Sidebar deck HIG discussion - calculated minimum-width vs. resize to collapse
V Stuart Foote
VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu
Mon Sep 14 17:08:51 UTC 2020
The Sidebar HIG<https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Guidelines/SideBar> -- is currently silent on behavior of width of the Deck and as a result we have issues like tdf#89984<https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=89984>
and ill-conceived fixed-width "lets return to src" discussion on tdf#90374<https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=90374>.
IIRC when the IBM Symphony "Property panel" contribution was merged with the OOo "Task pane" as src by Andre Fischer at Apache OpenOffice 4.0, and then picked up and merged for LibreOffice 4.2 (experimental at 4.1), the initial Deck behavior was that ALL decks would resize to some minimal width (i.e. exposing the last enabled control on a Content panel) and then cleanly collapse to the Tab-bar.
Subsequently reimplemented as a Glade .UI supported framework, we defined maximum-width, and minimum-width attributes available for a Deck, and since have had a mix of inconsistent behaviors--including of late dropping ability to resize the active Deck to point of collapse.
IMHO, removing ability to resize each deck to point of collapse, by imposing a minimum-width for each Deck based on its component controls was questionable. Rather than collapse, we now only provide the ability to close the Deck (from the Deck Title) keeping the Tab-bar open for use. That as supplemented by the 'Hide' & 'Show' thumb icons to fully collapse the Sidebar, and the 'Close sidebar' action on the SB's Configuration sub-menu.
That forced minimum width stripped user control of the the UI, even though we now allow users to customize their Sidebar settings, stateful and per module, and recorded into LO user profile for reuse.
Beleive HIG should promote Design for a minimum-width, but restore and promote ability for Deck(s) to be reduced to 'point of collapse'--which gives the better user experience. Users can scale their canvas, change views as prefered, and "control" the width of the Sidebar to their preference.
Yes, Decks should open to designed minimum-width, but only when no width has been set from user profile or current LO session. The UI should honor the width set per module, for each Deck.
In other words, allow the Content panels to be dragged narrower than minimum-width at any time--record that to User profile--and apply minimum-width when the Sidebar Customization 'Restore default' control is applied.
Aside from the Sidebar UI-UX "inconsistency" issues--Meta tdf#103459<https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=103459> needing HIG work, we do have implementation issues handling of Deck minimum-width, e.g. erratic scaling of the Deck at higher os/DE screen resolutions ( tdf#128243<https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=128243> ) .
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