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ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/12/4 1:03
From Sweden
Posts: 124
I always see people mention MUI as being so much better
than ReAction on AW.net.

So I was thinking..

What is missing from ReAction?
What's wrong with the ReAction implmentation?
Is it possible to fix without a total rewrite?

I guess Intuition should be mentioned here aswell..
In another thread I read about the limiting menu system
of Amiga OS, which I gathered Intuition handles.
Is this fixable with a new ReAction menu class?

Also what is generally missing or wrong in AmigaOS4 GUI
that we (the users aswell as developers) want changed?

This is not a theme thread, so anything having to do with the
looks of OS4 is OT.

Personally I don't like the default resize handling of windows.
Resize should be able to done from all borders IMO instead
of from one corner. Yes I know of the commodity but it's not
the default way.

_________________
Best Regards,

Harry

[SOLD] µA1-C, 512MB, Antec Aria
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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Amigans Defender
Joined:
2006/11/17 22:40
From England
Posts: 2862
@samwel

The menus will probably need fixing within Intuition. Certainly one level of submenu is a little limiting at times, and creating menus it one static structure is not very flexible. Menus are pretty much the only reason to open gadtools.library directly these days.

So, we need a new menu API which supports multiple submenus and dynamic menu changes. The ability to easily add an icon to the left of the menu when not an MX or toggle item should ideally be added at the same time.

Probably only the first of these requires changes in Intuition. Intuition menus, if my memory serves, are linked list structures so dynamic changes ought to be possible already with the right API. The third item can be done already using image menu items, but is a lot of work. Intuition can add MX and check images to the left of items so allowing the user to specify an image for non-MX and check items is probably a lot easier within Intuition as the code is already there.

(edit: a quick look at the includes reveals that the Intuition menu structure doesn't even need changing for further sub-item levels, but of course Intuition will need updating to support these additional levels)

Also, copied from other thread regarding resize gadgets:

Quote:
It already is. Hold Ctrl+Shift (or Ctrl+Alt or Ctrl+LAmiga - I can never remember the combo) and you can resize from anywhere on the window - not just the corners.

Personally I hate the forced corner/border resize of Windows and Linux, it's too difficult to hit - but there should be some sort of option available to programmers which allows thing borders on both sides and a resize gadget - an overlaid resize gadget area, as Thomas suggested, sounds like a good compromise.

As an aside, allowing resize from any corner without holding a key down could be a good idea (perhaps as a GUI prefs option), but a proper resize gadget needs to stay.


The combo is Ctrl+Alt btw.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Supreme Council
Joined:
2006/11/16 19:25
From Sweden
Posts: 2990
@samwel

Drag&drop

_________________
Vacca foeda. Sum, ergo edo

Mr Bobo Cornwater
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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2007/1/26 21:48
From New Zealand
Posts: 1617
@orgin

Quote:

orgin wrote:
@samwel

Drag&drop


Yes, this is the single most important missing feature. It's responsible for some ugly GUI workarounds such as listview entry move up/down buttons for things that would be so much easier if drag and drop could be used instead.

Hans

_________________
http://hdrlab.org.nz/ - Amiga OS 4 projects, programming articles and more.
http://keasigmadelta.co.nz/ - more of my software.
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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/12/5 2:30
From Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 155
@thread

I know this is going to sound whiney but what really annoys me is checkable items that use a square-root symbol for a check. Please, for the love of Pete, get rid of that awful square-root and use a real symbol. It makes the preferences look like a throwback to some hokey DOS character application.

Are there any 'fatal' flaws in ReAction? Someone mentioned something in a MUI/ReAction flamefest about application-level UI threading possibly blocking the whole system if it fails? Is this true? If so that _is_ bad. Fixable?

And finally, we need a standard UI templating system, probably XML-based. Something along the lines of what was being previewed in Jamie's AVD suite, but an OS standard that any IDE can generate.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Quite a regular
Joined:
2009/5/1 17:57
From Czech Republic
Posts: 831
@samwel

Quote:

What is missing from ReAction?


The texteditor.gadget is rather underdeveloped and underdocumented. It's really painful to use it for tasks other than just putting some plain text in it.

Listbrowser.gadget sorely lacks drag and drop. Plus, automatic key navigation should be standard: so that you can browse through the listbrowser items using cursor keys - currently, you have to program this behaviour yourself.

There is a bug in speedbar.gadget (reported by centaurZ and me at utilitybase.com). The gadget area does not redraw properly upon GA_Disabled tag changes (even when using RefreshSetGadgetAttrs).

Certain programs could benefit from the existence of a rotary encoder gadget class (MUI has had it for years!). It's actually a variant of the slider but takes up less space and looks more natural for certain operations (think of a virtual synth program).

Certain classes lack documentation completely: center.gadget, thumblist.gadget.

A menu.class wrapping around the current Intuition menus would probably not mean a revolution in the menu system but could definitely make a programmer's life easier. See my project submission at http://www.openamiga.org/?function=viewproject&projectid=55

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Quite a regular
Joined:
2006/11/27 14:24
From Scarfskerry
Posts: 548
@samwel

> What is missing from ReAction?

The ability to snapshot window size and position for one.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2007/2/1 13:29
From Bergamo, Italy
Posts: 80
@samwel

A spreadsheet.gadget (also a basic one) and, of course, drag&drop.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/12/6 19:36
Posts: 370
@BillE

Quote:

BillE wrote:
@samwel

> What is missing from ReAction?

The ability to snapshot window size and position for one.


from a user POV I agree a lot to that one.

nice thread btw.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/12/4 23:15
Posts: 1482
@gregthecanuck

Quote:

I know this is going to sound whiney but what really annoys me is checkable items that use a square-root symbol for a check. Please, for the love of Pete, get rid of that awful square-root and use a real symbol. It makes the preferences look like a throwback to some hokey DOS character application.


That's not a square root symbol, it's a 'tick' anyway that's settable in the 'theme' so is OT

tick

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/12/4 23:15
Posts: 1482
@Hans

Quote:


Quote:
orgin wrote:
@samwel

Drag&drop

Yes, this is the single most important missing feature. It's responsible for some ugly GUI workarounds such as listview entry move up/down buttons for things that would be so much easier if drag and drop could be used instead.


Drag and drop inside an app is useful but not the kind I would like to see. Drag an drop of items between windows of different applications is more important. That's probably outside of reaction though, would have to be implmented at a lower level.

Dragging an html file outof a filer window into an AWeb window for example.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2007/3/30 17:39
Posts: 242
Hey ! Nice to see facts with which we can build a list for new features.

I just had a look at ReAction examples and I use MUI because it is more high-level (and portable). It seems that ReAction uses more static things when programming (menu was given as an example).

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2007/9/3 17:27
From France
Posts: 144
@samwel

ReAction lacks many high level features and from a programmer's POV, it is quite painful if you want to do complex GUIs since you have to handle a lot of redundant tasks yourself. Of course, all these limits are due to the original Intuition/BOOPSI design, of which RA is just an extension.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/12/4 23:15
Posts: 1482
@corto

menus are not strictly part of reaction. theres no need for them to be static either, nor any reason why they can't be dynamic, i'm not sure where people get that from.

I was going to post the AWeb code, but it's a bit long for a forum post.

That doesn't mean I think a reaction wrapper for menus is a bad idea though.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/12/4 23:15
Posts: 1482
@Chris

[quote]
and creating menus it one static structure is not very flexible. M
[quote]

nor even neccessary....

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Quite a regular
Joined:
2009/5/1 17:57
From Czech Republic
Posts: 831
@broadblues

Quote:

menus are not strictly part of reaction.


More precisely, menus are currently not handled by ReAction at all, apart from RA being able to process WMHI_MENUPICK messages.

Quote:

That doesn't mean I think a reaction wrapper for menus is a bad idea though.


At least it's a way to improve how menus are created and handled, without having to wait for a completely new menu system.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2007/3/30 17:39
Posts: 242
@broadblues

I am not an expert, I only tried ReAction once maybe 7 years ago ... The opinion of centaurz is very close to what I intented to say.

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/30 18:43
From Norway
Posts: 2416
@samwel

Would like to have it easier to use,less work for me,more on the os. And more modern features. Rounded buttons would be nice.

Oh,and updated and better documentation with more easy and small examples for everything. This goes for all,not only the gui docs.

_________________
Sam460 Lite
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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2009/10/6 18:09
From Italy
Posts: 312
@Thread
What we need the most in Amigaland is modern literature on programming the Amiga.
Veterans that started in 3.x (or earlier) were able to update their skills a bit at a time, but coming from the outside world it is very difficult to go through a billion pages of Amiga.Guide text (most of which is even outdated).
We need a thorough 2009/2010 edition of "Programming AmigaOS 4.1.1" or new programmers will never touch the thing (and God knows if we need more of them...).

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Re: ReAction, what is missing to make it a good GUI?
Just popping in
Joined:
2008/3/8 8:10
Posts: 41
Reaction is a v difficult system to work with. It's fine for a simple GUI but trying to do anything complex with it is a nightmare.

1) Dynamic GUI changes cause lock ups. Yes I know there have been some fixes in 4.1 but these lockups can still occur

2) Drag n drop built into objects. Drag and drop is possible but each object requires subclassing atm.

3) It is impossible to subclass some objects due to the lack of exposed properties so effectively you have to write your own gadgets from scratch, increasing development time considerably. Certain OS developers have the opinion that you should not be subclassing system gadgets. Why? No idea seems pretty insane to me

4) Some objects do not support the standard gadget tags but instead implement their own tag that does the same thing. Trial and error makes development time v slow.

5) Documentation is poor. I would like to see self documentating objects i.e. standard properties that return list of all supported tags, descriptions etc.

Oh I could go on forever about how bad Reaction is when compared to other GUI systems.

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