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Menu space saved for more apps

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-X-hellfire
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Menu space saved for more apps

Menu space saved for more apps

I noticed the other day that when I added a new Beta of Firefox my menuspace on the portableapps launcher had ran out and some was displayed on page 2 (the arrow on the bottom) which works and the interface looks really nice and minimalistic (which I love) which makes it abit awkward to use.

Here is what it looked like

current design
http://img148.imageshack.us/i/portableappscrop1ga.jpg/

(click on the image to zoom and show actual size)

Then I thought about it and made a Screencap of it and moved around the menusitems in Paint.net (a simple image editor) and got some ideas which might work if some of you smart people coded it.

new design
http://img576.imageshack.us/i/portableappscrop1gb.jpg/

(click on the image to zoom and show actual size)

1) This example has the OpenOffice.org 7 apps and menurows reduced to 3 but the first to still highlibgt the applibation and 2 and the with just the applications names and some nice looking rounded rectangle around them that gets highlighted when selected.

There could be a default selection on each menurow that gets highlighted when you move move to that row so you dont have to hit it right on. I you want to launch one of the others then you will have to navigate right on them. I´m sure it could be done nice and slick too if implemented with a creative mind.

2) Mouse selection row looks nice now but would have to be recoded somehow to select some hot spots when you hover hover some word ie. "Writer" in this example.

3) "Beta" version of the same application could have something like in the example of Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta.

4) Could it be done?

PS This is not the Category request that I read will come soon in pa2 but more a space-saving design-feature to still access more apps on one page.

depp.jones
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As very few apps consist of

As very few apps consist of more than one launcher that is a special case for almost no apps. You save space only with Open/Libre office and some apps that have a portable beta, too. Taken into account that some people have many apps installed (some even request an option to automatically download all available apps at once) the space saved is negligible compared to the efford needed to code that. I believe we won't see anything like that in short time.
I would rather prefer some kind of quick navigation like in windows explorer where you type the first few letters and the selection jumps to the according app (without the need to select a search box first, certainly). That would ease navigation a lot, especially with large app numbers (I have over 80 in my daily use setup and over 150 in my "repository drive").

-X-hellfire
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Well if you have 150 apps

Well if you have 150 apps then it´s not very useful but if you got like 30 apps then it might fit on one page.

I modified it some more and put the other Mozilla apps, Sunbird and Thunderbird, on one row below the Mozilla Firefox. The mediaplayers, VLC Media Player and Coolplayer, on one row. Changed the Firefox 3.6 to just Firefox (you will see the version if you hover over it)

http://img705.imageshack.us/i/portableappscrop1gg.jpg

Moved some icons to the right side for cleaner looking design (could remove them but then it loses some coolness)

The selection area for two apps on a row will be 50% each.
Changed the OpenOffice.org for the selection area for three apps on a row to be 33% each.

All in all freed up 7 rows and might fit 10 more apps on page 1 without making it look too cramped.

~~~

Ken Herbert
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Moving Coolplayer as you

Moving Coolplayer as you suggest, to me seems anti-intuitive. The app list is alphabetical for a reason, and if I wanted Cooplayer, I would look between apps starting with b and d. And with the 2.0 release set to have categories, what you are suggesting by having VLC and Coolplayer together on a line is just a quick and nasty interpretation of that.

Also, what happens with apps with long names? Or names that do fit until you set the menu to larger font size?

If you are wanting to save space with OpenOffice or LibreOffice, just hide the other parts like Writer, Calc, etc. and use the base app.

Also, the way you have VLC in the image, it takes up more than 50% of the line, so already your line sharing idea is somewhat broken by one of the apps for which you want it.

-X-hellfire
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The 50% row-design might be a

The 50% row-design might be a bad idea, as you saw with the VLC Media Player example but it would only show when you move the selectionbar to it and as long as its clear which one is selected is doesn´t matter but that could easily be remedied with some smart coding.

The alphabetical issue is kind of moot as long as you can figure out where they are but they could also be the other way around ie

Coolplayer+ . . . VLC Media Player

I don´t want to launch the OpenOffice.org selection guide if I just want to start a Writer document (but that just me) so it doesn´t solve anything just using the base app.

~~~

depp.jones
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That tends toward tampering

That tends toward tampering with the design to adjust the space, some apps use. IMHO at the expense of usability. You can archive what you suggest only with a complete redesign of the way how apps are displayed. There seem to be so many special treatments for single apps in your design that it becomes awkward to learn. How would you decide, which app should be grouped with what other? You seem to have no consistend guidelines for that. It's one thing to play with a imaging app to push icons around. Developing a consinstend way to display apps and keep up usability is a whole new story. You simply cannot create a new kind of operation for every special case but need to generalize operation...

If you want the apps to use less space, you need a complete new way to arrange them. Did you try alternate launchers like Appetizer or Cylog Toolbox? They mostly have enough options to compose your individual layout. But as I have tried many of those, I think you mostly sacrifice ease of use with every added option.

-X-hellfire
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Haven't tried Appetizer or

Haven't tried Appetizer or Cylog and I´m sure they fill some peoples needs fine but they are always visable on the desktop, yes?

I prefer to have a minimalistic design that is more like the portableapps launcher which is hidden and just pops up.

OT

I usually do some categories in windows xp taskbar,
i - for some normally installed windows apps.
p - portable apps, not in .paf format

it works but it ain´t pretty and some apps get buried in sub-menus (which you forget from time to time).

http://img826.imageshack.us/i/menuik.jpg

Would like to see bigger icons but I know it takes too much desktopspace and doesn't work with long text very well.

This is just an example of when apps get buried in categories.

~~~

ceciliaFX
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That's very interesting

X - not being a programmer I have no idea if this layout can be done but I like you thinking out of the box.

Maybe the program icons should always be to the left of the text to keep a consistent look....but that's not a complaint.

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-X-hellfire
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Thanks for the support Yes,

Thanks for the support Smile

Yes, but I tried it at first but thought it was abit distracting with the icons in the middle of the Lauchpad...

http://img814.imageshack.us/i/portableappscrop1gc.jpg

...and tried to tidy it up by moving them to the right and it got better but I agree it kind of destroys the sleek coolness of the original Portableapps lauchpad.

And if you remove the icons from the right side you will easily miss that there is another app on the row that can be launched.

It was just an idea... but it didn´t fly

~~~

3D1T0R
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IMHO: Not worth the effort

As Depp.Jones said, very few apps would benefit from this, and although I'm not going to claim that it would be impossible, it would be extremely difficult to implement, especially considering the way the PortableApps.com Platform is currently designed (22 buttons, top is up arrow, bottom is down arrow, middle 20 for apps, each only visible when usable)

I personally don't think that the little bit of space saved, and slightly ... different (I don't know if I'd say it's better, or cleaner, or what, but it is definitely different) look would be worth the time and effort of [re-]writing (and debugging) the code. The PortableApps.com Platform is evolving, it will receive a categorized app listing feature, and a full-fledged Updater/Installer system soon, I can see how it might be kind of nice to have those little sub-buttons for ... um sub-apps? or whatever you want to call them ... but it doesn't seem to me like it would be worth the trouble; lets let the developer(s)* work on finishing the features they've started.

*AFAIK the Platform is mainly developed by John T Haller, but I've heard rumors that there are a couple of other people that help.

~3D1T0R

-X-hellfire
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It would probably be

It would probably be difficult to handle the layout for some apps with long names that you want to put on single row ie if both have long similar names and at first get truncated at 50%.

If the selection is handled something similiar to the right-click favorite but there are probably some better way but it would require to develope some Edit-mode where you click on the apps you to coexist on a single row but what happens if you select four apps by mistake etc. It needs some error handling.

The OpenOffice.org apps are a special case the suits this design that could be handled almost auto-magically

~~~

3D1T0R
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"a special case", Worth it?

a special case the suits this design

I quote you on that, the need for this is "a Special Case", but from where I sit it looks like this whole design is very "Special Case" centric, not only designed mainly for those "Special Case" seven-button apps, but also apparently designed for the "Special Case" people who have 21-24 buttons worth of apps (and won't hide 1-4 of them), thus the amount of coding that would be necessary to make it work would IMO be a waste.

For your specific case, I would recommend that you hide whatever parts of OpenOffice.org you don't use on a regular basis, and access them through the main app button.

BTW: If you click "OpenOffice.org Portable" in the Menu and then click "Text Document" in there it's only one click more than clicking the "OpenOffice.org Writer Portable", so if you are really concerned with saving space on the PortableApps.com Menu, you'll just Right Click > Hide the OpenOffice.org subapp* buttons.

* Sorry, I really can't come up with anything better to call the non-main app buttons.

~3D1T0R

solanus
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The current menu layout is not really

The current menu layout is not really ideal for large numbers of apps. The original size was fine back in the beginning, when there were only ~20-30 official apps. For someone that has 150 apps, a display of only 20 at a time, with only scrolling as the way to navigate, is just too impractical.
Unless the interface is completely revamped, I don't see how we can practically force more apps onscreen without it being a design and ergonomic nightmare.
As depp.jones mentioned, there are apps that you can add that give you far better expandability of launchers; I use Cylog Toolbox all the time.
Perhaps this is a challenge for a dev to make an app that works directly with the Platform, but gives expanded launcher space. The key features would be that it is resizable, that it automatically detects apps installed in the correct places, and that it opens and closes with the platform. It wouldn't replace the platform, and wouldn't need to include all the other bells and whistles, like the updater, etc. but it would run concurrently with the platform. That way it would not interfere with the development and release of the platform itself.
Just a thought...

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-X-hellfire
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Yeah, I see this launcherpad

Yeah, I see this launcherpad has some designfeatures which makes it more suitable for 1 page launch (which is 20 apps now and might be 30 with some fiddling but as stated is only a few apps that would benefit from it). It is very easy to mess up a good clean design with a plethora of buttons, colors, too much text, misplaced buttons etc etc. Thats why Its good to just playaround first till you find someting acceptable and then you go get the smart guys to fix the coding.

Is it possible to make the scrollwheel on the mouse flip pages instead on one row at a time?

That would make it easier to find the right app if you got 150+ just by flipping the scrollwheel.

If the launcher has 150+ apps it might be nice if the first page had the cache of the 20 (30 with my design) most used apps then by flipping pages with the mousewheel see all of them in alphabetical order.

~~~

Ken Herbert
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I think defaulting the

I think defaulting the scroll-wheel to page scrolling would be too much, but an option to enable it might be a good idea.

Otherwise, Page Up/Down scrolls the menu page by page, as does double-clicking the scroll buttons.

3D1T0R
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Scroll speed option.

I'm not entirely certain, but I think John T Haller mentioned somewhere that there might be an option added at some point to change how many apps the scroll wheel scrolls by (it's currently 1 I think, but this would let you switch it to 3, or 5 for faster scrolling, or 19 if you wanted it to go a whole page at a time.)
Personally if I want to go a whole page down (or up) I use the "Page Down" (or "Page Up") key(s) on my KeyBoard.;)

~3D1T0R

John T. Haller
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Favorites and Categories

Set your frequently used apps as favorites and they show up first. I honestly don't know anyone that uses over 20 apps daily, local or portable.

Categories (coming soon) will allow you to organize larger collections better, but favorites still work well with that (far easier to click once on your most used than drill into each category for each app).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

tlr65
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saved space?

hm, I don't get the point in 1)
Yes, the menu is reorganized, but it produced whitespace and the number of menu entries is identical, isn't it?

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