About the graying out toolbox, dockers and elements not used when no
image is open, I think it breaks a functionality that is already present
in gimp: the ability to custumize the interface (moving dialogs to
dockers, changing the dimensions and position of elements, etc.)
That's, imo, a regression. Having to open an image to be able to
customize the interface adds an extra step that has no purpose.
The drop zone still makes me wonder. I can't avoid seeing it like the
photoshop gray background. You say that gimmicks should be avoided but
there is a button for the tip of the day at the bottom, wich apart of
being some kind of gimmick, changes the morphology of the status bar.
I wonder why the drop zone can't be divided in two blocks, one with the
tip of the day (with a switch to not sowing it again if selected) and
the suggested drop zone. But that would imply to create a sort of
splash, welcome screen that is not encouraged in the specification.
The empty drop zone without a label is no longer a gimmick, but now it's
just an empty space, and again, if that window is resizeable and the
toolboxes (even grayed out) have an always-on-top hint, it will look
like the gray photoshop background where many of the users will suppose
that image windows *should* be opened.
My question is if that really will improve the user experience, or
people will still be crying for the same, even after the change.
Obviously, this specification at least removes the menu from the
toolbox, wich is a great improvement.
In my honest oppinion, gimmicks aren't too evil. They help newcomers
and, if they can't be de-activated, don't bug advanced users too much.
A couple of days ago I tried the MSN messenger clone "emesene". They
used a very interesting idea for the UI customization.
There is a secition in the options where they placed a wireframe of the
UI blocks wich can be turned on or off with a single click (there is a
gray wireframe and the selected block is highlighted).
What about using that for the no-image window?
Change the empty window for a single window with construction blocks.
Default would be "drop zone", "common tasks", "tip of the day". Very
For advanced users, there could be a section in the prefs that allows to
simply turn-off those blocks, and get an empty, no-gimmicks drop zone.
Blocks may be "pluggable", so it would be possible to add new blocks to
customize the welcome window if it's needed. I can think of "recent
images lists", "acquire/ batch acquire", etc.
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