[Sugar-devel] [DESIGN] Write to Journal Anytime

Simon Schampijer simon at schampijer.de
Mon Jan 23 17:12:57 EST 2012


while looking at Walter's patch [1] today I did go through the various 
options another time and noted the pro/cons that have been floating around.

===Full-screen Modal Alert===
- can be invoked from the Activity, the Journal and a shortcut
- no moving target (palette)

- no context: you can not see the the content you are describing while 
- shows fields you are not interested in at that moment (e.g. 
screenshot, with whom it has been shared)

- can be invoked from the activity
- full context: you can see the the content you are describing while writing

- using a shortcut is difficult (need mouse control to keep the palette 
- you need to stay over the palette to keep to not let it popdown

===Naming Alert===
- there is a hint that your activity has not been reflected on (the 
alert is displayed when no title for the activity has been set)

- you can not decide when to reflect on the activity (you only can set 
the activity title from within the activity)

So I did follow Walter's approach with the palette in the toolbar and 
applied Walter's patch. I checked how it looks like in the two activity 
toolbar types we have: hello world with a simple toolbar and the options 
in the main toolbar [2] and Turtle Art with the options in a sub toolbar 
[3]. The 'palette-approach' has many good things (you always see what 
you write about) but there are two things I find problematic:

- the option to set the description is two clicks away which makes it 
hard to reach and hard to discover

- it is in a palette (which is not locked), so you need to keep the 
mouse over the palette to not have it popdown while you type (also it is 
not really touch-interface friendly)

One option that does address the two points from above would be make the 
activity subtoolbar larger so that the description widget can fit in 
there directly, this means: one click to get to the option and we do not 
have a floating palette. A hacky mockup looks like [4]. The downside 
here is that this is not the standard toolbar size and that it gets 
really ugly with the other subtoolbars [5]. So, this is not really an 
option neither.

While thinking further about how to best solve this issue I came across 
the search key (magnifier icon on the olpc keyboard or F5 on non-olpc 
hardware) which we have to get to the Journal quickly. I wondered if it 
would be a good idea to let that key reveal the detail view of the 
Journal entry when pressed while the activity is open. This might be a 
nice and quick way to write notes. You could toggle the views quickly 
with the 'search' and 'activity' keys. The downside here is that you do 
not see what you write about while writing and it might not be as 
discoverable and with non-keyboard Sugar you don't have that option. But 
it might be a nice thing to have on top of Walter's approach. (I have 
hacked up a quick patch and technically it is doable).

That should be it for now, more thoughts tomorrow.

[1] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/sugar-devel/2012-January/035218.html
[2] http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/designs/reflections-hello.png
[3] http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/designs/reflections-ta.png
[4] http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/designs/reflect_big_toolbar.png
[5] http://dev.laptop.org/~erikos/designs/reflect_big_toolbar_2.png

More information about the Sugar-devel mailing list