Thanks to Dave, Joao, Michael, Sven, and others for feedback on the
tentative new rectangle select tool I recently put in cvs. I would
like now to consider where to go from here.
As Sven has said, it is desirable to make things simple and consistent
by forming a base GimpRectangleTool from which several specific tools
are derived, including Rectangle Select, Crop, Rectangle Shape, Ellipse
Select, Ellipse Shape, and perhaps others such as Rounded Rectangle,
Oval, etc. All of these could have a very similar ui, and the main
question is what it would look like, and the biggest part of that question
is whether there should be a dialog.
I think everybody agrees on two things: (1) there needs to be a way to
enter information numerically, and (2) *if* there is a dialog, then it
should be optional whether to show it. These constraints basically
reduce the possibilities to two:
A) Use a dialog similar in general appearance to the Crop Tool dialog,
and allow the user either by checking a Tool Option or by pressing a
modifier key to enable/disable showing the dialog. Of course the
actual contents of the dialog are subject to improvement.
B) Use the Tool Options as the place where information is entered, and
don't have a dialog at all.
It is of course possible that there are other approaches that haven't
occurred to me.
Personally, of the two, I favor A, for a couple of reasons.
First, the Tool Options dialog is not intended to be something that
the user moves around, so using it will often involve a lot of eye
travel back and forth between the controls and the image, which violates
a major principle of ui design.
Second, the Tool Options were never intended to be used for active control
of a tool -- they were intended as a place to store static information
whose usefulness persists over time. At the level of source code, the
Tool Options don't even know what tool they belong to. So, using the
Options to control the tool would involve a significant change in
In any case, if the dialog question were resolved, I think it would
be possible for me to begin abstracting out code for the basic
Rectangle Tool, so it would be nice to work this out.
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