Main menu shouldn't change

i just realized that the main menubar in gramps will sometimes change depending on what’s showing in the window. For example if I am in the Life Line Dependents chart, I get a new menu item “Bookmarks”. I don’t know if it happens in other circumstances.

This is, I think, a major GUI no-no. The main menu should never change unless you make some major change to the preferences to hide or show things (like the Developer menu in Safari). The changes should occur in the window.

I wonder too whether this is related to the frequent crashes I get with this chart view.


Gramps 5.1.3, MacOS.

The GUI is extremely contextual. That is not a ‘no-no’, it is one of the standard tenets of GUIs. In some applications with few enough key function, this can be done with dimming. But when the options are so extensive, it is normal to recover screen real estate by hiding & revealing the appropriate GUI elements.

The “no-no” is having the options shift their container or action with no visual feedback. But some modern GUIs reject that tenet too. (I had noted over many years that Japanese industrial software designers often utterly reject that such consistencies are even desireable. And Facebook book often makes it impossible to re-trace your steps.)

And the toolbar changes by View Category, not by modes [incorrect. Each view mode is permitted to add its own toolbar options] within that category. (Although the sidebar/bottombar customization is separately tied to each mode.) The navigating of the Active Person focus to the Home Person has value in the context of the People, Relationship, Charts, Geography categories but not the others.

Likewise, the Bookmarks are category specific.

Agreed, the GUI is supposed to have some contextual awareness, but that doesn’t extend to additions/deletions to the main menu (the one with File, Edit, View, etc). In my experience that never changes unless you go into the preferences and make a deliberate change (e.g., adding the Developer menu in Safari). This is at last true on a Mac. I wouldn’t know about Windows of Linux (and would not trust UI decisions in those OSes anyway. :wink:).

Fine, but not what I’m talking about.

Here’s a screen shot with two different chart types. You can see the Bookmarks menu item appear in one, but not the other. That one is the plugin for Life Line charts, so maybe that’s the issue: the 3rd-party plugin is doing something it shouldn’t.

If we’re going to discuss consistency, please limit examples to built-ins.

The 3rd party Add-ons are completely ungoverned by design oversight.

Graphs View is the only graph that does that.
Actually, the bookmark button shows if you actually have a bookmark but dont when you dont have one. When it shows it looks different when you press it than it do in other views, aka the add bookmark button and stuff isnt there.

You should contact the plugin creator, or make an issue on Mantis about this marked Graphs views if you want this changed.

I just learned about bookmarks in this thread, I didnt realize that was a thing before now, maybe I will start using it, maybe I wont

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One, the whole app should be consistent, not just the built-ins. Two, how do I tell that this is limited to a third-party plug in? My psychic abilities don’t work on compiled code.

Start with bookmarking your Home Person. A bookmark makes it less painful to restore the Home Person after you’ve temporarily reset them. (Right-clicking in the dead space of a person editor pops up a context menu that allows setting them as the Home Person.) Changing the Home Person to a cousin while you’re speaking on the phone or eMailing can simplify describing the Tree in a way that makes more sense to them.

Once you set the Status Bar to show the Relationship to the Home Person in the Display tab’s Preferences, Gramps will report direct relationships of the Active Person to the Home Person. And the Deep Connections gramplet will show the indirect ones.

Why would you need to be psychic when you had to actively install the Add-ons yourself? If you aren’t paying attention to what you’re installing after the basic package, then you need to re-think your working process. That is a risky mode of operation. (And Gramps is not compiled code. It is human readable uncompiled Python code. It compiles and caches on demand.)

Next, third parties make their own decisions on design and functionality. A lot of them are created because the contributor felt that the way the Gramps project developers chose to do something did not suit them. So they designed an alternative approach. If other people can be converted to that way of doing things, then the project may shift tracks.

So, other than new filter rules and reports, most 3rd party add-ons are going to violate the established paradigm.

In a similar vein, if the developers were enamored with the Mac design rules, then Gramps would probably have been a Mac project. But it was developed for Linux and ported to Windows and Mac.

Since we users hope for simultaneous releases across platforms, that means there cannot be any major adapting required to Tweak each release for the Mac or Windows GUI paradigm. We get the cross-platform adaptations as provided by the GTK Libraries – with minor patches for cross-compiling bugs. And the developers doing cross-platform support give feedback to the project architect. He has stated elsewhere that he tries to ensure that incompatible functions are avoided in the core.

So we users of other OSes have to adapt our expectations to that.

I agree that the GTK conversions for file Open/Save/Print dialogs are distinctly Linux-like and those adaptations could be much better. And the support for system variables & network resource access are… limited. But things like that are the responsibility of GTK development team, not the Gramps project.

If you want GTK to be more Mac-like then it would be more effective to make such suggestions in their Mac porting team for that project.

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Of course I know I added the plugin, but, as you’ve already pointed out, the Bookmarks concept is not limited to it. Hell, the first image in the wiki is a screenshot that shows it.

So yeah, it isn’t obvious at all that this is related to the plugin and frankly, I don’t think that it is since the Bookmark menu disappears in other contexts as well, as @Mihle already noted. In my case, it happened to be the plugin that made me realize it was happening, but it’s not there in the Dashboard either, for example.

So, as part of the basic Gramps functioning, the Bookmark menu comes and goes depending on context. I think that’s a bad idea; you and others don’t. That’s fine. Raising ideas like this is one of the points of the board, no?

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Of course. That’s why I’m responding with the underlying reasoning rather than just saying “I’m right” or being defensively derogatory.

And pointing out that changing GUI guidelines would only apply within the scope of the core & built-ins.

(Plus that we rely on the GTK & Tango guidelines with a Linux-centric development cycle with cross-platform support. Those seem to be the only immutable rules.)