Death of the Application Browser

J. Landman Gay jacque at
Wed Dec 2 20:41:47 CET 2015

Well, in the interests of learning then:

On 12/2/2015 12:01 AM, Geoff Canyon wrote:
> I see a list of stacks/cards on the left. So there could be
> substantial scrolling to get to the stack/card you're looking for, right?

Yes, sometimes. But not as much as in the Project Browser because stacks 
and cards aren't included in the same list with controls, and because I 
can sort things in different ways to bring items of interest into a 
logical order. If I need to scroll, I always know where I'm at.

> Then the list on the right is a straightforward list of everything on the
> card: groups and controls. This is the same as Navigator, but much bulkier
> and without the ability to have multiple copies open at once. Is it even
> filterable/searchable?

Bulky: probably in the eye of the beholder. I prefer the spacing in the 
AB because my eyes aren't great and I find small, tightly packed text 
very hard to read. (Navigator is a problem for me in that respect, btw.) 
A related issue affects me in the PB: too much visual clutter, which 
again makes it difficult for me to locate things quickly. Suggestion for 
users like me: remove the showLines and increase the textheight in all 
the lists.

The AB isn't searchable, but if I want that I use the Search dialog in 
the main menu. I rarely need it. Filtering is also unavailable, but it 
must be useful because it's included in the PB too. If I could get it to 
work I might be able to assess its value, but so far I'm naive about it.

> Screen space: Navigator collapses down to just its titlebar (and moves up
> out of the way)with a double-click, and all can be collapsed at once (while
> avoiding overlapping).

That's a nice touch. It adds to the number of clicks and manipulation 
necessary though for more than one navigator, and unfortunately, 
re-expanding a navigator covers up the others. I spent a little time 
yesterday seeing if I could simulate a list of stacks by lining up 
several navigators but it isn't very workable. Try opening 10+ 
navigators to see what I mean. I think it would work well for just a few 
instances though.

> Each Navigator can be re-targeted, so the only reason to close one is if
> you don't need that many open anymore. Navigator auto-updates if you choose.

Okay, good to know. As Hermann mentioned, he had to learn its 
capabilities by reading our discussion. That's a problem I have with 
Navigator too. Its actions can be obscure to the uninitiated and the 
documentation is hard to use because it covers up what it's explaining. 
There are some other usability issues that could benefit from a rework 
to make Navigator easier for new users to understand.

> And finally, bookmarks and saved sets are definitely your friend here.
> Although saved sets don't play well with the new ability to have multiple
> Navigators open at once :-/ I'm going to have to look at that.

I may find a use for those some day, it sounds cool, though I don't 
generally work with the same set of controls repeatedly. When would you 
use those?

I have two primary useage cases for the AB: seeing an overview of an 
unfamiliar stack and how its parts fit together (and navigating it,) and 
quickly accessing an object's Property Inspector or script (even when it 
isn't the selected object.) I use the AB in many other ways too, of 
course, but those are the two things I do the most. It's 3 clicks max to 
get to any object, and then a right-click to open the inspector or the 

Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at
HyperActive Software           |

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