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Old May 20, 2009, 11:53   #1
PaulBlay
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Window menus. Utility and difference in different port versions.

Note that that's "Window menus" not "Windows menus". Moved from other thread, as I promised.

I think that the window Menus (File, Windows, Options, Help) are under-utilised and that's probably because they aren't present in all port versions. (Although I'm not clear on exactly which port versions they are present on). I would like it if they were made available universally (as far as practically possible) and made to do useful stuff.

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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
(That basically applies to the File menu. The others do appear in both Gtk and SDL versions, and they're helpful to mouse users.)
OK, I've only compiled under one Linux version following instructions written here but I seem to recall that both X11 and Gtk source files were involved.

The "File" menu, as you noted, only allows "Save" and "Exit" in general adventuring mode and not even them when in a shop or otherwise away from that screen. "New" and "Open" are not available except when you've just started the game (and not, for instance, when you've just died).

The "Window" menu is pretty useful - although that raises the question of what people without it do to change tile size, etc.

I don't know when "Map" or "Activate Screensaver" are available from the Options menu, but I'd like to see all the options available from there. (Obviously you wouldn't even think about doing that until the Options menu itself actually existed in pretty much all ports).

The "Help" menu just produces an error message and tells you to use the online help. (Doesn't even tell you to press '?').
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Old May 20, 2009, 12:02   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulBlay View Post
Note that that's "Window menus" not "Windows menus". Moved from other thread, as I promised.

I think that the window Menus (File, Windows, Options, Help) are under-utilised and that's probably because they aren't present in all port versions. (Although I'm not clear on exactly which port versions they are present on). I would like it if they were made available universally (as far as practically possible) and made to do useful stuff.



OK, I've only compiled under one Linux version following instructions written here but I seem to recall that both X11 and Gtk source files were involved.

The "File" menu, as you noted, only allows "Save" and "Exit" in general adventuring mode and not even them when in a shop or otherwise away from that screen. "New" and "Open" are not available except when you've just started the game (and not, for instance, when you've just died).

The "Window" menu is pretty useful - although that raises the question of what people without it do to change tile size, etc.

I don't know when "Map" or "Activate Screensaver" are available from the Options menu, but I'd like to see all the options available from there. (Obviously you wouldn't even think about doing that until the Options menu itself actually existed in pretty much all ports).

The "Help" menu just produces an error message and tells you to use the online help. (Doesn't even tell you to press '?').
My policy on ports is basically to do what fits for the platform, and the port...

The X11 port has never had menus and it isn't worth the hassle of adding them—if people want menus, they can use the GTK port. The SDL port doesn't make use of platform-native stuff at all but does have its own bar across the top to tweak font settings and term visibility. The OS X port has menus, because that's what OS X apps do. I'm not sure what trying to make consistent a bunch of disparate ports on disparate platforms achieves, TBH.
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Old May 20, 2009, 13:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
The X11 port has never had menus
Well Windows never had menus, until the first time menus were added to the Windows port.

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and it isn't worth the hassle of adding them—if people want menus, they can use the GTK port.
I've read comments to the effect that "every *nix will support GTK nowadays". Is that really so? What does X11 offer that GTK doesn't? (except from not including menus).

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The SDL port doesn't make use of platform-native stuff at all but does have its own bar across the top to tweak font settings and term visibility.
But X11 doesn't. SDL is actually setting a precedent here in favour of menu(like) implementation on awkward ports.

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The OS X port has menus, because that's what OS X apps do.
And X11 apps don't?

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I'm not sure what trying to make consistent a bunch of disparate ports on disparate platforms achieves, TBH.
Not wanting the interface to be inconsistent across disparate ports was (IIRC) one of the reasons given for not changing the shop interface on Windows ports.
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Old May 20, 2009, 13:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulBlay View Post
Well Windows never had menus, until the first time menus were added to the Windows port.
I'm pretty sure they were there in the beginning.

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I've read comments to the effect that "every *nix will support GTK nowadays". Is that really so? What does X11 offer that GTK doesn't? (except from not including menus).
Just that. It doesn't rely on any toolkits or have any GUI faff; it's a straight-up terminal emulator.

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But X11 doesn't. SDL is actually setting a precedent here in favour of menu(like) implementation on awkward ports.

...

And X11 apps don't?
The rule is "don't fix it if it's not broken". People use the X11 port because they like its simplicity. Adding menus to it requires a lot of work for frankly little gain.

Quote:
Not wanting the interface to be inconsistent across disparate ports was (IIRC) one of the reasons given for not changing the shop interface on Windows ports.
The game interface is not the same as the port interface, though.
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Old May 20, 2009, 14:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
I'm pretty sure they were there in the beginning.
Ah, yes. The trick being that "Angband played on Windows" was actually "Angband for DOS" at first. That obviously didn't have menus.

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Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
The game interface is not the same as the port interface, though.
That seems like a pretty trivial quibble to me. If nothing else cross-port consistency means less port specific FAQs and help pages are needed.
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Old May 20, 2009, 14:17   #6
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Originally Posted by PaulBlay View Post
Ah, yes. The trick being that "Angband played on Windows" was actually "Angband for DOS" at first. That obviously didn't have menus.
The DOS port and the Windows port had quite different codebases; the old main-dos (and main-ibm, which I believe used the Allegro graphics library) were separate ports with their own code and lineage.
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Old May 20, 2009, 16:07   #7
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If I may interrupt , here's my point of view :
remove all the menus and move the options that were only available there to the ingame game interface, if that's possible.
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Old May 20, 2009, 16:33   #8
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remove all the menus and move the options that were only available there to the ingame game interface, if that's possible.
That would at least be consistent, and as such I'd support it (as one option). It would be a lot easier than the other option anyway.
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