template stacks

Mark Waddingham mark at livecode.com
Fri Jul 28 13:33:36 EDT 2017

On 2017-07-28 19:20, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:
> 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.

Heh - well I perhaps got the wrong end of the stick of this thread then 

> 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.

Geez - tell me about it! Seriously we know its a problem. Like a fair 
few other problems, from the surface it seems like 'it should be easy to 
fix' but when you start pulling on that bit of string, you find it is 
almost never ending (the term 'Yak-Shave' springs to mind).

That being said Ali has been looking at this - we don't want a repeat of 
the 8.1.6-RC-2 'balls-up' - and that was entirely down to a spelling 
error which *perhaps* would not have happened had we had a more 
structured approach to professionals.

As long as preferences are done in a structured manner and you choose 
sensible defaults for them all, then there is no harm in having a lot of 
them. Indeed, I could take Sublime Text as an example. It has a huge 
array of preference settings - however, they have chosen sensible 
defaults for all of them, and they are really easy to modify (they are 
all stored in a JSON file - per user).

Indeed, I'd perhaps say that having fine control (via preferences) over 
all things where a human had to make an explicit choice in design turns 
a good tool into a great tool - particularly for those that consider 
them 'professional' in some manner or means. It allows them to tailor 
the environment to their explicit needs - as they understand more of 
what the environment can do.

Failing to provide such an ability means that you end up appealing to 
the 'lowest common denominator' in some sense - which might be fine when 
you start out in any tool, but as you mature you generally find that 
things start to irk. And as things start to irk, the tool becomes less 
enjoyable to use.

> 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).

Yes - I agree - this is just something we haven't got around to sorting 
out yet. (Okay so it might be a 'simple' thing, however in a sea of 
'simple' things, one still only has so much time so one has to 

> 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.

Indeed - they are - I perhaps conflated the two. However, it has 
produced an interesting point of dicussion...

If we can agree that it does make *some* sense to have preconfigured 
sizes in the New Stack menu (for the sake of argument at least - it is 
only real use in a measurable environment which can give us the numbers 
to know whether it does or does not make sense) - what could we do there 
to make it better. i.e. Provide the facility, without the downsides 
which you suggest (which are all entirely valid!).

Warmest Regards


Mark Waddingham ~ mark at livecode.com ~ http://www.livecode.com/
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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