On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 10:23:08 -0800, "William Skaggs" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 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.

Here is one that you haven't mentioned:

C) Use the status bar for displaying and modifying the position and
   size of the selection.

Instead of displaying a simple text label with the size of the
selected area, the status bar could automatically replace this text by
two (width, height) or four (x, y, width, height) entry boxes when the
user starts selecting something.  The value in these boxes would
change while the user is dragging the rectangle and modifying the
selection interactively but it would also be possible to edit the
values directly in the status bar.

Note that these entry boxes would only need to be there while a
selection is being modified (i.e., after the first click and drag).
They do not have to be there all the time while a selection tool is
active, so the status bar can still be used to display some other
useful information as text when the user is not currently editing a
selection.  This also means that the box and drop-down list with the
zoom ratios can be temporarily replaced in order to gain more space
in the status bar for these new entry boxes.

In addition, a small icon or expander button could be added to the
status bar while such a tool is in use; clicking it would pop up a
dialog box containing more options.  There are always more options
that could fit in the status bar, such as constraining the selection
to a fixed aspect ratio, etc.  A little button in a corner of the
status bar would provide a convenient way to display this dialog with
advanced options only when needed.

> Personally, of the two, I favor A, for a couple of reasons.  

If C is not accepted, then I favor B.  Although you are right that the
Tool Options were not intended to be used for active control of a
tool, I think that the disadvantages of having a window that gets in
the way outweight its advantages.  By the way, the status bar is part
of the image window so unlike the additional dialog or even the Tool
Options, it will never get in the way of the interactive selection.

I think that option C would be the most user-friendly: the important
information is visible without getting in the way, the interface is
easy to understand, and there is no need to remember special key
combinations for showing/hiding the dialog with extra options.  The
disadvantages of option C are that it would require more coding due to
the modifications of the status bar and it would not be possible to
display all entry boxes if the image window is too narrow.  On the
other hand, it would be easy for the user to make the window wider
whenever necessary.


P.S.: I hope to see some of you at FOSDEM on Saturday and Sunday in
      Brussels.  As I already mentioned on IRC in #gimp, I'll try to
      offer some good Belgian beers to any GIMPers who come and say
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