I have a suggestion for a new and simple way to interact with GIMP.
A major difficulty in using GIMP, in my experience, is that the menus
are too many and too deep. To invoke an action on an image, or to
open a dialog box, the user spends a lot of time and concentration
navigating the menus, usually with the mouse. And, despite best
efforts to organize the menus, finding the right item for the
operation you want can be difficult.
A more efficient alternative would be to let the user try to express
his intention more freely, and show him a menu of options that might
be what he wants. This is in effect search for the right command, and
the user sees the list of options *as he types*. A command is any
conventional menu item or folder in the current menu hierarchy.
A query matches substrings of names or descriptions of commands. The
names and descriptions of matching commands appear in a drop down box
underneath the query box. The user can hit Enter to select the first
entry, or use the arrow keys to select another entry, then press
Enter. Thus the selection of actions and menus shrinks as the user
types. If a query contains multiple words, they are matched as a
conjunction (not as a string).
For example. if the user types "size", he sees the options "Scale
image - resize the image", "Set canvas size", and "Print size".
Selecting the first option invokes resize mode, as if the item "Image
/ Scale image" had been selected from the conventional menu.
The search can be invoked with a key combination like Control+F (or
perhaps just by typing?). I am not sure if the query box should be
visible all the time, or appear when the keys are pressed and
dissapear when the command is executed.
If it is the latter, it can replace the menu bar, to save window
space. The the list should not obscure too much of the image. So,
the size of the results box should be constrained, and a scrollbar
should appear if needed.
The history of executed commands (and their descriptions) appears in
reverse order the results box, if the user clicks on or presses the
Down arrow key in an empty query box.
What do you think?
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