do we stop with that? What do
>> > people think: should there be any separation of concerns between the
>> > world
>> > menu and the docking bar? (My thought was, some things made more sense
>> > on
>> > the docking bar than the cluttered world menu, but if not everyone uses
>> > the
>> > docking bar... yeah.) Or are the world menu and the docking bar best
>> > serving
>> > the user as two different views into the exact same functionality?
>> > From an implementation perspective, I much prefer the canvas-ish style
>> > of
>> > what's in the docking bar presently. The data-driven style of the world
>> > menu, while very terse, makes my eyes glaze over. I'm tempted to rip
>> > into it
>> > and and refactor it to use a canvas-ish API (making the two more
>> > compatible,) but I'm liable to introduce regressions that way, and we're
>> > fairly locked down at present, no?
>> > Anyway, I was hoping to get a feel for what people think about this
>> > stuff.
>> >
>> >
>> >

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