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How do you want it to work?
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SysOp
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Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 6634

Post How do you want it to work? Reply with quote
Hi all,

We are looking for how to enhance the usability of SQL Assistant's user interface and we would like to hear from you how to improve SQL Assistant's menus.

1. Do you find them good for your day to day activities, or too heavy, overloaded with too many things?
2. If you are mostly ok with the current menus, but think some commands can be reorganized for more efficiency, please describe how you would wan to see it done.
3. Do you like so called "personalized" menus with most frequently used commands shown only as in the pre-ribbon versions of MS Office?
4. Would you like to see bigger and wider menus with large icons as in Windows 10 start menu?
5. Or maybe have dockable/pinned commands in a special side sliding or unfolding pane that can be used instead of or in addition to a menu?
6. Other types of menu based or non-menu interfaces other than MS Office like ribbons?


Your advice will be greatly appreciated

Sincerely,
The SQL Assistant's development team


Last edited by SysOp on Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total
Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:58 pm View user's profile Send private message
gemisigo



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 1441

Post Reply with quote
#1. Personally, I hardly ever use the SQL Assistant menu for two reasons. The first reason is that it is crowded and takes time to find what I need even after a short training on spotting it. I tried to reduce the number of items by removing few of them but it always turned out the one I removed last was exactly the one I needed next. The same applies to the context menu as well. Perhaps if the menu was context sensitive, so that it hides certain items that have no meaning in different parts of the code would help. The second reason is I prefer hotkeys. Using the menu requires either bringing it forth with a key and then pressing other keys many times to select the desired menu/submenu item or switching to the mouse. Both of these are painfully slow compared to hotkeys. And while it's only the matter of personal preference, I especially despise switching to the mouse which I judge to be the largest cumulative waste of time when writing (any kind of) code. On the other hand, hotkeys need knowing them to be effective, so there's a trade-off in the learning curve. Nevertheless, hotkeys are far more superior in the long run. It helps a lot that the menu shows the hotkeys.

#2. I tried to reorganize them but that still didn't work, I simply cannot push everything to the top and there's no such an option that makes it only show what I currently want.

#5. I imagine these could work but still not certain about them being useful enough to be worthy of the development effort to replace/complement the menus.

#6. I'm really sad SA cannot work with my favorite editor (Sublime Text 3) because that one has some remarkably useful features. Most of them are not relevant here since these points are about the user interface, though they might deserve their own topic (yes, I think they're that awesome :) One of those features, however, is exactly the kind of approach I believe would be much more versatile than menus, and that is the command palette. It shows a close relation to the snippets. Basically, it's a single-line command prompt that is invoked by a hotkey and allows quick entering of commands that would be otherwise only accessible through a menu/hotkeys. It's quick because it uses filtering of the commands similar to Name Contains Characters from Key String, Order by Best Match does on database objects and the effectivity of that degrades exponentially slower (on an arbitrarily large number of commands) than it does with menus or even hotkeys. I suggest you check it out. With some practice it makes the menus look... well, sluggish at their best... It's quite efficient.
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:16 am View user's profile Send private message
SysOp
Site Admin


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 6634

Post Reply with quote
Thank you very much for your input. Do I get it correctly, that the command palette you are referring to is like a searchable menu? Pressing CTRL + SHIFT + P opens popup with commands and instant as you type filter?
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:43 am View user's profile Send private message
gemisigo



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 1441

Post Reply with quote
SysOp wrote:
Thank you very much for your input. Do I get it correctly, that the command palette you are referring to is like a searchable menu? Pressing CTRL + SHIFT + P opens popup with commands and instant as you type filter?


Sort of. Really, it is much more than that there, I think (almost?) everything that can be done through menu items or hotkeys can be done through the command palette too. It allows quick access to functions/features of the installed packages/plugins as well, regardless of them being exposed in a menu or having a hotkey or not. Though that part is not relevant here as SA does not support user created plugins (yet?). But basically yes, it can be used as a searchable menu.
Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:57 am View user's profile Send private message
SysOp
Site Admin


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 6634

Post Reply with quote
Awesome. Thank you! I will pass it on.
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:07 am View user's profile Send private message
SysOp
Site Admin


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 6634

Post Reply with quote
Something similar to the Command Palette will be available in the next major version, which we expect by the end of Q2.
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:45 am View user's profile Send private message
gemisigo



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 1441

Post Reply with quote
Great! I'm looking forward to it. I'm also glad you've found the idea worthwhile.
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:19 am View user's profile Send private message
Mindflux



Joined: 25 May 2013
Posts: 643
Country: United States

Post Reply with quote
I don't have much to say on this matter (I didn't see the thread until today anyway) but please don't give SQL Assistant the "Windows 10" treatment. Tiles/flat UI and the like.

Yeah the context menu can be cumbersome and I also don't use it a lot if I know of the appropriate hotkey... The Command Palette (Visual Studio Code uses something like this as well) would be a welcome addition and/or some sort of 'favorite actions' menu.

Thanks for all you do!
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:42 am View user's profile Send private message
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