Old 14th May 2014, 14:29   #1
Victhor
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Bigger preferences window

(it's a suggestion more than a wish..)

The main problem about the current Preferences window is that it's still designed for old displays, so it aims to fit everything in a window intended for 800x600. Maybe this is the moment to change that..
I know tweaking even 1 item from its location is a hell of a mess due to the piled changes the prefs window has seen through the years (and the languagues packs too), so maybe a middle solution could be.. making the prefs window BIGGER.

Maybe this is more doable since nothing would be really moved from its location, only its position would be slightly shifted, so you gain more space (which is not the same that wasted space!) to locate every item clearly on the fly.


Rough example GIF (inverted "before and after" )

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Plus 1: Increasing the font size a couple of points would be ideal too..

Plus 2: Grouping in a bit more noticeable way could help too (meaning, add more space between groups and/or less space between group's items).

Plus 3: Using some styling.. (mainly Bold to highlight more important items, or underline, or even using DIFFERENT CAPITALIZATION..)
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Old 14th May 2014, 14:52   #2
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it's been talked about before and there's merits to altering the size, but there's downsides like the fact that it's a hell of a lot of work (as some of the translators have already found out), it introduces compatibility issues (i.e. looking weird) for the 3rd party plug-ins which add such pages and to be blunt, i'm really not keen on all of the empty space between the options from the mock image (since it's not all preference pages which are crammed with options - most of which can be resolved by better organisation within the current sizing).


alternatively, you can make a custom language pack and alter the sizes of the pages as well as changing the font (which is following what the default is for the OS) and you can then get it as you want



though on a serious note, i have been considering at least increasing the height of the preference dialog (as that's the biggest pain with the current sizing for some of the pages).

but as i've already started doing, a number of the pages can have their options moved around to be more relevant (better grouped with similar options) or just moved onto another tab page (making it less cluttered on the first page itself) - which i think is a better use of my time than just blindly increasing the size of preference pages as-is (if that makes sense).

like with the one you've used as the example, the internet connection options could be done on their own networking page (since it's shared across plug-ins) instead of on there (which is where it was back in the 2.x days). that then frees up a lot of space on there so that the arrangement can be adjusted to have groupboxes around the notification block and that the process priority could then be horizontally aligned instead of crammed on the right-hand side.
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Old 14th May 2014, 15:29   #3
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Well, space is the key. I know the "more white space /does not equal/ wasted space" is hard to accept, is an old design concept actually and Google is one of the best examples, but I understand where your concern comes from (and all the issues and limits that should be considered too) .

Anyway, using more tabs is an alternative quite valid too, if you can't generate more space for x amount of elements, reducing the amount of elements could achieve the same.. (and you gain in categorization specially).

Visual accessibility isn't actually solved by this, but it's a step forward in that direction (maybe the ideal point is too far away to contemplate now)
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Old 14th May 2014, 15:51   #4
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the big issue is there's too many options (which is an issue of it's own) or that they've not been organised very well due to how things have been added over the years (where it's often been easier to stick something on a vaguely related existing preference page than adding another one).

however it's done isn't ideal and i'm basically doing what would be treated as a quick fix, but it doesn't resolve the fundamental issues, but better grouping / categorisation is a start and will help with some aspects, but not all.

there's also the case that some of the options could and should be removed, but people don't seem to like options being taken away, but sometimes it's what is needed needed. for example i've removed the "Do not load the Library database at Winamp start-up" option on the local library page which only causes a slower Winamp loading time when enabled and everything within the plug-in is setup to load the database only when needed anyway. so removing that saves a whole option and helps to de-clutter the local library preferences (in addition to moving things around as per the screenshot where top is 5.66x and bottom is the current dev version).
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Old 14th May 2014, 16:56   #5
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Aaaahhh.. that's a feast for my eyes!! =)

I guess you barely "touch" the languagues packs and still un-clutter the windows.. good job!
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Old 14th May 2014, 20:20   #6
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the changes are going to break all of the existing language packs due to how they are done (which is mitigated to an extent by just force changing the resource ids so we fallback to the english page unless the language pack is updated). which is not ideal (especially as most of them have been abandoned by the original maintainers), but when we tried to minimise changes for 5.66x when some breaking changes were needed to improve preference usage, we now can potentially break things.

and if needed we can just drop the languages which aren't maintained and provide them as legacy downloads so they could be taken on and updated if wanted. since Egg has been patching 3-4 of them for the last few years where possible since no one else wanted to do it e.g. Swedish which was constantly called for before the 5.5 language pack implementation and ironically was the first ones to be abandoned.


and if just the height of the dialog was increased, there would then be enough room to have what is shown for the 'edit...' action on the same page (updated to what is selected at the time). though it would then clutter up the UI, so i may just end up increasing the height of the watch folders list so those with more don't have to scroll as much.
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Old 14th May 2014, 22:52   #7
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D'oh.. I thought you wanted to maintain the languages compatibility.. (luckily I always used the original English version hehe)
Anyway, if/when you release the language packs, it will be a good opportunity to see how many are really interested and willing to work in Winamp..


PS: Spanish isn't abandoned no? I can help in there if needed..
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Old 14th May 2014, 23:05   #8
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it will be maintaining compatibility in that the format of things will not be changed, but when a prefs page for example changes too much, we've always ended up effectively breaking the translation so it doesn't lead to missing options, etc (there were always plans to automate it but that never got implemented in the end).

i believe spanish is ok (though there's no harm in offering help to the existing maintainer(s) of it when updates will be needed). it is mainly the asian languages and a few of the european ones which fall into the adandoned pile (i don't have the full list to hand).
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Old 15th May 2014, 05:30   #9
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I knew I had one more suggestion of something I saw but couldn't remember what.. Look at Media Player Classic preferences window, the left panel with more (right) space seems to work better than Winamp's, don't you think?

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Old 15th May 2014, 09:03   #10
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do you mean the options tree being wider? as it was already bumped in width for 5.66x based on the plug-ins and language packs I tested against so that most of the time it didn't involve seeing a horizontal scrollbar. I guess it can be increased some more if you've got a case where that is not the case.
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Old 15th May 2014, 10:44   #11
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ok, is what i've attached what you mean? (increases the width of the tree as well as a possible new height showing the amount of extra space obtained vs the existing size - which means changing most of the existing preference pages to better use that space...).
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Old 15th May 2014, 11:27   #12
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Yep, I was referring to options tree! It looks better no?

It's a shame no one else joined the conversation to add more perspective.. I've got a feeling that this is kind of stuff most have some opinion about.. Anyway, not only this is public and everyone got his chace but also we can apply the rule of NC=ND (No comments = No discontent)
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Old 15th May 2014, 11:35   #13
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i prefer it with the added height so all of the nodes are visible (not really noticing much for the width adjustment since it was already wider than earlier 5.x setups based on how i use it i.e. i've not had a horizontal scrollbar on it for a while).

obviously it'll vary in some configurations as to how helpful the size adjustments could be, but it should probably work ok for most installs in that all (or at least most) of the nodes will be visible. is just the work involved to adjust all of the native preference pages that i'm not keen on, heh.
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Old 15th May 2014, 12:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victhor View Post
It's a shame no one else joined the conversation to add more perspective..
Sometimes too many cooks can spoil the stew. Seems like you and DrO have a good handle on things.

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Old 15th May 2014, 12:27   #15
Victhor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminifu View Post
Sometimes too many cooks can spoil the stew. Seems like you and DrO have a good handle on things.
You hit the spot hehe.. (actually I was only expecting more people saying "yeah vic & dro, you're right!" )
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Old 15th May 2014, 20:13   #16
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I increased the horizontal size of the tree in German language pack to get rid of the horizontal scrollbar and I can remember what a pain it was to change these things.

Larger prefs would make it more easy for translators as well, but like DrO said, it is tricky to change things a lot of things look broken, even if you do minimal changes.
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