QuickSelect combo-boxes

Could Navigating large lists of objects (to select from existing objects) be streamlined with a combo-box?

The basic concept is that the most likely object you will select next is among the objects you’ve recently selected or those you’ve Bookmarked.

The drop-down menu could be populated from the combined lists of the Go menu & Bookmark menu for the object category. Possibly include any current extended selections in the Category if the selection count is 10 or less.) If the Combo-box is for the Person category, the Home Person would often be helpful & probably be top of the list.

Where this would probably be most helpful is where there are Type-in fields for IDs… like in the Filter Gramplet or when setting parameters for Filter Rules. But for ID drop down menus the menu item should include the ID & a human recognizable label.


Drop-down Lists & Combo Boxes (from Microsoft docs)

The Gramps user interface uses the Gtk+ widget toolkit. Have a look at the widget gallery to see the options available to us.

There is a Gtk ComboBox widget.

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One of the major issues would be the need to have more than one column of information in a search.

I use the example “Washington” as a place name. To select the correct Washington, the additional columns of Type and Title are often needed to ensure selecting the desired location.

Would these Drop-Down Combo boxes be able to handle this? And would their utilization be faster than the current search options?

This would have to have a very restricted number of line items for such a menu feature to work with a Combo-box efficiently.

If you look at the current ‘Go’ & ‘Bookmark’ menus, the lists are explicit (having the ID in square brackets followed by the compounded name), fast & have scrolling. It would still be a subset… so the current ‘Select’ button would need to remain to give access to the whole set.

Here’s a mockup for a Person ID selection (People category includes an extra section: one line item for the Home Person as a variable & the other is the Home Person as its current ID value):

It seems like it would fit in for selecting IDs in Filter Gramplets and IDs for Rules in Custom filters (for any Category)… but there are limited opportunities in the other parts of the interface. (“Add Existing/Share” dialogs is another place where it would work.)

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Speaking for myself, I would either know the ID number (having copied it from the person’s record) to enter directly into the filter parameter or would need to do a search by the name.

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The “combo-box plus Search button” would continue to support both those input modalities too. Usage would be unchanged:

:arrow_up: Paste/type the ID directly into the text portion of the combox-box. (Ignore the new drop-down menu button)

:arrow_up: Click the Search button

There’s a Gramps Enhancement Proposal from 2017 that suggests similar functionality. But the interface proposed is non-standard and causes more screen clutter. A pop-up menu integrates more cleanly than a separate switch which requires interface re-freshing with different content.

GEPS 041: New Selector