General comments on the UI in Avogadro

Henry,

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

Great! I suspect we may have another release (0.9? 1.0?) before October.

This has given me a few ideas suggestions/queries.

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.

It is possible to turn off the “main toolbar.” Personally, I don’t
like it much either, and have considered turning it off by default in
the Mac build.

It’s fairly easy to make the toolbars re-appear, actually. In the
"Window" menu (on Mac) or Settings menu (Windows, Linux) you can make
these appear or disappear under the “Dock” submenu.

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?

I’m not sure about the menu commands, although it’s certainly possible
to add specific commands to appropriate tools. For example, it would
make sense to add the hydrogen building commands to the Draw tool.

Another change we’ll be adding sometime soon is a plugin manager. This
will allow you to customize which tools, display types, etc. will be
loaded. It will also add menu items for all tools and display types.
This should solve your issue with the Display Type area – you could
close it permanently and allow students to access them via the menu.

I also know that Marcus is planning an enhanced “full screen” mode
which would hide most of the tool palettes along the edges of the
screen. This would be a bit like iPhoto. (Since I know you’re a Mac
user.)

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

Do you use the debug information, or is this simply an issue of
"students will try everything?"

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?

Good suggestion.

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?

This is one big reason for adding the plugin manager. It will make it
much easier to customize for student use.

Hope that helps,
-Geoff

Hi Geoff,

It is good to see you back!

Henry,

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

Great! I suspect we may have another release (0.9? 1.0?) before
October.

Real great!

Would it be possible to undertake parallel internationalization?
Personnely, I am in the starting block.

Similarly, I have been thinking for a while that localisation of the
Avogadro web site would be nice. Easily realized?

The french translatioon is moving quite fast, thanks to Benoît’s work.
I have a few questions I will transmit later on.

Cheers,

							Louis

Hi Louis,

Would it be possible to undertake parallel internationalization?

Yes, I think this is important!

I think we’d like to have a “string freeze” for any future releases.
That is, any changes to the interface would be prohibited. This gives
time for tutorials and internationalization. Obviously a variety of
bug fixes can occur during the “string freeze” as long as they don’t
change text or the user interface.

Similarly, I have been thinking for a while that localisation of the
Avogadro web site would be nice. Easily realized?

I don’t know anything about translating and MediaWiki, but I assume it
must be possible – it’s the same software for our web site and
Wikipedia. If someone can do some research on the changes needed to
the web site, we can fix it fairly soon.

The french translatioon is moving quite fast, thanks to Benoît’s work.
I have a few questions I will transmit later on.

Louis, do you think there should be a new "avogadro-translations"
mailing list?

Cheers,
-Geoff

Hi All.

I am quite taken by family affairs at the moment, so I may be slow
in replying. Any way, nice to see you back.

Le 7 juil. 08 à 23:36, Geoffrey Hutchison a écrit :

Hi Louis,

Would it be possible to undertake parallel internationalization?

Yes, I think this is important!

That is very nice to learn. I am ready to start at any time.

I think we’d like to have a “string freeze” for any future releases.
That is, any changes to the interface would be prohibited. This gives
time for tutorials and internationalization. Obviously a variety of
bug fixes can occur during the “string freeze” as long as they don’t
change text or the user interface.

This is a very good point. Similarly, some strings are not translatable.
Family names or, especially, quantum methods. If the next update of
the avogadro.pot model again results in a large number of unaccepted
translations, it may be advisable to remove some “tr” instructions from
the code. Personnally, I am trying to align translations on dictionaries
of international associations that do have one. So far, I only found the
IUCR one and will modify some crystallographic translations along
their suggestions.

Similarly, I have been thinking for a while that localisation of the
Avogadro web site would be nice. Easily realized?

I don’t know anything about translating and MediaWiki, but I assume it
must be possible – it’s the same software for our web site and
Wikipedia. If someone can do some research on the changes needed to
the web site, we can fix it fairly soon.

This was just a thought. No urgent caracter. I was thinkking of the very
nice JMol web site. I do not know what they are using to drive it.

The french translatioon is moving quite fast, thanks to Benoît’s
work.
I have a few questions I will transmit later on.

Louis, do you think there should be a new "avogadro-translations"
mailing list?

I think I already mentioned that point in an older mail.
An avogadro-translations mailing list would be very nice in many
respects.
To syncronize a new template on one hand. Maybe more importanly,
at least for latin languages, to get translation ideas and more
generally,
in some cases, the plain meaning of some texts. For instance, I have no
idea of the context in which the term “Overlay” is used: Photoshop
style,
“incrustation”; more usual, “superposition”; or some sort of solvent
layer;
or what I know of as an ONIOM layer for QM/MM calculations?
I cannot make my mind. Most untranslated strings at the moment
pertain to this topic. And the “Super cell”. The latter is more a
feature
request since it seems to create a new, larger unit cell, but at the
moment,
this function seems to do nothing but redraw the View window.

Cheers,

Louis