[OSM-talk] JOSM user interface
tom at compton.nu
Wed Oct 10 09:37:12 BST 2007
In message <470C8B31.7060901 at dsl.pipex.com>
Chris Morley <c.morley at dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> 1) The autocomplete facility on the dialog for adding tags really gets
> in the way. When you start to type, say, a name, the fist possibility
> starting with the letter you have typed appears highlighted. But the
> letter(s) you have typed should not be highlighted - then you could, if
> you wanted, just keep typing. As it is at present your second letter
> replaces everything and you lose your first letter. Working around this
> bug is tedious. Because of it, I have been using an old JOSM version
> from before the bug appeared, but, with the change in the API, this is
> no longer possible.
This seems to be a Windows specific issue - it works fine on linux.
My suspicion is that it's something to do with the edit control and
Windows automatically clearing it when you start typing because of the
highlight. Maybe on linux AWT has to do the clearing itself and knows
not to in this case?
Basically on linux you get an incremental search behaviour and
everything works lovely ;-)
> 2) In the tag dialog the dropdown box doesn't always open to its full
> extent - sometimes just a single line, which is a pain for lists of
> highway types, for instance. (Incidentally, most user interfaces skimp
> on the size of dropdown lists unnecessarily.)
Never seen this - possibly Windows only again? I don't use the
dropdown much though so it might not be.
> 4) As Ben has pointed out on this list, it is not easy to remove a
> 'segment' from an existing way. Can I suggest it could be done by a
> procedure which feels like the opposite of adding a 'segment'. Adding is
> done by dragging from the last node of the (selected) way to an external
> node. The removal would be dragging in a reverse direction, from the
> last node to the second last node. At the other end, dragging from the
> second to the first node would remove the first node. For a closed way
> (first and last nodes the same), dragging from any node to an adjacent
> node would open the way. I think this way of working would be intuitive
> and make editing significantly easier.
I would have thought a more obvious user interface would be to allow
the delete tool (perhaps with a modifier key) to delete a node in a
way. Gets complicated if there are multiple ways using the node though.
The reverse dragging scheme just sounds wierd and highly non-obvious
to me though.
> 5) In the new version, re-use of nodes in multiple ways is likely to be
> more common, e.g a road, landuse areas on either side and an
> administrative boundary. Selecting a particular way from these four is
> difficult without a middle mouse button. I, and the vast majority of the
> world don't have a middle mose button. Alt click is now available and
> could be used to cycle through the multiple ways.
I'm not sure that Mac users (the only people without a middle button
of some sort as far as I know) are the vast majority of the world...
My main complaint with the current interface is the whole weird thing
of having to hold down control to be able to select from the popup.
> 6) The delete mode should not delete anything when you click the button.
> Deletion should occur only when you subsequently click an object.
I understand the logic, but it does mean that different tools behave
differently as other tools do act immediately on the current selection
when they are activated.
Actually are there any which still do? The old way tool did (by adding
selected segments to a new way). Maybe just a prompt before deleting
if there is a selection?
> User interfaces are very important in retaining participants in the
> project. Non-geeks expect high standards of interface and will be less
> likely to continue if they are continually frustrated. JOSM and the new
> API are huge achievements and I would not like to take anything away
> from these by these criticisms. I regret that I do not have the
> capability to implement these features myself.
Actually I suspect geeks demand higher standard - non-geeks are used
to computers being rubbish and more or less assume that is normal.
Tom Hughes (tom at compton.nu)
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