Simple Actions UI idea

How about:
if my selected item has no actions applied
and I open the actions palette
then the add action dialogue appears automatically (with first item
selected as suggested).
If I then select another item, with actions already applied, the add
action dialogue would disappear.

Would save me lots of key presses after an alt-com-A! Thanks.


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I leave the Actions palette open all the time. What would the
behavior be in that case?

Walter

On Feb 8, 2008, at 11:38 AM, Jeff wrote:

How about:
if my selected item has no actions applied
and I open the actions palette


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In your case the current situation is right. But I can never find
somewhere good to put it, so I regularly use the keyboard shortcut,
use it and close it again.

On 8 Feb 2008, at 16:42, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I leave the Actions palette open all the time. What would the
behavior be in that case?

Walter

On Feb 8, 2008, at 11:38 AM, Jeff wrote:

How about:
if my selected item has no actions applied
and I open the actions palette


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Sometime around 8/2/08 (at 16:38 +0000) Jeff said:

How about:
if my selected item has no actions applied
and I open the actions palette
then the add action dialogue appears automatically (with first item
selected as suggested).

I see where you’re coming from, but I’m afraid I would find it
intensely irritating that opening a palette triggered a dialog!

Perhaps, in the spirit of trying to be constructive, what would suit
you better would be a keyboard shortcut that took you to the Actions
dialog? :slight_smile:

k


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Fair enough Keith. It would seem a little odd with the palette then
the dialog (is this the correct spelling when we’re talking UIs?)
opening.
I like the idea of there being an add action to item keystroke,
though. What about having it in the contextual menu, too (with
keystroke shown so we know it’s there?) Even just being able to tab to
that little + sign once I’ve opened the palette would do it for me.
I just find the current methods a little cumbersome. But the good
people at Softpress probably have better things to do. I’m not about
to fire up Dreamweaver because of this!

On 8 Feb 2008, at 21:44, Keith Martin wrote:

I see where you’re coming from, but I’m afraid I would find it
intensely irritating that opening a palette triggered a dialog!

Perhaps, in the spirit of trying to be constructive, what would suit
you better would be a keyboard shortcut that took you to the Actions
dialog? :slight_smile:


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Sometime around 8/2/08 (at 22:25 +0000) Jeff said:

palette then the dialog (is this the correct spelling when we’re talking UIs?)

Yep, that’s it. Just like we use programs (or “application programs”
to use the full formal name) rather than programmes. :slight_smile:

I like the idea of there being an add action to item keystroke,
though. What about having it in the contextual menu, too (with
keystroke shown so we know it’s there?)

Having it in the contextual menu makes a lot of sense; great suggestion!

But keyboard shortcuts are never supposed to be shown in those
things; that’s a violation of basic Apple software UI guidelines. (As
is having a command in a contextual menu but not having the same
thing in any regular menu.)

My vote would be to add “Actions…” as a menu item to the top of
every ‘Actions’ submenu, along with the keyboard shortcut. The same
thing, in every Actions submenu; Page > Page Actions, Item > Actions,
and Insert > Action Item. It would then open up the Add Action dialog
just as normal, showing the actions appropriate for the page or
current selection.

But we have to remember that this sort of thing involves the level of
change that is not particularly wise to throw in at late beta stage.
It is likely that, even if the Softpress engineers felt this was a
good idea, we wouldn’t see it in the app for a while.

k


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I agree entirely with Jeff’s original idea.
It is a silly nuisance and to require me to click the + button - why else would I be opening the actions windoid???

I also think it is silly to have to answer the ‘Folders’ or ‘Folders and Actions’ pop-up every time. A user will typically use Folders always or Folders and Actions always; the difference is subtle at best. That selection should exist in a preferences file somewhere.

The windoid could be improved by indicating what item the action is being applied to, in a kind of header line. It could say 'showing actions applicable to ‘page 1’ / ‘html item 27’…

So then the behaviour would be:

When opening the actions windoid, if there is no action attached to the current selection, you’d immediately get a selection of all applicable actions for the currently selected item, you just select what you want (or close the windoid if none are applicable). Very nice.

Once the actions windoid is open, the optimal behaviour, ss a user moves from item to item, would depend on whether or not the item had an action attached to it. If so, it would show that action. If no action was applied, a list of actions that could be applied would also be dynamically updated. This way applying a new action or changes to an action would be easy. This concept is really no different from the way the styles and inspector windoids dynamically update themselves as one moves from item to the next.

One other thing that really wastes my time is that:

(a) there is a sub-window that opens after I click the ‘+’ symbol, when that list should properly appear in the same windoid, and

(b) this list opens wherever it wants to, not where I want it to. It does not remember where I move/resize it to. Despite having a decent size screen it always opens (in Folders and Actions view) in a size that is too small to show all the actions I have.

It would be MUCH better if this dialog didn’t exist, and all the actions related stuff stayed within the windoid, but if another window is absolutely necessary then PLEASE let it remember where I last put it!

Chris.


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Sometime around 8/2/08 (at 23:59 -0500) Chris Thompson said:

I agree entirely with Jeff’s original idea.
It is a silly nuisance and to require me to click the + button - why
else would I be opening the actions windoid???

I can’t answer for you, but I sometimes do it because I’m organising
palette positions and sizes, or because I’m about to apply actions
but haven’t happened to select something yet.

And BTW, some may find this perverse, but I never use that dialog;
I always pick from the menus. This means I can browse the
appropriate options in a non-modal manner. I prefer to avoid modal
dialogs where possible. The suggested behaviour would get right up my
nose.

Also, I’m afraid that having a palette window (the proper term) pop
open a modal dialog window is a big no-no in UI behaviour terms.
Whatever we suggest, I think we should stick within standard UI
guidelines.

k


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I do agree that the implementation of actions in Freeway needs to be
improved. But I don’t want a window popping up every time I open the actions
palette.
I am accustomed to using the shortcuts for all the pasllettes and use them
to bring front as well as to bring visible.
I go to the actions palette frequently to change settings or copy and paste
settings to the various fields.
I very rarely use the actions palette to apply an action - my habit is to
use the menu Item - Actions or Page - Actions or Insert - Actions or I
sketch an Action item.

I would like a lot more preference settings in Freeway.
For example Paste Special I use a LOT and always as un-styled text.
There are a lot of stupid things in Freeway - because it forces me to do
stupidly. Mouse clicking menus and buttons repetitively.

It may not be the engine - but the interface is a large part of the usablity
and joy of using an app. I need to check out 5 when I get time. I had a
quick look - looked like 4 point 5 but what do I know?

all the best
Brian

Chris Thompson said recently:

I agree entirely with Jeff’s original idea.
It is a silly nuisance and to require me to click the + button - why else
would I be opening the actions windoid???

I also think it is silly to have to answer the ‘Folders’ or ‘Folders and
Actions’ pop-up every time. A user will typically use Folders always or
Folders and Actions always; the difference is subtle at best. That selection
should exist in a preferences file somewhere.

The windoid could be improved by indicating what item the action is being
applied to, in a kind of header line. It could say 'showing actions
applicable to ‘page 1’ / ‘html item 27’…

So then the behaviour would be:

When opening the actions windoid, if there is no action attached to the
current selection, you’d immediately get a selection of all applicable actions
for the currently selected item, you just select what you want (or close the
windoid if none are applicable). Very nice.

Once the actions windoid is open, the optimal behaviour, ss a user moves from
item to item, would depend on whether or not the item had an action attached
to it. If so, it would show that action. If no action was applied, a list of
actions that could be applied would also be dynamically updated. This way
applying a new action or changes to an action would be easy. This concept is
really no different from the way the styles and inspector windoids dynamically
update themselves as one moves from item to the next.

One other thing that really wastes my time is that:

(a) there is a sub-window that opens after I click the ‘+’ symbol, when that
list should properly appear in the same windoid, and

(b) this list opens wherever it wants to, not where I want it to. It does
not remember where I move/resize it to. Despite having a decent size screen
it always opens (in Folders and Actions view) in a size that is too small to
show all the actions I have.

It would be MUCH better if this dialog didn’t exist, and all the actions
related stuff stayed within the windoid, but if another window is absolutely
necessary then PLEASE let it remember where I last put it!

Chris.


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