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Thread: Need input on a new UI element

  1. #1
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Need input on a new UI element

    Sorry for being quiet lately, i've been working on CFE though. I think i've got the core functionality I want done for the 1.0 version of CFE, now it I am focusing on UI elements and then onto some plugins.

    So currently i'm working on a sub-class of NSTextField so that it will scroll information if it's string is too long to be displayed (think a normal head unit or the Track name in iTunes).

    I have to items that I would like input on.

    The first is how it scrolls. Right now, I have it scroll to the left one character at a time until the last of the string is visible, then it starts over. My wife thinks this a bit jerky and would like to see it scroll until the field is blank, then start over. Thoughts? Opinions? Other ideas?

    The second issue is when you have multiple of these fields on the screen at once (think the iTunes plugin for the album, artist, and track names) that all need to scroll, but have different length strings. That took all of 5 seconds to get really annoying . My thought is instead of having them scroll all the time, I instead have it detect when the cursor is over the field and then start it scrolling and conversely stop it when it leaves. More thoughts? More opinions? More ideas?

    Thanks,
    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate bpwned's Avatar
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    I'd say don't scroll at all. It's my car, it's my music, I know what's playing. Cut off the ends of the strings that are too long with '...'. Would be ok for me.

    I think it would be more useful if the fields were touchable, ie I can tap on the album/artist name and CFE asks if I'd like to play all the songs from this album/artist or something like that. In that context menu there could also be such a scrollable field like you had in mind.

    Btw. I've been busy lately, do you still want the button images I suggested? If so, I will try to make them fit your size requests and send them over. What about the "eject-button-issue"? ;-)

  3. #3
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpwned View Post
    I'd say don't scroll at all. It's my car, it's my music, I know what's playing. Cut off the ends of the strings that are too long with '...'. Would be ok for me.
    Either I have too much music or too small of a brain to remember then all

    There is also the case of someone else in the car being interested, or you being interested in what is playing from a passengers iPod that you've connected.

    Btw. I've been busy lately, do you still want the button images I suggested?
    I wondered if you fell off the face of the earth How did the exam go?

    If you've got them, i'll throw them in and we can see how it looks.

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate bpwned's Avatar
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    If you don't even remember the song when you see its album art, then you might really have a small brain :P Anyway, some media players scroll the text right, then left and so on. It's not a loop, I hope you understand what I mean. Maybe that wouldn't make us go crazy. Or, what might be the best way: implement every way you can think of and then let the user customize it in the settings. (So that I can select "cut off long names")

    And speaking of passengers... I personally prefer to talk to them about the music, but hey, that's just me

    The exams went relatively ok, but I'd rather not think about that now =) I'll try to send the images over asap.

  5. #5
    cheap custom title JC-S60's Avatar
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    Using the cursor position is not a good idea for touchscreen applications as you can't move the cursor without clicking...
    I've seen the error come up with several front-ends some years ago. We're too much used to developping on a pc with a mouse

    Joachim

  6. #6
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC-S60 View Post
    Using the cursor position is not a good idea for touchscreen applications as you can't move the cursor without clicking...
    I've seen the error come up with several front-ends some years ago. We're too much used to developping on a pc with a mouse
    Ahh, but that is the beauty of it all. I don't have to respond to the click itself, just that the cursor appears in the frame

    Now trying to implement bpwned's idea of clicking having a function, then you are correct that the "in frame" idea wouldn't work as they are mutually exclusive on a TS (at least as a while driving exercise).

    Now, the roll over (or click for that matter) method doesn't work for those that do not have a TS or mouse connected...

    -dave
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    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  7. #7
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpwned View Post
    Anyway, some media players scroll the text right, then left and so on. It's not a loop, I hope you understand what I mean.
    I *think* I do. Kind of a "rocking" (back and forth) visual? I've never seen a MP like that and I think it would drive me nuts

    Or, what might be the best way: implement every way you can think of and then let the user customize it in the settings. (So that I can select "cut off long names")
    To some extent I plan to (e.g. it will be possible to tell the fields not to scroll and I will bubble that up to the user in the future (still need some other UI elements before I can do nice config screens ), but this UI element isn't meant to be limited just to the iTunes plugin. Like the button that is used everywhere, that is the purpose here too. The idea is to provide consistency between the App and the plugins.

    I think I like the idea of having it not scroll but add "..." to the end if it is too long as an option. Thanks.

    And speaking of passengers... I personally prefer to talk to them about the music, but hey, that's just me
    Mine are usually too busy keeping their lunch down to talk much

    Thanks,
    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  8. #8
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    I like it when it scrolls. Can't you let the user choose whether:
    A) Scrolls
    B) Doesn't Scroll
    C) Ping-pong back and forth
    D) Truncate

    as part of a setup preference?

    I'm not certain if this is pertinent, but if someone implements an XM plug in, they may want to use the scroll routines. On my Sony headunit, it will display *either* the station number, the artist, the song name, the station name, but not all of them. Sometimes they play stuff I've never heard of and I need some of that info, sometimes I'm looking for a particular station and I need that info but after I find it, I want it to display the other stuff. I imagine other people wouldn't care to do it the same way.

    Given your iPod remark, that's a rough analogue to XM, isn't it? Playlist, artist, track? Show some, all, none?

    BTW, not to try and introduce even more complexity into the discussion, but there is scrolling left/right and there is scrolling up/down. I'd favor scrolling left to right if the information was too long to get in the text field. Then, if it was a different type of information (say, first it showed the song name, now it is going to show the artist name), the field would go blank and the artist name would scroll up vertically from the bottom to fill the text field. Of course, if it was too long, it would then scroll left to right.

    You asked for opinions :-)
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  9. #9
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I like it when it scrolls. Can't you let the user choose as part of a setup preference?
    See, a good configuration screen requires more UI elements though (need at least a checkbox, table, and scrollbar still ). But yes, what functionality it does have will be configurable then it is up to the developer to bubble that configuration up to the user.

    On my Sony headunit, it will display *either* the station number, the artist, the song name, the station name, but not all of them.
    Luckily we have more space on our displays to display more information at once.

    Sometimes they play stuff I've never heard of and I need some of that info
    That would be a perfect example of the use of scrolling. I only use my iTunes library so I don't think about this mystical music through air type thing

    Given your iPod remark, that's a rough analogue to XM, isn't it? Playlist, artist, track? Show some, all, none?
    I believe so. My POV (see the iTunes plugin as it exists now) is to show all the information at once, but I could see someone doing a mash-up style plugin where space would be more of a premium.

    BTW, not to try and introduce even more complexity into the discussion, but there is scrolling left/right and there is scrolling up/down.
    Left/Right is all i'm looking at right now. Vertically is interesting and now that I think about it should be fairly simple. Maybe it will be in there...Damn you and your ideas!!!!

    You asked for opinions :-)
    And i'm happy to get them. It lets me know you care

    Thanks,
    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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