<URL: http://bugs.freeciv.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=40216 >

Forwading to request tracker (and thus creating new ticket) for
storing the patches. We don't want them to get lost and forgotten.

 John: If you have something to add, please try to reply to the copy
RT sends to the list.

 - ML

On 27/04/2008, John Keller wrote:
> First off, just a note as to why I'm writing the list instead of opening
>  a ticket: I can open tickets, but the system doesn't let me add any
>  comments an existing one (whether I opened it or someone else did). [1]
>  I've made an attempt to restructure the menus in a way that makes sense
>  for both new users and old hands. I consider myself a "casual
>  old-timer", having played Freeciv for several years, but not every day.
>  Apologies in advance for a long email, but I wanted to give some
>  background to my thinking behind the attached patches:
>  I've always found the long "Orders" menu daunting. Commands found in
>  large groups (between dividers), new commands are hard to find when
>  they're added, and I expect that new users have a very hard time
>  discovering even common commands ("Go to" is sixth down in the fourth
>  group).
>  Having a single, long menu for all unit commands makes it very hard to
>  define good accelerators (the underlined letters) which also don't
>  conflict with each other. The length also leads to putting commands in
>  sub-menus (presumably to avoid making it even longer). But these are
>  hard to target with the mouse, and hard to use as a way to discover to
>  available commands.
>  Some hotkeys require pressing Control and Shift together, a
>  hand-twisting exercise for commands that users are likely to use often.
>  Even more importantly, it's a hurdle for accessibility.
>  Tear-off menus seem like a great idea, but don't beat the simplicity of
>  better menu organization and modeless dialog boxes. The typical user
>  (even in Linux) aren't going to have encountered them elsewhere, and so
>  aren't likely to discover their use. Instead, I hoped to improve the
>  situation for everyone and avoid the need for a tear-off menu. The
>  exception was the "View" menu, which I would like to revisit in the future.
>  The "Game" menu, like the "File" menu in any other program, should
>  really be thought of as a meta menu. It should handle the principle
>  object (the game) as a black box, rather acting on the the things
>  contained within the object. I moved the tax rates and revolution
>  commands to the Reports menu; they have much more in common with the
>  other items found there. If the "Game" menu were the place for in-game
>  commands, then everything could be justifiably be moved there. :-)
>  I renamed the "Reports" menu to "Civilization". Freeciv isn't a
>  spreadsheet [2], but this menu roughly corresponds to the "Window" menu
>  in many applications: it's a list of tabs and toolkit windows that apply
>  to the game as a whole. Using "Window" would help for external
>  consistency, but it's too generic. I think "Civilization" does a better
>  job of showing that it contains commands that act on a large scale than
>  "Reports", which to me implies a set of static reports (the presence of
>  the main view alone shows that the menu items aren't static).
>  I've only worked on the GTK+ client, since I'm not familiar with any of
>  the other clients. I realize that these patches would have an impact on
>  the other clients, too (since the help documentation is common to all).
>  The patches serve as a proof of concept and, if accepted, my hope is
>  that it would be easy for someone else to change the other clients to match.
>  I've split my changes into four patches:
>  Rearrange the menus
>  * split up long "orders" menu
>  * try to put commands in small, logical groups
>  * move taxes and government to "Reports"
>  * avoid cascading submenus
>  Change hotkeys and accelerators (2 patches)
>  * use "Ctrl" for application control commands, "Shift" for unit commands
>   (with the exception of "Upgrade")
>   ["revolution", a potentially much more destructive operation than
>    "connect with road", is probably a better choice to have a three-key
>    shortcut]
>  * fix a FIXME: paradrop and pollution no longer share the same menu item
>  * try to make accelerators consistent with hotkeys
>   (without being unnecessarily slavish)
>  * update help docs
>  Clean-up
>  * remove tear-off menus (except for "View" menu)
>  * fix indentation for menu_items[] static array
>  * normalize use of "_" for menu items in code
>   (to help with future search/replace)
>  I'd be interested in people's reactions to these patches. Hopefully they
>  (or something like them) could eventually make their way into Freeciv.
>  - John
>  [1] https://mail.gna.org/public/freeciv-dev/2008-02/msg00122.html
>  [2] http://bugs.freeciv.org/Ticket/Display.html#txn-238668

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