App Browser versus Project Browser

J. Landman Gay jacque at
Wed Oct 7 16:32:40 EDT 2015

I remembered another issue that prevents me from using the PB: there is 
no card number visible. This is actually a big deal for me. My stacks do 
not have named cards, they are all IDs. In the AB I can see the card 
number which is also displayed in my stack or, sometimes, in the 
titlebar. That's how I locate cards, it's quick to spot a card number in 
the AB. The PB doesn't show card numbers at all, so there is no way to 
find a card without physically counting from the top in the collapsed list.

On 10/7/2015 2:58 PM, J. Landman Gay wrote:
> On 10/7/2015 1:22 PM, Mark Waddingham wrote:
>> Far more useful would be constructive criticism of both the Project
>> Browser and the Application Browser. It does seem a little 'silly' to
>> maintain two things which serve essentially the same purpose - so Ali's
>> idea is perhaps the best way forward - what is it that is good and bad
>> about both and is it possible to design something which everybody would
>> be happy with?
> The issues would probably become clear if you open, say, 10 large
> stacks, each with 50 cards or more, containing dozens of controls per
> card. Since my primary project for the last 2 years uses that setup, I
> haven't been able to use the Project Browser because it isn't practical.
> 1. The hierarchical organization of the App Browser (AB) is
> indispensable and is the main reason I stay with it. I can see at a
> glance how to drill down to the single object I am looking for and how
> objects are organized on each card by group and layer order. It is by
> far the fastest way to understand how a set of stacks is internally
> structured. The long, scrolling list in the Project Browser (PB) can't
> display the structure as clearly because it is all linear. Multiple
> cards with many objects will run off the top and bottom of the PB window
> and you can't see the overall organization.
> 2. It is difficult in the PB to quickly find a specific object. If you
> want to know the name of an object on some other card, you have to
> collapse the current card, scroll through 50 cards to find the one
> you're looking for (and if you didn't collapse those already, the
> scrolling is interminable,) expand it, scroll through the objects to
> find the one you want (note the name because it's going to be a long
> trip to find it again,) collapse that card, scroll (forever) again to
> find the card you started with, expand it, find the original object
> again, and continue. In AB, I can just look at the left-hand pane and
> see the name of the target card, click it, note the name of the object,
> then click back where I was. If the AB is sized tall enough to hold 50
> lines of text, I don't have to do much scrolling at all. If I do need to
> scroll, it's minimal because at least 25-30 cards are always visible at
> once.
> 2. In the AB I can click on any header to view the organization in many
> ways, and I have a choice of which columns I want to display. If I want
> to work only with images, or fields, I can bunch them together in the
> list by type and they are quickly accessible while still allowing me to
> see the other objects on the card. I frequently require info on layering
> order, one click and I have that. I use the ID column extensively. In PB
> I have to type in a filter string to isolate by object type, and then I
> can no longer see any other objects, so if I need some other info I have
> to remove the filter, find what I want, then reinstate the original
> filter. PB does not offer a way to identify an object ID at all, as far
> as I can see, and I need that all the time. (But you could turn off
> those distracting ID tooltips for sure.)
> 3. Visually, the PB is too cluttered to be quickly scanned. The
> checkmarks in the AB are more useful. In the AB is very easy to see, for
> example, which objects are invisible by simply looking for "gaps" in the
> checkmark column. In the PB I have to examine each object individually
> because the visual difference between the enabled and disabled "eye"
> image is not distinct enough, and even if it were, there's that
> scrolling issue again to see all the objects. Also, there is no single
> column to scan -- the lock icon is interspersed so you have to mentally
> learn to skip over every other icon.
> 4. I have turned off thumbnails in the PB because with hundreds of
> objects or more, the time required for it to constantly update is (or at
> least, was) unacceptable. Even without thumbnails, it performs much
> slower than the AB. There is also the issue of visual clutter (see
> below) which is main reason I turned off thumbnails on day one.
> Thumbnails also double the amount of scrolling you have to do to find
> things.
> 5. In the PB there is no clear delineation between cards and substacks.
> Both are left-aligned at the same visual depth. In the AB, all stacks
> are in the left pane, with substacks indented under their mainstack.
> Also, in the PB, the stack you are inspecting scrolls off the top of the
> window, so you are never sure which stack owns the cards that are
> currently displayed. This is a big issue in my project, because all the
> stacks are clones of each other and cards have the same names (usually
> just IDs.) In the AB I can immediately see which stack owns the card
> because the card is highlighted in the left-pane list under its
> easily-viewable owner. Even if I have to scroll to see the stack name,
> the card I'm working with remains selected and its objects remain visible.
> 6. The icons at the bottom of the PB are so tiny on my screen that they
> are difficult to recognize (and my eyesight isn't great anyway.) I have
> to use the tooltips. That takes too long, so I just open the property
> inspector or use the menu items instead. I suppose with some use I'd
> memorize what each icon does, but the other issues have prevented me
> from becoming familiar enough with it.
> That's just what I remember from the few days I tried to work with it.
> I'm not convinced that the current design can accomodate my work style
> unless it can at least be revised to show a columnar view rather than a
> linear one. What I would have preferred is an update for the few
> glitches in the AB (mainly it doesn't always refresh automatically, and
> those blinking tooltips are positively aggressive) and give it a new
> coat of paint if you think it looks too dated. Its plain text layout
> with clear checkmarks is much easier for me to work with. I do like how
> you can change layering order by dragging in the PB, that would be a
> nice addition to the AB.

Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at
HyperActive Software           |

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