Proposal: GUI Custom Resets for Toolbar Layouts

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Revision as of 17:26, 21 February 2017 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Separate settings for Toolbars and Preferences: Steve's modified suggestion)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to provide a GUI mechanism from within Audacity to enable the user to save and restore settings for Toolbar layout and Preferences.
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.


  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.
Work in Progress...


The Problem

There is no Audacity GUI available way for a user to save/restore their carefully created Audacity settings for Toolbars and Prefences, their Audacity environment(s).

The only workaround available is for the user to save the audacity.cfg file somewhere on the their file structure. Then subsequently copy this saved audacity.cfg back into the ...\Appdata\Roaming\Audacity folder (Windows file structure, similar exists on macOS and Linux). This may be deemed a little too technical, too inaccessible to many of our users.

This recent Forum posting was the trigger for this proposal.

The only reset currently availble in the GUI is a reset of the Toolbar layout - but that is only to the default settings.

Proposed Feature

Introduce commands for Save and Restore Settings to enable the user to create named configurations of Toolbars and Preferences. A "Factory Settings" for restore to default to be included.


Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter
  • Gale
  • Steve

Use Cases

  • There is no mechanism from within the Audacity GUI to easily restore a user's settings to a know preferred position. It is all too easy to mess up your settings (or want temporarily to deviate from your normal settings) so a simple traightforward way to achieve reset would be useful.

Details

Introduce commands for

  • Save Settings
    • This would pop up a dialog asking the user to name the setting
    • IF a name already in use the user would be asked if they want to Replace it
  • Restore Settings

This is like saving presets in effects.

The settings saved would effectively be both the Toolbar layout and the Preferences settings. This is easily achievable by saving the current audacity.cfg under the user's chosen name and restoring it later when required.

It would be useful if we could incorporate a "Factory Settings" for the default settings (as we do with presets for effects).

My current thinking is that the most appropriate menu for thees comannds would be the Edit Menu.

If we are worried about menu length we could have an entry in the Edit Menu for "Settings" and a sun-menu for Save and Restore.

Separate settings for Toolbars and Preferences

In theory we could have separate named settings for Toolbars and Prefererence, but I think it is simpler and easier for the user (and a developer) to convolve the two.

In this case we would

  • add a command View > Toolbars >Save Layout
  • extend View > Toolbars > Reset Toolbars which would invoke a submenu for restoring factory or user settings.
  • Also we would need View > Toolbars > Delete Layout only added to the menu when one or more custom layouts exist


Steve has suggested:

View > Toolbars > Reset to default replaced by

View >Toolbars > Reset > [default / custom1 / another / ...]

where [default /.../...] is an additional menu level (difficult to show in text).

It would be nice if this final menu level was sorted alphanumerically, so then the user could prefix a number to get their favourites at the top. The first item would always be "default".

Simlarly the Preferences panes could have added to them Save and Restore buttons. But we would need to decide if this action was per pane or for all preferences.

GUI Examples

Not required.

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • Global "hide/show toolbars" switch (1 votes) retains the same toolbar positions when unhid - preferably keyboard accessible too.
  • Reset Preferences: (15 votes) An easier way is needed to enable *and advertise* reset of Preferences (rather than have users mistakenly think uninstalling/reinstalling Audacity will correct a problem). Could instead/also be an executable to repair or remove settings in the install folder (see first run, deployment and uninstallation). It could be an item *in* Preferences but that creates confusion as you could both change preferences and negate the changes by enabling a reset. It could be a key-modified click when launching the Audacity executable.