template stacks

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Fri Jul 28 13:20:31 EDT 2017

Mark Waddingham wrote:

 > On 2017-07-28 18:01, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:
 >> But those seem pretty rare to me.  On desktop my windows tend to be
 >> different sizes, and on mobile it's important that they be responsive
 >> to any screen size; in either case the specific dimensions at the
 >> moment of creation seem of little value.
 > All of this is very true... However, Richard, how long have you been
 > designing/programming/building apps for?

I don't matter.  What matters is how long a new user has been using 
software to want to begin making it.  It doesn't takes long to observe 
that on desktop windows are most frequently different sizes, and mobile 
devices come in different sizes.

I haven't suggested we get rid of the device-oriented sizes, only 
questioning the utility of creating and maintaining a prefs setting for 
the Default size.

We already have prefs for controls so maybe it doesn't matter so much. 
But the prefs file has become such a source of pervasive brittleness 
(how often is ditching the prefs file presented as the answer to a 
surprisingly wide range of reported issues?) I just find myself 
increasingly pondering whether some of these things need to be 
preferences at all.

I won't bother me one way or another, since like Klaus and Mark Wieder I 
make new stacks from a custom plug-in.  If there are enough folks who 
find it valuable to makes desktop windows of a specific size, go for it. 
  I just don't see many apps that need that, so no matter what size the 
stack happens to be created at, most of the time they'll resize it as 
they work.  It doesn't take a seasoned professional to see when you've 
run out of room in a window. :)

 > A new user coming to a programming environment (of any kind) is
 > usually presented with a wealth of choices. Every choice which can
 > at least be parameterised / or constrained as the first step makes
 > things 'easier' (in some sense).
 > This is particularly pertinent to mobile - for sure, all apps should
 > be able to adapt to all screen sizes. However, in reality when you
 > start out you have to choose one size. Hence the options in the New
 > Stack menu.

I see good value in providing a general size for phones and another for 
tablets.  Having those available in the New Stack submenu is not a bad 
thing at all.

Rather than dropping those altogether (which I've never advocated), it 
seems more helpful to the new user that we take full advantage of the 
opportunity to communicate up front just how useful and flexible 
LiveCode is.

One of LC's greatest strengths is the remarkable job you and the rest of 
the team do for multi-platform support.  So it seems a shame to convey 
to the new user that LiveCode is for iOS exclusively (the only options 
provided in the New Stack menu are brand-specific).

Another great thing your team has done is provide wonderful support for 
resolution independence, with good resize messaging for most aops and 
even fullScreenMode for easy implementation of presentation-style apps. 
These allow us to make one good UI that'll work great on all phones or 
tablets.  But rather than guide the user to how we actually do things, 
the Neew Stack menu items imply that they'll need to slavishly copy 
their layouts among any number of device-specific sizes.  Experienced 
users don't do that, and a new user won't stick around long enough to 
become an experienced user if they feel that's what they have to do.

LiveCode is powerful and flexible.  Let's celebrate that in ways that 
guide the user to good practice though enticingly useful UI options.

And again, those refinements to the mobile-specific items in the New 
Stack menu are a separate matter from settable dimensions for the 
Default size.  In practice, new and old users alike will learn as soon 
as they start laying out their controls that they will need different 
sizes for different windows.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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