Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 5 years ago

#66 assigned enhancement

Modernize the UI

Reported by: John Smith Owned by: PulkoMandy
Priority: major Milestone: 3.0
Component: GrafX2 Version: 2.4
Keywords: Cc:


The problem I have with Grafx2 is that it tries to be D-paint to the point of replicating unusable by modern standards UI. The tools are great, concepts (brushes, etc.) are simply amazing, but for anyone coming from tools like GraphicsGale or Aseprite, which are frankly functionally inferior, they simply bounce because of the interface, nothing else.

Yes, you can keep D-Paint philosophy and spirit, even its amazing shortcuts while having a modern interface. Just look at Pro Motion. And no, I'm not using PM because it's too damn expensive.

You should really think about modernizing the interface. All D-paint veterans are using shortcuts anyway while new users would benefit from more usable UI.

Change History (8)

comment:1 by PulkoMandy, 7 years ago

Actually this is mostly a technical limitation. Remember that this code was written for MS-DOS originally, and the developers had to grow their own UI library. I'm fine with modernizing, but it means rewriting pretty much everything. Moreover, I would like to keep maximal portability (to Atari, Amiga, etc), which means few portable toolkits are an option here.

I'm considering as a possible choice, as well as IUP ( IUP brings us native widgets and is not too hard to port to other platforms, but it would mean a complete rewrite of GrafX2 (GrafX3?). And I don't have enough time to spare for that.

comment:2 by John Smith, 7 years ago

Oh, I'm not talking about changing UI lib, I'm happy with how it look. Just make it look, in terms of design, more like regular Windows program. You don't have to change UI lib, just move stuff around until it has stuff like menus, toolbars, windows (dockable or floating, don't really care) and so on.

Good sources of inspiration in terms of UI would be Swanky Paint and EvilPixie.

comment:3 by PulkoMandy, 7 years ago

The UI toolkit cannot do menus. It does windows and a single toolbar already (ok, the toolbar is at the bottom rather than the top of the window). In the SDL2 branch I've experimented with making the windows "real" windows instead of nested inside the main program, but I never completed this work, and the SDL2 version is quite broken for now anyway, for other reasons.

I think the current UI provides fast access to everything needed and I feel a menu would only make things less convenient to navigate. Everything is within reach of a single button click (or a customizable keyboard shortcut). I don't think a menu would make things easier or more convenient. Even Windows did remove menus in current version to have this "ribbon" thing instead.

Let's stick with our toolbar. Native windows would be nice, still, but we need to finish the work on getting SDL2 to work first.

comment:4 by PulkoMandy, 6 years ago

Milestone: 2.52.6

comment:5 by PulkoMandy, 6 years ago

Owner: changed from pulkomandy to PulkoMandy
Status: newassigned

comment:6 by Thomas Bernard, 6 years ago

Milestone: 2.63.0

comment:7 by brightcolorguy@…, 5 years ago

I actually feel the UI is in some terms more modern than say Promotion that is very old style (I am using it a lot and have been part of a lot of feature request for it, still the UI in some terms is horrible. Promotion has the same issue in itself that it\s hard to change because of the underlying tech)

(on a side note calling Promotion damn expensive when it costs under 40USD is a joke - its super cheap)

Looking at a lot of new software like Sketch, iPad Based like ProCreate etc they are moving to UI that share more with DPaint and GrafX2. Fixed non configurable panels that can easily be turned on and off. And shortcut or touchbased actions and good interaction. In a sense its a return to the root of Production software compared to cluttered UI that is too configurable.

I think instead the current one could be improved just through some smaller tweaks in layout and icons (if needed) Regardless of if its drawn using current UI Lib or SDL or whatever.

I myself is a long time graphics design and UX/UI designer so I am glad to help out with some concepts or mockups for smaller proposals of UI tweaks. If that would be welcome?

comment:8 by Philip Linde, 5 years ago

As a non-Windows user I see no advantage of making it look more like a Windows program. Frankly, I'm not concerned at all with how it looks for as long as it is obvious what widgets and icons do.

There are however possibly improvements to interaction that I think are small in scope and can be made incrementally. It is perhaps better to create tickets for those individually rather than requesting a loosely defined "modernization".

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