Configuration Dialogs

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Thu Apr 10 23:40:21 CEST 2008

Piter PUNK wrote:
> Stephan Arts wrote:
>> I have some ideas about how the configuration-dialogs can be improved.
>> But trying to write those for 4.6 would probably push back the release
>> further. Therefore I agree with Brian that this is best to be
>> considered for 4.8. As an alternative I will import my code to the
>> goodies repositories (xfce4-settings-manager or something), you can
>> then follow its development, and comment at it. And we can discuss if
>> it is something for 4.8 or not.
> Hmmmm... think about flexible geometry or scroll bars! -:)
> Some configuration window are very hard to use in small screens,
> like Asus eeePC and Intel ClassmatePC. And probably those small
> machines will became more popular.
> I use ClassmatePC and have problems to reach the "OK" and "Cancel"
> buttons. Well... and some others that i don't remember now. Probably
> scroll bars can solve it -:)

Some of those dialogs are just poorly designed in that they have too 
much padding around widgets or don't behave properly when the windows 
resize.  I've tried to fix them on and off, but I haven't really had time.

I don't think flexible geometry (assuming you are talking about having 
the widgets re-layout in a different order/configuration depending on 
avail space) is possible with how gtk works.

The scroll bar idea is kinda neat, though I'd like that to work without 
anyone on a large enough screen *ever* seeing the scrollbars.  I don't 
think that's possible -- putting the entire window contents in a 
GtkScrolledWindow with viewport would allow the user to resize the 
window way smaller than is needed to fit on the screen -- at least not 
without some icky hacks related to calculating screen size on the fly.

Alternatively, one might design a more compact version of the dialogs, 
designed specifically for small screens.  This is something that 
glade/gtkbuilder would be *great* for, since you can just use the same 
widget names in each design, and the only code difference would be to 
load one glade file or the other depending on screen size.  I kinda like 
this idea -- it makes me think of doing icon design.  Even if you have 
an SVG icon, many good icon artists will draw out fixed-size icons for 
smaller sizes because some icon metaphors just don't look good when 
scaled down.  Similar case here?


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