Fwd: General comments on the UI in Avogadro

I’ll reply to Henry’s message sometime this morning.

-Geoff

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Rzepa, Henry” h.rzepa@imperial.ac.uk
Date: July 2, 2008 4:33:03 AM EDT
To: Geoffrey Hutchison geoff.hutchison@gmail.com
Subject: General comments on the UI in Avogadro

Geoff,

I have decided that we can "go’ with Avogadro for the start of our
teaching term (October), and have started some preliminary
documentation.

This has given me a few ideas suggestions/queries.

  1. There are essentially three areas students need to be familiar
    with.
    (a) the little strip of 9 tools icons on the left, probably the
    MOST useful (which, once floated and then closed cannot be re-
    instated?)
    (b) several of the application menu items, ie build/add remove Hs,
    or Extensions/mechanics/calculate energy
    © The display types pane on the bottom left (which, once floated
    and then closed cannot be re-instated?)

There is also a row of icons along the very top (new, open, etc)
which appear to be duplicates of the application file menu, and do
not really seem to serve a purpose? They can be hidden, but I do
not think they should appear by default? Is it possible to reset
the prefs to default? Once a pane is minimised, or closed, it can be
a trial to make it appear again.

I am wondering how much to explain, and it seemed that the two items
in (b) could be moved to the tools strip?, and that perhaps the
Display types, which occupies a lot of space, could also somehow be
made into a tool?

A display bug (0.8.1) overlays the caption ---- Debug information
---- directly over the instantaneous energy being reported in the
autoOptimisation mode

finally, some selections clearly fight eachother. Thus trying to
invoke the measure tool whilst auto-optimization is on produces a
rapidly and unreadable display of instantaneous measurements. Could
eg invoking this tool be made to automatically switch OFF the auto-
optimisation?

Overall, I feel Avogadro is rapidly becoming student usable, but the
menus are at the moment providing too much information for such
users, and a minimalist approach might be useful?

Warmest wishes,

Henry Rzepa.
+44 (020) 7594 5774 (Voice); http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/rzepa.xrdf
(FOAF)
http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/ Dept. Chemistry, Imperial College
London, SW7 2AZ, UK.

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