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  • Suggestion: session manager (home page) open in new tab

    It is easier to close an unwanted session than to re-open a wanted session which has been overwritten accidentally. Therefore I suggest as an option (or even as normal procedure) that when the session manager is opened from the main Cirrus screen, it be in a new tab (or window, as opted) rather than overwriting the current session.

    Thanks.

    BTW, the name "Home page" doesn't work for me in this context, but never mind!

  • #2
    Use "New Tab" or "New Window" in the "Session" menu instead of "Home".
    Erik Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Thanks, Erik. I do use New Tab when I remember, but I think my underlying problem is that I'm still thinking of the Home command as a (bad) name for "Open Session Manager" which to me doesn't intuitively imply "... and overwrite the current session."

      Also I keep forgetting that a new tab does not open blank.... did it maybe open blank in an early alpha version?

      I should just remove the Alt+Home shortcut to block my new bad habit, which will help get me into the habit of just using Ctrl+T instead.

      Sorry for the semi-false alarm... I still think the Home Page metaphor is misleading, but that may just be me.

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      • #4
        The current behavior is intended to be similar to web browsers with the exception that our new page and home page both contain the "Home" view.
        Erik Scooter Software

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        • #5
          Yes, I do understand the intended analogy, and it's not unusual for a web browser to open the home page in a new tab/window, but I don't perceive BC's session manager as analogous to a web home page, which is why the metaphor doesn't work for me.... yet! It may yet grow on me. I'm not saying that it's an intrinsically bad analogy, just giving you a little perception feedback.

          Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jdmarch View Post
            I don't perceive BC's session manager as analogous to a web home page, which is why the metaphor doesn't work for me.... yet! It may yet grow on me.
            "Home" rubbed me the wrong way for a long time too...
            I'm used to it now...so it doesn't bother me much any more...

            I used to think that I would prefer that it just say "Session Manager".
            However, now that I take another look at the product, "Home" does seem to have some advantages:

            First, It is convenient to have a tidy little word like "Home" in tabs that do not have an active session. A longer name, like "Session Manager" would have less white-space on the tab and would be more difficult to recognize at a glance (because the longer name would tend to blend in with active session names).

            Second, The web analogy does give the user the impression that choosing the "Home" option will navigate them away from the current session they are in (which is important). If it were listed in the drop-down menu as "Session Manager", users might think they are launching a separate dialog.

            Personally, I would rather not use the Session menu at all. I would like to have "New Tab" stubs like IE7 has:


            When I want a new session, I just click on a "New Tab" stub and it becomes a new tab preloaded with the Session Manager "Home" window.
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            • #7
              Good points. Thanks, Michael.

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              • #8
                Regarding the "New Tab" stub idea...

                Specifically, I would always like to see the stub if a session was opened via the Session Manager, but not when opened via the command line.

                In other words, I wouldn't want to see the tab stub when I am in a stand-alone Version Control compare or merge session. However, once I open a new tab, a new tab stub would always be present until the user closes all of the active session tabs (at which point they would be back at the "home" screen without a "New Tab" stub).
                BC v4.0.7 build 19761
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                • #9
                  The cause of the confusion revealed

                  Originally posted by Erik View Post
                  The current behavior is intended to be similar to web browsers with the exception that our new page and home page both contain the "Home" view.
                  Oh, that explains a lot... except why a window to do certain activities in an application would have any correspondence to a home page in a browser. One does't choose things to "do" from a home page - a page is a document, and only occasionally a document that represents a (web) application.

                  I'm sorry but I think the analogy is a bad choice, but at least it explains why I have trouble with the "home" choice in Cirrus disappearing, or (vice versa) replacing an existing session. Sessions and the home "view" are not documents! What they are is interfaces to perform actions - a document in a browser may try to perform that function, and try to "mimic" an application. Now while it's understandable that web applications (usually implemented as a series of interactive documents) try to mimic desktop applications, it's really weird when a desktop application tries to model itself on what is essentially a document reading interface (the browser).

                  Such an analogy will just never work for me - I don't even have a "home" in any browser (and I use many browsers): for me, in a browser, "home" is nothing at all, which means I configure it as "blank". In an application, that's different - it's natural to start from some "base" from where actions can be initiated and configurations and settings can be done. That's what "home" in Cirrus means to me, and why I in my mind I call it a "launch pad": the place from where I "launch" activities in the program. Even though you call it "home", in my mind I call it what I use it for, never "home"; it never even occurred to me that it would be modeled after browser behavior since I don't have a "home" in any browser.

                  So: don't model one (your) application on another with totally, absolutely, wildly different functionality, let alone possible content of another ("home" is not part of a browser, it's just a document you choose to start with, or not). Model your application on the functionality itself. If you want an analogy: form follows function - commonly used as a design principle in architecture, but it's quite applicable to software as well.

                  Beyond Compare is not a browser, and it shouldn't try to behave like one.

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                  • #10
                    I would agree that I am not fond of applications that try to pose as a web browser. Ummm MS Money comes to mind. I'm currently a Quicken user but I have many grips with their UI as well. What I find is that web page paradigms complicate keyboard navigation or all out prevent it. I'm a heavily keyboard driven user. I think that an intelligently designed heirarchy of forms is way more usable than a do it all web page. Just my observation, but it seems that web 2.0 sites have taken note of this and have started to implement their own pop up forms with limited controls and easy navigation. However some do it better than others. I think that Scooter has done a good job of maintaining "keyboard mobility" but I would caution not to take the paradign too far.

                    Cheers,
                    Jeff

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                    • #11
                      Tim T,

                      Have you given any thought to the "New Tab" stub idea and screenshot I proposed?
                      I am curious as to what you think about it.
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                      • #12
                        Yes, and we still may implement it. We considered it back when we first started working on the tabbed interface, and were looking at other tab implementations.

                        I think the basic idea is fine -- a convenient and visible way to add a tab. I want to think more about the subtle ramifications of having a tab that always has the home page on it. I think some people may come to think of it as the Home tab rather than a New Tab. Which is fine, but causes me to consider having an always-visible Home tab instead, that launches other tabs or windows.

                        I'm trying to absorb everyone's comments about the Home page and window/tab functionality, to see if I can come up with a new model that feels more natural.
                        Tim T Scooter Software

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                        • #13
                          Launch pad & tab stubs (best of both worlds)???

                          Originally posted by Tim View Post
                          I think some people may come to think of it as the Home tab rather than a New Tab. Which is fine, but causes me to consider having an always-visible Home tab instead, that launches other tabs or windows.
                          I've thought about keeping the initial (i.e. left-most) Tab as a "session launcher", but I don't like the idea. I don't want to have to go to a different tab to define how a new tab session will be opened. It would be cumbersome. I think your current concept of being able to work in a new tab you create right away is an excellent idea...and would be even better if mouse driven users did not have to visit the Session menu to activate one.

                          That being said, I don't think it rules out having a separate BC2-like "Session Manager" dialog (or a "Launch Pad" as Marjolein would put it) for those that would prefer it. Let the user configure a start-up option to open the launch pad on startup instead of just going to the "home" screen in a new window. Let the user keep the launch pad open if they wish. In fact, I would invite Marjolein (and anyone else passionate about a separate launch pad, for that matter) to provide mock-ups of what they envision a perfect launch pad would look like...and function. Even sessions opened with a separate launch pad could have the new tab stubs. I don't think they would be mutually exclusive.
                          Last edited by Michael Bulgrien; 11-Jan-2008, 08:51 AM.
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                          • #14
                            BTW, when I'm in mouse-mode, I right-click in the tab area and select New Tab (rather than using the Session menu). I know it's still two clicks rather than one, but I wanted to be sure you were aware of it.
                            Tim T Scooter Software

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, Tim. I do know that it is there. I do not always remember to use it.
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