[Sugar-devel] [DESIGN] Re: PR comments on 'Save as

Martin Dengler martin at martindengler.com
Tue Jul 12 06:28:28 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 11:52:10AM +0200, Tony Anderson wrote:
>Regardless of the wording, the alert does not save a document until 
>the user gives it a name. If the user does not care about the document 
>enough to give it a name, there is probably a reason. For example, if 
>I were to launch Paint to show selecting a color for a brush, I would 
>have no reason to save the scribble.
>To repeat, we need to consider this from the viewpoint of the user. 
>The user click on the Stop button to quit the activity. The alert 
>should result in terminating the activity whether the document is 
>saved or not.

I think the 

>This logic is used in the 'fiddler' implementation. It takes a moment 
>to move the cursor to the entry, type an entry, and click save.

Have you watched a six year-old wonder why their activity isn't closing fast
enough on an XO-1 (which doesn't even have the enforced stop of a modal
dialog)?  Have you watched a child look away when talking to their friend, then
look back and not notice that a small part of the the screen changed and just
notice that they pressed quit and it hasn't?  Have you watched a small child
read some text that appears when they didn't ask it to, and then decide what to
do, then look down at the mouse pad, look back up, look back down to move, look
back up, move, miss the target button, look back down, move the mouse pointer
to the correct button, and press the mouse button?  Have you watched a small
child complete this multi-second reading-and-decision-required task without
distraction when they have already decided they want to be doing another Sugar
activity?  This "getting in the way of users" has been done to the death -- for
example, see https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20030901-00/?p=42723
-- and we have good bugs with good alternatives.

>The children I have observed using Sugar would for sure spend longer 
>closing and switching between activities without any benefit from this 
>modal alert."
>The alert only appears when the activity is closed not when switching 
>between activities.

By "switching" I meant "closing one and opening another".  It would not appear
every time Sugar decides the journal object should be saved, right?

> The modal alert gives the user a chance to give his project a title - I
>consider that very beneficial.

Titles are beneficial, for sure.  Are they worth a modal dialog?  No.

How about this alternative: similar to how Browse notifies you that a download
has completed, let the activity exit *without* a modal dialog, but when the
activity closes and the sugar shell is in focus again, show the user the "name
or delete or whatever your journal entry" dialog in a non-modal way.  That way,
users that are prone to notice and care and name their work can divert from the
"quit this activity" process and name it, but users that don't notice or don't
care will not be interrupted.

> The alternative is for the user to open the
>activity palette and change the name there. The other alternative is for the
>user to switch to the Journal and change 'Write.activity' to 'Bolivar report'.

The journal might even put the focus or highlight the latest entry and suggest
"Rename 'Write.activity' to 'Bolivar report'?".

> Currently [the modal on-quit-ask-to-name-journal-entry dialog] is needed for
> all activities

That sounds suboptimal :(.


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