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New features in ClearWin+
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..... contd

Plato Enhancements & The Readme Files
The readme should include some blurb about the new Plato enhancements referred to at the beginning of the video !!!
I guess users fall into 3 camps:
a) the basic text-editor and command line 'dinosaurs'
b) the Plato philosophisers (why is it called Plato by the way ?)
c) the Visual Studio programming anoraks
I understand the desire to get as many people as possible to use Plato.
Essentially what we have now as I see it with these new introductions is a smart attempt at on-line documentation/help/assistant.
Even for non-Plato afficionados this could be very useul just for creating the code files initially, especially amateurs like myself !
Well done , a step in the right direction I'd say at first glance.
Any plans to develop this for more general documenting in the near/mid/long term ?
I assume there will always be the 'classical' ftn95 documentation in parallel ?
....... contd .....


Last edited by John-Silver on Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.... contd

A Phil O'Sophical (that famous Irish t'inker) Treatise on Documentation, The Good, The Bad and the Pitfalls (the user with no name begins to whistle that tune Wink ) ... n All That Stuff ...

I know Paul that you're attentive to many, many things that are posted on the forums, and you youself in the past have stated that you're well aware of the shortfalls in existing documentation for ftn95 in general.
Here's some obvious observations from a user's point of view that you're surely well aware of already, but no harm in pointing them out In the 4 years since I stumbled on ftn95 it must be said that there has been little activity and much inertia associated with the task of updating, or more accurately consolidating the documentation.
Tempus fugit and time is money of course.
The 'danger' with this new initiative as I see it is if it just becomes another string to an already full-of-strings bow !
Manuals/documentation creation is part art/part science/part common sense/part knowing what 'modern fads' to ignore and which to adopt. A right old hotch-potch to wade through that lot.
History is unfortunatly littered with unilateral attempts to create a simplified 'improved' documentation for programs. All users are after all fickle folk, they groan and moan at the good attempts and eat and spit out the perpetrators of the bad ones !!! Maybe FE afficionados on here will remember the attempted 'improvement' to the MSc NASTRAN manuals in was it late 80's or early 90's, I forget, which went badly, badly wrong and must have cost them a fortune in re-printing (remember printing - still the most efficient manual reading technology) and mailing out manuals.
There's no substitute for experience ... oh, and consuting with the err ... users , in advance ... to see what they really want (even if it might not appear 'optimum' (whatever that means) ... before launching into the unknown.
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PaulLaidler
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 4919
Location: Salford, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John-Silver

Thank you for your feedback.

I will add "MS Office menu bar styles" to the wish list but I doubt that it would be feasible. They probably use Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). MFC provides an interface into the Windows API and, in this respect is like ClearWin+. Going sideways from ClearWin+ to MFC would probably be very tricky if not impossible.

Regarding the documentation, a lot of work went into this for the last full release. There will always be room for improvement but just to let you know that this has not been neglected.
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, the video. Yes, I thought it was very useful. May I suggest a section on the website for instructional videos?

As far as the new design mode goes, I am certain that users will find it of great value, but a word of caution and that is that unconventional layouts do confuse many users, and even such mundane issues as to which is the default button, whether ‘OK’ is the leftmost, whether buttons are centred or justified etc, can make a huge difference to the acceptability of a dialog. Matters are complicated by Microsoft’s propensity to change their mind about such things from version to version in Windows! The User Experience Guidelines are not updated frequently enough in MSDN.

The ability in design mode to change the button height seems to me to be very valuable, and it seems to me that as this is can now be done, perhaps it could be a facility in %bt, and even if available in %bt, why not also in %tt and %bb? (so they can be all the same height).

The new multibutton format looks very interesting, and especially the availability of some standard, professionally-drawn, icons in 16x16 and 24x24 is a big plus. Those professional icons have the potential to be recognisable when inactive (greyed) which is something that one’s own icons don’t always achieve when using the automatic generation of the greyed-out state.

I looked up TBSTYLE in MSDN, and the TBSTYLE_LIST looked interesting (with text alongside the icon as in %bb) and particularly TBSTYLE_TRANSPARENT, which would be a great complement to %ib.


Eddie
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PaulLaidler
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 4919
Location: Salford, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie

I have had a quick look at TBSTYLE_LIST and I think that, with the current implementation, we would have to choose between text with buttons or tooltips, not both.

I am assuming that tooltips are preferred.

I haven't tried using this style in a ClearWin+ program (and the latest implementation). If it does anything useful then it would be purely by chance.
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