The next update of WeatherLog, either 4.16 or 5.0 depending on how much I break in the process, will be focused mostly on updating and streaming the user interface. As part of this effort, here is a tentative list of changes:
- Use GTK’s header bars to integrate toolbars and menus into the header. This makes the UI more compact and visually better.
- Merge similar features. For example, Info, Tables, and Graphs dialogs all display in one window now.
- Merge related features. All of the dataset dialogs will be combined into a single dataset management dialog.
- Remove redundant features. Merge Datasets is gone, as it merely replicated part of Copy Data’s features. Data for Selected Dates is also removed; note that there is no equivalent to this in 4.16, but changes to Data Subset will make this redundant now.
- Move away from a reliance on menus. The goal is to have only one small GNOME-style application menu. This will be easy to do when the above changes are complete.
With these in mind, here’s some (early) screenshots to show changes. Here’s what the new main interface looks like. Note that this will definitely change (a few buttons/menus in the header will be added).
Click on the images for a full view.
For reference, here’s what the old main interface looks like:
The addition of a subtitle allows the title text to be made more readable and properly structured. Removing the toolbar and adding the buttons to the header saves vertical space. The same is true for the move from using a notebook (tabs) to separate data views to using a stack. Stacks also have the advantage of animating nicely (the views slide in from the side on change).
The Weather dialog looks quite nice now. As shown here, header bars don’t actually need titles if they’re not contextually necessary. In this case, putting the stack switcher in the place of the title functions perfectly clearly as a title. A label for the location is new as well, to make it bigger and more attention-getting. I’m not entirely happy with this still though. I’d really like to merge the location selection dialog into this, but I’m not sure how to visually do that best.
Data in Range selection dialog also shows quite an improvement. When using a header bar, action buttons are combined into the top, instead of being placed on their own on the bottom. This dialog also demonstrates a fairly minor but significant UI change: “cancel”/”close” buttons are no longer used.
The combined Info/Tables/Graph dialog uses the same idea as the Weather dialog.
As one more example, the Data Subset dialog shows the use of additional in-dialog buttons. There’s no reason those can’t be used with header bar -based dialogs, but sometimes it makes more sense to move buttons into the header. In this case, there used to be four buttons below the conditions list: “Remove”, “Reset”, “Close”, and “View”. “Close” was removed (see above), and “View” was moved up as it contextually didn’t make sense in it’s prior location; the buttons along the bottom were otherwise all meant for condition manipulation.