On Wed, 27 Oct 2004, Austin Donnelly wrote:

> Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 09:23:32 +0100
> From: Austin Donnelly <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: 'Sven Neumann' <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: RE: [Gimp-developer] first impressions of GIMP 2.0
> [Adding a layer mask]
> > >> Huh? Go to the Layers menu, choose "Add Layer Mask". Also available
> > >> from the right-click menu in the Layers dialog.
> >
> > > I couldnt actually access this - it was greyed out completely.
> >
> > You can't add a layer mask to a layer that doesn't have an alpha
> > channel.
> Hmm - perhaps the best interface here would be to always have the "Add Layer
> Mask" menu option available, but if there's no alpha channel then popup a
> dialog saying something like "Adding a layer mask requires the image to have
> an alpha channel.  Would you like me to add one? Yes: / No" (default yes,
> tickbox (unchecked) for "don't ask me again").
> This is similar in spirit to the file export dialogs that automatically
> convert your image into something the file save plugin can handle (ie
> flatten etc).  It's the DWIM (Do What I Mean) school of UI design, where you
> try and guess what the user is actually trying to do :)

Austin, thanks for filing the bug report and
thanks Sven for fixing it so quickly.

I was hoping you would file more general bug report to capture the idea
you mentioned of "Do what I mean" (I cannot think of any other way to
describe it, sorry) and see if there were other areas where similar
problems were occuring.  There might be other areas were it would be
better to do something rather than do nothing.

There is a case that I think is similar: if you are moving a layer down
the stack and the background layer has no alpha channel you get the
Layer 'Background' has no Alpha.  Layer was placed above it.  [ OK ]

the way I see it there are a few possible improvements
1) just add the Alpha Channel as in bug 156676
2) dont use a message dialog, explain using a less obtrusive status bar
3) change from a message to a dialog something like this

Layer 'Background' has no Alpha.  Would you like to Add Alpha?
[ Close ] [ Add Alpha]

I looked at a few other greyed out menu items that could potentially be
"Select Invert" when there is no selection;
Engrave plug-in seems to be disabled on layers that do not have an
alpha channel.

Maybe there is not any need to create a tracker bug for these loosely
related idea but should I file bug reports or try and group these and
others together as part of one big idea?


Alan Horkan

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