Author Topic: Proposed (optional) changes for simplified layout  (Read 102215 times)

mikebo

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I don't understand why you guys keep brainstorming on this URL entry problem like its some essential feature of MB that everyone uses.

redwing

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I don't understand why you guys keep brainstorming on this URL entry problem like its some essential feature of MB that everyone uses.

That's exactly what I'd like to ask you :D Why do you keep asking about that minor technical issue?

psychoadept

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I don't understand why you guys keep brainstorming on this URL entry problem like its some essential feature of MB that everyone uses.

*shrug*  Honestly, Steven could remove that part of MB and I would probably never even notice, let alone be bothered by it.  I use my browser when I want a browser.  It just came up in the context of Location Bar functionality.
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redwing

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If the box defaults to function as search box, then opening URL and folders will be simply "added" features. Nothing to worry about if you don't intend to use the box for other purposes, just like the current location bar.

SimonBRT

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I've recently started having some doubts as to whether this is the best approach.
I hear you on this, there is certainly logic in what you say.  As an forum member and 'power' user I am obviously biased, but the vast array of options is OK by me.

The only problem with tabs in caption bar is they look shit when you move the player controls up top, which end up dividing the tabs form main panel. 
They don't have to...


mikebo

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The only problem with tabs in caption bar is they look shit when you move the player controls up top, which end up dividing the tabs form main panel.  
They don't have to...
I meant it's bad that the tabs get separated from the main panel, it's not about blending with player bar


I've made lighter versions of my previous mockups if anybody is wondering how that might look
       
Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 10:07:39 AM by mikebo

Ulf

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May sound surprisinng, but I quite like your first mock-up...  in terms of the placement of the back and foward
buttons, being next to the MB button, not under it.


One question, I assume Library Explorer would still be in the left panel, in your layout, correct?
(I tend to use LE it a lot... )

Ulf

Steven

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I have pretty much decided now how i want to proceed and its been good with some of the comments to help clarify why things should be done. In all cases (even old skins) the location bar would be removed and replaced by tab(s) or no longer shown when tabs are docked in the caption bar/ vertically

There would be two new layout options:
- "extend header bar into the left panel" - this option is needed for some existing skins which wont work well (eg. midnight). It wont be enabled by default as most people only have one tab open and when not enabled it gives more space to the left navigator. It also works better the option is not enabled for people who have the library explorer maximised. I know some people want the header bar to extend over the Now Playing bar but i am reluctant to do that because the search box and panel layout buttons are no longer aligned to the main panel and i dont think it really adds much value

- "show tabs and controls in the caption bar" - this option maximises the vertical space available. Fairly much like mikebo's example but would include the search box

Ideally i would like to get rid of the vertical tabs option but i know some people will be upset by that. It probably makes most sense if the vertical tabs are displayed on the very left panel rather than in the main panel. But in any case it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed.

For the web browser, i might add a node on the left panel "Web Browser" but in any case when the web browser is open, a sub-panel will display in the main panel so you can enter a url, refresh and bookmark. A link could also be opened in the search box using http:// as the indicator to MB its a web link

@mikebo, your screenshots look great and except for the player in the bar (not rejecting that) i think much of what you have shown can be acheived. I will post some screenshots i already prepared tonight but its not too different from http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=13082.msg79084#msg79084 except for the search box location. I guess whats been partially putting people is the colouring on the default skins isnt as slick as what can be acheived

mikebo

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I have pretty much decided now how i want to proceed and its been good with some of the comments to help clarify why things should be done. In all cases (even old skins) the location bar would be removed and replaced by tab(s) or no longer shown when tabs are docked in the caption bar/ vertically
I think most people will agree this is an improvement. The location bar took too much space and wasn't very useful. A positive side-effect of this will be that new users will be discouraged from using the awful embedded browser.

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There would be two new layout options:
- "extend header bar into the left panel" - this option is needed for some existing skins which wont work well (eg. midnight). It wont be enabled by default as most people only have one tab open and when not enabled it gives more space to the left navigator. It also works better the option is not enabled for people who have the library explorer maximised.
This is unnecessary. I will argue that the header bar should always be extended. First of all extended header takes some 25px off of the left navigator and if that's really a problem there's still the option to combine header bar with caption, people who will need more space for navigator panel, will also need more space for other panels, so they'll probably use that option anyway.
Secondly as SimonBRT reported switching between tabs with different states of navigator panel, will cause the tabs to move away from the mouse pointer. I think this is a serious ui problem that is being underestimated. Extended header solves that.
As for issues with skins i think the interface improvement should have higher priority than skin compatibility and skin developers should be notified of the changes and urged to update their skins.

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I know some people want the header bar to extend over the Now Playing bar but i am reluctant to do that because the search box and panel layout buttons are no longer aligned to the main panel and i dont think it really adds much value
i completely agree

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- "show tabs and controls in the caption bar" - this option maximises the vertical space available. Fairly much like mikebo's example but would include the search box
So be it. Hopefully you change your mind about the search box in the future ;)

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Ideally i would like to get rid of the vertical tabs option but i know some people will be upset by that. It probably makes most sense if the vertical tabs are displayed on the very left panel rather than in the main panel. But in any case it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed.
This again i don't understand. In the past vertical tabs made sense because they freed more vertical space. But now with tabs in header bar or caption bar, they bring absolutely no benefit. And i couldn't say it better: "it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed." Also they are harder to read.

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For the web browser, i might add a node on the left panel "Web Browser" but in any case when the web browser is open, a sub-panel will display in the main panel so you can enter a url, refresh and bookmark. A link could also be opened in the search box using http:// as the indicator to MB its a web link
I've said it before and i'll say it again: the embedded web browser is a terrible experience and should be phased out. Making the search box a url entry box is also a very unfortunate idea. It will only benefit people who read this thread, anyone else simply won't know about it. When we discuss changes and new ideas for MusicBee I'd like to see more consideration for new users and making things more intuitive rather than hiding features and adding countless options.

Sorry if i sometimes present my opinions in a somewhat crude manner, but that's really how i feel about certain things and don't expect everybody will agree with me.

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I guess whats been partially putting people is the colouring on the default skins isnt as slick as what can be acheived
Maybe it's time for a refresh. I'd be happy to help.

One more question:
Any plans for the status bar?

psychoadept

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I concur with mikebo on almost everything.  I don't mind the search box in the caption bar, but still attached to the button idea.  It's a minor detail, though.
Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 04:44:48 PM by scampbll
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Steven

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The status bar will probably an option to hide it and if hidden the panel flipping can be done from a right click context menu and perhaps the stats could popup when hovering somewhere. I dont like the semi-transparent display idea - it wouldnt work for track details layout for example.

Bee-liever

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Ideally i would like to get rid of the vertical tabs option but i know some people will be upset by that. It probably makes most sense if the vertical tabs are displayed on the very left panel rather than in the main panel. But in any case it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed.
This again i don't understand. In the past vertical tabs made sense because they freed more vertical space. But now with tabs in header bar or caption bar, they bring absolutely no benefit. And i couldn't say it better: "it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed." Also they are harder to read.

I disagree with you on this one.  The use of vertical tabs, for me, is nothing to do with freeing up vertical space.  In fact, extending the header bar across both the left and right sides is a change I've expressed support for several times.

I have the column browser arranged vertically, and the thumbnail browser as well, so, from an ergonomically efficient viewpoint, it only makes sense to have the tabs vertical as well.

And there's the un-scientific bit - I like them.  :)
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Steven

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just for the record, i am going to remove the user initiated web browsing functionality/ mp3 file link scanner. Although it would be possible to incorporate into the new proposals it will just create a bunch of effort to implement just doesnt seem worth it.
The functionality in the Playing Track panel that opens a web link based on the artist or other tags will remain, as will any links in the Now Playing panel that open a web page based on the artist or other tags. Its only the functionality around creating a bookmark and opening a web page in the left navigator that will be removed.

psychoadept

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just for the record, i am going to remove the user initiated web browsing functionality/ mp3 file link scanner. Although it would be possible to incorporate into the new proposals it will just create a bunch of effort to implement just doesnt seem worth it.
The functionality in the Playing Track panel that opens a web link based on the artist or other tags will remain, as will any links in the Now Playing panel that open a web page based on the artist or other tags. Its only the functionality around creating a bookmark and opening a web page in the left navigator that will be removed.

Thumbs up!

I would sill love to see an option to open Now Playing panel links in the users default browser, but that's a separate topic.
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Steven

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the functionality is mostly done now apart from the status bar. For the status bar, i will admit that when the player is docked down the bottom, it looks much better without the status bar but i just dont think its something other than a few people who would be happy not to see information such as how many files are selected, what action is being executed, total number of files etc.
So as a compromise I am planning to show the status bar in the bottom of the main panel only without the buttons. Possibly i could create an option to show the full status bar but without the buttons, the panels can be flipped using right click/ View/ ...
 If the player is not docked in the bottom it would extend across the entire app as now but still without the buttons unless enabled



I will make a version available tomorrow or tuesday but comments on the status bar welcome
Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 07:29:00 PM by Steven