Difference between revisions of "Talk:Completed Proposal Non-grayed-out editing commands"

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(No point having a CANCEL button. OK and CANCEL do the same thing here.)
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'''Select the audio for Normalize to use, Ctrl + A selects all, then try again.'''  
'''Select the audio for Normalize to use, Ctrl + A selects all, then try again.'''  
'''[Help]''' <span style="position:relative; left:60%"> '''[Cancel] [OK]'''</span>
'''[Help]''' <span style="position:relative; left:60%"> '''[OK]'''</span>

Revision as of 08:12, 12 May 2017

May 17 Discussion

  • Bill 07May2017: Gale wrote: "Is it not better people remain in ignorance and record their tapes and records than give up in frustration when blocked by a modal message they can't be bothered to deal with?" My answer is: No, it is not better. Users should learn to select then act. If we must enable menu commands that do nothing then we should tell the user why that command will do nothing. By all means give them a help button. If they are "frustrated" by having to learn to use the software properly, I have little sympathy.
  • Gale 08May17: I believe Bill was not around when we were inundated with dozens of users per week that just wanted to select all the track as shown in the USB turntable manual, and were defeated by a greyed out menu. That is why we implemented select all on none and why we cannot just leave the menu greyed.

    Bear in mind that Audacity is still bundled with many hundreds of USB tape/LP gizmos and a good proportion of these are older users with little prior computer experience and little patience. Many don't want to select anything other than all of one track. People don't usually fade in speech tapes.

    Giving such people a modal dialogue with no way to select all and not telling them inline how to do it will very obviously create problems for them and us, just not on the scale of a greyed out menu.

    Educating people who want to partial select is a separate issue. Those people can use the Help button in the proposed dialogue and read more.

  • Peter 07May17: A Help button shouldn't be hard, a link to the Manual (selection page) as we have with Timer Record and Analyze Contrast.

    Gale is trying to make this proposal depend upon auto-selection (or an improved version of autoselection). This should not be the case - this is a relatively simple proposal that simply states IF the user has no selection AND tries to effect an action that depends on having a selection THEN we pop an error messge (simple or complex).

    This proposal does not depend at all on how the selection is made either manually or automatically.

    If we wish to discuss extending autoselection then this should be done a different proposal or discussion thread - not this one.

  • Peter 09May17: I do not see autoselect removing any selcctions I have made - and that is not the reason for this proposal. The reason for this proposal is to help educate uses in the need for and usage of selection by popping the educational message if a user attempts to apply an effect without a selection.
  • Gale 09May17: Steve has frequently complained about Autoselection removing selections, including in his recent message about the user who moved focus into Selection Toolbar. With Autoselection on, make a selection, click in the application background to deselect the track, then apply an effect. Or see your Use Case in this Proposal about clicking Delete twice in error.

    There is currently only a fairly minor issue with some novices not knowing they can click and drag to make a partial selection. To educate them in the way you want, we make it harder for those who only need a full selection and for whom currently, autoselect does it for them. That is why those equally noob users need to be told inline how to select all and to be told that an autoselection method exists.

  • Peter 09May17: The Alernative-1 error message is indeed correct as worded. If you have autoselect turned on then you will never see this message.
  • Gale 09May17: The Alternative-1 message gives no mention of the Autoselect feature, so it is at best misleading. You have chosen to turn autoselect off by default despite it has saved countless user support requests, so I think the message should mention that the feature exists (user has to click Help to find out about it).
  • Peter 09May17: As someone who spends a lot of time WTFM I naturally want to encourage folk to RTFM. There is no onus on any user to click the Help button if thay dont't want to. And it is generally acknowledged in User Interface design circles that overlong verbose messages are counter-productive. But we can always extend our message here later if we think that is required (based on RL user feedback). and BTW "just RTFM" is just what we are proposing for Prefs dialogs and EGAs.
  • Gale 09May17: I answered your point about verbose messages already. Alterrnative-2 is by no means verbose or complex compared to the warning about uncompressed formats. I have no idea what RL and EGA are. My point is that those who figure how to select all after reading the message might not read the Help at all and so be denied autoselect which is currently on by default. IMO, those who can't partially select (whom I assume are the target of your message) are just as timid as those who can't Select All. Both need encouragement to read help, if we we need this proposal at all.
  • Peter 09May17: This proposal aways stated (in the Details section) that existing users would not have their pre-existing setting for autoselect changed - unless, that is, they choose the reset option on installation of manually purge their audacity.cfg file. For clarity I repeated that in the "Select All on None" H2 section at the bottom of this proposal.

12 May 2017 (Wording)

James 12May17: Gale you are currently suggesting this wording:

No Audio Selected

Cannot apply Normalize. Select the audio for it to use (for example, Ctrl + A to Select All), then try again.

Press 'Help' to learn more about selections and how to autoselect.

[Help] [Cancel] [OK]

Would you find this acceptable:

No Audio Selected

Select the audio for Normalize to use, Ctrl + A selects all, then try again.

[Help] [OK]

With less wording the help button, which can be Steve's '?' icon will be more visible, so more obvious that you can press it to learn more. The landing page is now much more readable too than when you first proposed a more wordy advice dialog. Grandpa with his USB turntable will still get the information about selecting all audio before applying the effect in the dialog.

Nov 16 Discussion and Earlier

  • James 05Nov16: Default setting needs to be off for this proposal to have any point. I'm moving discussion to this talk page so that we have a clear proposal on the front page. Any aspect not specified on the main page is doer decides, e.g. any unresolved choices, and indeed doer may deviate somewhat from the plan anyway.
  • Peter 04Nov16: maybe in the message we should tell them how to make a selection, maybe like the Status bar message. I would suggest "Click and drag in the waveform to select audio". Yes there are other ways, but click&drag is the basic fundamental way ad this in no intended to be a full-blown selection tutorial (we have the Manual for that - and hence the Help button in the dialog.
  • Steve 04Nov16: If we have a help button, I don't think that will be necessary. The few people that can't guess "click and drag like every other application" can click "Help". The more text, the less likely people are to read it. Verbose messages are counter-productive.
  • Peter 25Oct16: Note that this proposal explicitly does not address the issue of precisely what the preference setting for "Select all if none selected" should make selected, that is beyond the scope of this proposal.

Gale's comments


I notice a discrepancy in the Proposal:

  • "Users are often confused that their editing commands can appear grayed-out and inoperable. This occurs when they issue a command that relies on the presence of a selection and they have not made a selection.
  • "We do not explain in the dialog how to make a selection. The few users who can't guess".
    • Peter 05Nov16 James went on to say "... can click on Help. Verbose messages believed to be counterproductive" and I agree with him. Click&Drag is such a common selection procedure in many apps including things like Word, Excel, web editors etc. that I supectct that many users can guess how to make the selection. What they don't always understand when they are newbies is that they need a selection present for many commands to work. Hence this proposal for the "educational mesaage". They will pretty soon learn and then they will likely never seee the message ever again.
    • Steve 06Nov16 If we find that users find this kind of thing (image below) confusing, then we can add the prompt for these cases too. Personally I don't think our users are so clueless they need the prompt for such ("edit") cases.
    • Gale 06Nov16: It is rare that a noob would need a full selection in document editors - how often would you want to change the font of the entire document? Currently by default the Audacity user doesn't need a selection to operate on the whole track. This proposal seeks to impose that need by default. Note that we don't force a select all to export the entire track. The users are probably thinking along those lines when applying effects.
      • Peter 08Nov16: Newbies maybe, but I use Ctrl+A to select all an awful lot in Word - and mainly to change the default font that Microsoft imposes on me when I paste in documebts.


Makes Audacity harder to use for common, simple use cases

Normally, the most user-friendly preferences in an application are on by default. Currently, users working on a single track (probably many) have the convenience of not needing to select anything to apply an effect or edit.

  • Steve 06Nov16: Your case does not follow your premise. There are many cases where selecting all is NOT convenient, even for users working on a single track, for example: Fade In, Fade Out, Delete, Crossfade clips.

Users who want to do that are not told how to do so in the proposed dialogue. This will be unexpected for established users.

Of course, verbose dialogues run the risk of not being read properly. This is exactly why we made clicking an effect when paused Stop and Do the action rather than spawn a dialogue to be read.

  • Steve 06Nov16: "Stop and Do" is not equivalent to "Select all if none selected". They are superficially similar in that both address "greyed out menu items", but in the case of "Stop and Do" it is a binary decision: Do we allow the action, Yes or No?
In the case of there being no selection, there are multiple options: Does the user wish to apply the command to the end of the track, the start of the track, the current cursor position, the entire track, just the current clip, all clips in all audio tracks, all tracks of all kinds... As you have previously acknowledged, we have no way of knowing what the user actually wants to do.

Not even telling user how to do the key thing that stopped them working is terrible. See the suggestion below.

  • Steve 06Nov16: That's a false statement on multiple counts. The thing that has "paused" (not "stopped") their workflow is that they have not selected anything for the chosen command to act on. We tell the user they need to make a selection. If they need further help to be able to do that, a Help button is provided.
  • Peter 05Nov16 I know of no application (apart from Audacity) where an automatic "select all" is made for the user - Word and Excel cetainly don't, the web editor I am using right now doesn't and there are many other examples. And as I have pointed out to you before we create a problem by giving the user no visual cue that all of the project is auto-selected. Actually the project is not really auto-selectcted unless and until a command that depends on a selection is invoked - this is not what the wording states where it says "Select all audion in project, if none selected.

    Furthermore retaining the default "on" setting for "Select all ..." would totally defeat the object of this proposed change as newbies would then be extremely likely to see it. And even newbies don't always need everything selected, they often need a partial selection. And if they do the Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on Mac) is a pretty universal "select all" in all the applications I use, so I supect that most of our users (apart from the few totally computer-naive and computer-illiterate) are likely to kow and use a lot. And nobody is trying to take the "Select all ..." preference, that you seem to find so useful, away - you'll just need to turn it back "on" again.

  • Gale 06Nov16: As previously pointed out, Wavosaur and CoolEdit (single waveform view) do select all on none. I am sure there are others. I assume DAW's never do this but USB turntable users probably don't use DAW's.
    • Steve 06Nov16: CoolEdit Pro 2.1 does not "select all" by default, not even in wave edit mode. It has an option (off by default) to select the entire audio clip (unlike Audacity, CEP's wave edit view only supports one audio clip, and no other data), but even then it only applies to the channel(s) that are selected for editing. In contrast, "all" for Audacity includes as many audio clips, channels, tracks, labels, time and note tracks, as exist in the project. I agree that "select all 'audio' if none selected" could be a reasonable option for an audio editor that only supports one single audio clip, but we're not talking about that type of application, we're talking about Audacity.
    • Gale 06Nov16: Cool Edit Pro 2.0 did select all by default in waveform view. We could improve "Select all... if none" as I already suggested in this discussion. In particular, I have suggested this Preference could have an option to work only if there is a single audio track, or just has that limitation without option. Then multi track users would not be affected.
      • Peter 08Nov16: You're welcome to propose any changes or improvement to "Select All ..." that you wish Gale - but such changes do not form part of this particualr proposal.

Relationship to Stop and Do on Pause

What will happen in this Proposal if a user is paused with no selection? If user is halted by a dialogue then those users are not benefiting from Pause, Stop and Do as was intended.

  • Peter 05Nov16: Of course those users will see the "educational message displayed. "Halted" is slightly emotive language in this context - I see it as "guided" as to what to do to make it work.

Select all... if none could be made less aggressive

The two supporters of this proposal have opposed suggestions to make "Select all... if none" more useful and less aggressive. Doing that, retaining the preference on by default, is an alternative. I think such improvements to the preference should be made if "Select all... if none" is made non-default, so the preference is more useful to power users when they want to edit the entirety of their project with less clicks/RSI.

  • Peter 05Nov16: I have categorically not opposed any changes the the operation of the "Select all ...". I clearly told you I had "no dog in that race", it is not a preference I have ever had set to "on" (apart from when I am testing) so I really don't mind what you make the "Select all" do or even if you have multiple types of context-dependent "select all" as you seemed to be suggesting.
  • Gale 06Nov16: OK. I thought you opposed it because the distinction between selecting a track and selecting all in that track was too hard to understand. It is then just Steve who I believe opposes changing it (or supports removing it).
    • Steve 06Nov16: Removing the option to "select all..." is not part of this proposal.
    • Gale 07Nov16: Actually we are discussing here the scope for improving "Select All" behaviour.
      • Peter 08Nov16: Actually we're not, Gale. This proposal is a simple alternative to the kludge of the "Select All .." that we introduced a while back to deal with grayed-out commands with no explicit selection made. Many of us here believe that this new proposal is a better more informative and educational solution.
  • Peter 16Nov16: I now see some real merit in this to make it less aggressive and more useful - and I think Steve does too,it is basically his ii). I plan to discuss this separately and formulate a proposal on which hopefully we can gain consensus.

Not selecting newly recorded tracks adds to the problem

We select the Track Control Panel of newly generated or imported tracks but not that of newly recorded tracks. No one has given a rational explanation why. We probably don't want to select all in newly imported, generated or recorded tracks, but selecting the Track Control Panel of newly recorded tracks combined with a less aggressive "Select all... if none" preference that only selected all in selected tracks would go a long way to help.

  • Peter 16Nov16: The underlying question from me here is just why a newly recorded track does not become the focused track? This will became germane when we come to discuss Steve's ii), Gales's "make "Select all... if none" more useful and less aggressive". I do note that if you create a label track by adding a label (or just add a label to an existing label track) then the focus directly shifts to the label track. So for consistency it would make eminent sense for a newly recorded track to have focus shifted to it,
  • Peter 05Nov16: This does not form part of this proposal and is not germane to it except in a very indirect way. I think you need to raise a bug or an enh on Bugzilla if it bothers you.
  • Gale 06Nov16: It bothers Steve too unless he has changed his mind. Of course it is germane. If we selected a recording's TCP and made the "Select all... if none" preference less aggressive there would be less "need" for this proposal, because users who don't like the preference would get less caught out by it. <p> Of course I see "some" educational benefit in the dialogue, if we really want another popup dialogue. We decided against a popup for selecting effects when paused. I don't see an overwhelming case for a popup in this case. If we have a popup it should not constantly interfere with or add to any user's workflow.

    • Steve 06Nov16: I agree with Peter, let's keep on-topic.
    • Peter 06Nov16: Once again Gale you are missing the point. The newbie users who at that stage don't realize they need a selection will soon learn and never see that message again and thus their workflow will not be impacted. Of course there is "an overwhelming case for a popup in this case" that is the whole point of this proposal - no popup educational message => no proposal. And I do realize that you would prefer it if that were the case and see no need for change, but others amongst us do - and we are thinking not of the experienced users but the newbies who need to learn. The sophisticated users, like you, who feel the need for an automatic "Selelect all ..." will still have it, you will just to need to turn it on - and that is a one-time preference setting - and thus their sophisticated workflow will not be impacted.
      • Gale 07Nov16: As previously stated I see the modest need for an educational message. We are not snowed under with users who do not know how to select (to some extent because many users currently do not need to select). I see two or three a month on the Forum who don't know how to drag-select. My strong beef with this Proposal is not telling users how to select, not making obvious where the "Select all.. if none" option is (noobs do not know where the option is because it is currently default), not letting the dialogue Select All (there is currently no one-click way to do that) and needlessly forcing user to click OK in the dialogue after selecting audio. Not user friendly. So I'm still -1.
        • Peter 08Nov16: Our argument here is that basically there is no real need for the "Select All ...". If we had adopted the approach of this proposal in the first place we would probably never have introduced the "Select All ..." preference as there would have beem no real need for it. It is so simple for users who need to select all to use Ctrl-A and most of them will be very used to doing that from the other apps they use like Word and Excel. But, as a compromise, with this proposal we agreed to retain that preference for users like you that feel a need for it, the only change is for this proposal to make any kind of sens that proposal must then be "off" by default for new users.
  • Gale 08 Nov16: Peter, I can cite users like Cliff who want the "Select All" preference now that we have it. Yes it is kind of a kludge but many of your arguments against it assume it will never be improved. Please remember you are asking users with repetitive workflows of the sort we often see on the Forum to use your extra CTRL + A possibly hundreds of times a week.

    Anyway this is offtopic. If there is any point in this proposal (James's words), then as you can see I have already accepted that the "Select All" preference needs to be off by default, and I think existing users need to have their "Select All" preference turned off. That being the case, I am staying -1 until the user unfriendly dialogue proposed, as a minimum, refers to how to turn the preference back on (see my example).

    It is unhelpful IMO to stifle discussion of alternatives to this proposal, so I will post my own alternative to this proposal in due course. Alternatively you could show some of the flexibility I am trying to show and make things easier for users who just want to find the "Select All" preference and turn it back on.

    • Peter 08Nov16:Actually I'm thinking now that if we were to implement this proposal then anyone who already had this preference set to "on" would retain it as such and we would not turn it "off" for them. Unless, thet is, they choose to invoke the offered reset on re-installation. And I know that Steve is of a similar mind.

      This proposal is really aimed at new newbies who come to us fresh and could well do to learn about making selections. We have shown great flexibility by agreeing to retain the "Select all ..." Preference, plus we have shown flexibilty in other discussion threads re possible improvements and extensions to "Select all ...". I, personally am very open and indeed supportive to you making suggestions about that - but as you say that is really off-topic, a separate topic in fact.

      But I can't let that "your extra CTRL + A " just fly by. It is not my shortcut, it is a shortcut used in every application that I know, including Audacity (where it has been that shortcut for all the ten years I've been an Audacity user) - in incredibly common use and one which I think it is not unreasonable for a reasonably seasoned computer user but new-to-Audacity to expect to use in Audacity.

  • Gale 08Nov16: I can't see how you are going to get the full educational effect unless you force "Select All" off for everyone who has it on. Many of those who have it on might not know that Audacity selecting for them is a preference. Even if you confine it to new users and those who reset preferences, the proposed dialogue will still be a shock or mislead, as if you now absolutely must make a selection first to affect all, which is not so. And yet again, the point is the extra action required, potentially hundreds of times a week, if you are not told where that preference is. Knowing that Select All is CTRL + A does not help.
  • Peter 08Nov16: The "full educational effect" of this proposal is to impact newbies coming to Audacity for the first time - to educate them in the need for and use od selevctions. We anticipate that most folk will only see this mesage a couple of time at most (unless thay are really dumb and don't learn). And for thos addvanced users amog you who want to use an automatic £Select all" it will still be there, it won't be turned off (unless you reset) so you can carry on using it the hundreds of times a week instead of Ctrl+A. And newbies who become advanced users we wouuld expect to explore Preferences and the Manual (as I did in my time) and learn how to turn on that "Select all ..." preference if they want and need it.
  • Gale 11Nov16: Why bother, if existing users will carry on in ignorance until they reset preferences? But I still argue you will confuse existing users who reset, and are being very unhelpful by giving no indication in the dialogue that the behaviour is actually a preference setting. Many will just think that "Select all.. if none" no longer exists. It's less bad because fewer users will be affected, but less educational because some will never see the message.
  • Steve 15Nov16: Virtually all effective problem solving strategies begin with two steps: 1) Clarify the problem. 2) Break down complex problems into constituent parts. This proposal relates to the problem of what to do when a user wants to apply a command that requires a selection when no selection exists. Breaking down that problem we see two parts: (i) Some users are confused if such commands are unavailable (greyed out). (ii) Some users have come to view the current "select all" behaviour (that was developed to mitigate the "confusion" of greyed out command) as indispensable. This proposal deal with part (i) only. We agree that part (ii) also needs to be addressed, but I shall be addressing that as a separate issue (breaking down the problem into its constituent parts). I shall not discuss part (ii) here as this proposal is about part (i), and attempting to deal with both together merely confuses the issue and obstructs development. For now, the intention is to improve part (i) through educating users and leave part (ii) as is, other than making it non-default. My proposal for (ii) may restore "auto-selection" as the default (to be decided) and will address providing the usefulness of automatic selection without the inherent problems of the current "Select all if none..." behaviour. My proposal for (ii) depends on auto-selection NOT being required to mitigate confusion over greyed out menus.
    • Gale 15Nov16: If we don't address my concerns (which are not raised merely to "obstruct your development") then I feel we are indeed confusing the issue by creating a new and perhaps greater problem (iii) in trying to solve (i) (which I see as reported "only" two or three times a month). (iii) brings a risk of "obstructing" users and creating support issues, which is a legitimate area for me to be concerned about.

      I am not arguing here that (ii) needs addressing now, but if not addressed now, my concerns remain. As you have not made specific proposals about (ii) it is impossible to comment, but I think if you read carefully you'll see that I agree there is some case for auto-selection not being the only way to mitigate confusion. Our only strong disagreement is that you don't acknowledge (iii) as a legitimate concern.

    • Peter 15Nov16: You know what, I'm coming round to thinking that Gale may well be right in wanting to be able to make the automatic selection and the reset of the Preference in the "educational message" dialog. That way we could easily live with having the default for the preference to be "off" as it coud so easily be reset without the need for novices to venture into Preferences. I have mocked up an alternative message on the proposal page.
    • Gale 15Nov16: I'm ambivalent if you force the preference off until users see the dialogue and choose whether that preference is right for them, but it makes more sense to me to do so. I reproduce your mock up below. I still don't see much value in making the dialogue more wordy by reminding users what action triggered the dialogue. For the totally clueless and impatient, whom we still see on the Forum, is it not better to use those words to mention click and drag in the waveform?

      If we have something like Peter's two checkboxes, an OK button makes more sense to me than it does in the officially proposed dialogue. I would accept an OK button in my dialogue though I still think better not on the whole.

      More importantly, how are we defining "current audio track"? Selecting the current audio track on none selected is not what the preference does, if there are multiple tracks. I am not sure if the two checkboxes are clear enough even if the first said "Select entire project" but I think the two checkboxes idea has merit.

      I moved my two alternatives underneath for direct comparison, adding that "Select All" selects the entire project, and removing the Title Bar "No Audio Selected". Does the main proposal have the same Title Bar?

      • Peter 16Nov16: Oops sorry, I've inadvertently conflated Steve's ii) into this proposal for i) with that mockup dialog. For now just think of it as a "Select All" for the purposes of this proposal. You yourself wrote a section earlier on this Talk page about "Select all... if none could be made less aggressive" this mockup was a trial response to that - but it should have not been in this proposal as Steve has pointed out but part of a separate proposal for ii) (albeit related). I purified the alternaive dialog on the Proposal page, but left the "current audio track" variant here on the Talk page as an aide memoire for when we discuss Steve's ii)
      • Gale 16Nov16: The alternative dialogue on the Proposal page is still wrong. If "Select then act" behaviour is unchanged for now, and you have a control to do that now and another control to do that in future, then the "do that now" control has to read "Select entire project" or similar. That is, if there is an audio track and a label track, then "do now" selects the label track as well, not just the audio track.
      • Gale 16Nov16: The Proposal is unclear. Does the Title Bar just say "Warning" or does it say "No Audio Selected"? If the latter then some of the text in the message may be duplicative.

No audio selected, so Reverb effect cannot be applied.

Select the audio that you wish to apply Reverb to,
then press "OK" to continue.


Select current audio track [_]

Do this automatically in future [_]

[Help] [Cancel] [OK]
  • Gale 16Nov16: I have gone with two checkboxes and OK and Cancel to (perhaps) aid consensus. This way, the user can choose to auto-select all in future even after mouse-selecting audio, and it is clear what all the action buttons do. OK is greyed out until audio is selected by user or "Select entire project now" checkbox is checked. The dialog is modeless and stays open until click OK or until ESC or Cancel (ESC or Cancel will not enable "Select then act" even if its checkbox is enabled). The text "Warning: No Audio Selected for Action" is the dialog's Title Bar.
No Audio Selected for Action

Select some audio for <action> to act on, for example by click and drag, then click OK.

Or choose options for selecting the entire project then click OK.

[_] Select entire project now
[_] Enable Preference to auto-select entire project for action

[Help] [OK ] [Cancel]

No Select All button

The two supporters of this Proposal recommended a Select All button but this is not part of the Proposal. We could make such a button part of the suggested dialogue. See above.

If the action of user selecting audio removes the modeless dialogue we could even do without the OK button, though perhaps non-standard. What is the difference between Cancel and OK?

We could also link to the preference as above as a one-step way to get rid of this dialogue.

  • Peter 05Nov16: As I have pointed out to you many times before: the way to "get rid of this dialogue" is for the user to learn from the educational message - and most of them will learn pretty darn quickly.

    I don't recall ever recommmending a "Select All" button in the dialog. I don't particularly mind if you insist on having it there but I would not really support it. And I certainly don't support the "In future, let me select all when none selected". Firstly because it clutters and overburdens the dialog and as James has said earlier "Verbose messages believed to be counterproductive" also the message is not accurate and is ambiguous the "let me ..." could refer to Me the user as in enable me to go and make a select all - or it could mean let me, Audacity, make an automatic select all for you, So tou have both ambiguiyty and lack of clarity. The place to tell them how to set "Select all" is (or will be) in the Selection page in the Manual and the Help button in the dialog is designed to drive the unknowledgeable reader to that page.

    Nor do I support the alternative for the educational message that you have provided here. I find Steve's original wording much crisper - and those that are still puzzled can click on the Help button.

    • Peter 05Nov16: I have just added an entry on the Selection page in the Manual re. auto-selection.
  • Gale 06Nov16: Steve recommended a Select All button, unless he has changed his mind.
    • My now adjusted version has three words fewer than Steve's dialogue But Steve's:
    • Does not help users find out within the dialogue how to obtain the old "Select all" behaviour (the Proposal is unclear if it will force existing users to default the "Select all" behaviour off, or only change this for new users). I assume if will force default for all users, otherwise the educational benefit will be reduced.
    • Does not make it easy (one click where your mouse is now) to select all the project. Lots of users will want to do that, just as some will not.
    • Does not within the dialogue tell the naive how to select.

    In my proposal, if the user clicks "Select All" or selects in the waveform this closes the dialogue (same as clicking "Close").

    • Gale 07Nov16: The Proposal must be clear on whether existing users will have their enabled "Select all.. if none" preference reset to off when upgrading Audacity.
      • Peter 08Nov16: Now there's a thought, I hadn't really considered that, but now you've made me think about it. I was assuming than any one who was a new user, or anyone who did a reset on installation would get their default set to "off" and those who had an existing .cfg would remain unchanged. Of course those who save and restore their .cfg woul also remain unchanged.
        • Peter 08Nov16: But now you've made me think about it, Gale, I would sugest that a) all new users get the "off" setting - b) all users who do a reset on installation get the "off" setting.
        • Gale 08Nov16: If users reinstall without reset of audacity.cfg they are using the same .cfg and so you are saying, I believe, that on upgrade to the new Audacity version, all users who have "Select All" on will have it turned off and so will receive "education" when not making a time selection. "Personally" is not clear. Please make clear what will happen on the front page.
          • Peter 08Nov16: Done - no reset for existing .cfg files (unless the user choose the reset on upgrade).

    Gale: I am trying to be constructive rather than outright oppose the Proposal. I shall continue to oppose it unless the dialogue is made more user friendly e.g. somewhat along the lines I propose. Users applying effects to the entire audio do not want to get rid of the dialogue by having the extra step of select all every single time. So yes, the dialogue should IMO link to the "Select All" preference, just like the very verbose dialogue for importing uncompressed files lets you select a preference to not show the dialogue again. I replaced "let me" with "automatically" in the preference checkbox.

    If we show that we care about making the proposed dialogue user friendly instead of saying in effect "Noob, go RTFM" then I will become 0 or maybe +0.5 on it, including making "Select all... if none" non-default.
  • Peter 06Nov16: Gale, your message version is not very accurate, in ordet to make a selection the usr must click & drag not just drag - and that's certainly what we tell them in the Status Bar message. Your proposed message would read better as "Click and drag in the waveform to select the audio you want to affect.". But I still prefer Steve's form that references the actual command the user is trying to invoke.
    • Gale 07Nov16: "Click and drag to select" is more verbose than "drag-select" (which is what Koz says without user problems on the Forum). If clarity is preferred, I agree and I changed the message.
  • Steve 07Nov16: Telling the user to "Drag select" or "select all" assumes that the user knows what "drag select" means and how to "select all", so I don't see that this is much more helpful than the proposal as written. Also, by saying "do A or B" implies that "A" and "B" are the only options, whereas there are actually many other ways to make selections, so in this sense the message is misleading. Clearly it would be far too verbose for the pop-up message if we described all of the ways to make a selection, which is why the proposal is to have a Help button leading to a page in the manual where we can provide clear, full and detailed information.
    • Gale 07Nov16: I now say "Click and drag to select" - see reply to Peter. A "Select All" button is provided in the dialogue, so user knows how to Select All (this time, and how to do so automatically), which will be the main problem if "Select all.. if none" is not default. My dialogue also has a Help button, but we should not assume everyone is prepared to use it before complaining or giving up - see the example I gave of the Help button when importing fails. Implying only A and B works is a much lesser evil IMO than saying nothing. I tentatively added "Click Help for other ways to select" but it seems rather un-necessary to me. Or, say something like "Select some audio, for example by click and drag in the waveform or by clicking Select All." See second mock up above.
  • Steve: The absence of an "OK" button makes your suggestion more disruptive to workflow than the proposal as described. (The difference between "OK" and "Cancel" is described in the proposal).
    • Gale 07Nov16: I don't agree, or please expand on why. My dialogue closes after (a) pressing "Select All" or (b) Selecting audio somehow or (c) pressing [Close] (which is the same as escaping the dialogue, if ESC is allowed - the Proposal does not say). I am fine with no ESC allowed. Having to click the OK button in the Proposal is an extra step after making a selection. I don't want an OK button because this would imply clicking OK after Select All.
      • Steve 08Nov16: Have you actually read the proposal Gale? The difference between "Cancel" and "OK" is described in detail in the proposal.
      • Gale 08Nov16: I have read it, Steve. It does not say what happens if user presses ESC. Have you actually read my proposal so you can clarify why mine impedes workflow? I want mine not to do that.

        Yours says that "The OK button remains grayed out until there is an audio selection" and "User makes the audio selection that they want... and clicks the OK button". "On clicking OK, the "reminder" closes and the effect UI pops up. So is the user not required to click OK after making the selection? My version (and I thought what you suggested originally) had the dialogue close itself after the user made a selection.

        Your Proposal says "The Cancel button closes the dialog and cancels the effect". My Close button (and ESC) does the same as your cancel button.

        I see no real value in your dialog reminding the user what effect or edit they invoked. Users with default preferences who currently just open an effect with no time selection will be surprised by your popup. Some will be "educated" but some will want to understand that what they were doing before was actually a preference that we are now turning off. We should help those users by displaying that in the dialogue and giving them the choice to turn that preference back on.

        • Peter 08Nov16: Once again you are missing the point Gale - this proposal is not putting something forward that is intended to become part of a user's normal workflow, not at all. We expect the normal user to see this dialog once or twice before they catch on to the idea of selections - the smarter users will probably only see it once. It's a learning experience not a workflow experience. Even smart experienced users may sometimes forget to make a selection befor trying to invoke an effect - and then they will be quickly re-educated.
        • Gale 11Nov16: I would argue you are "missing the point" that the dialogue you propose will mislead existing users who currently have "Select all... if none" on and then reset (unless they take the trouble read the Manual). Saying that the dialogue will only appear a few times because users will learn how to select does not justify requiring more clicks than necessary to use it. Saying it will only appear a few times does not help those who want *not* to make a selection so as to select all, as they were doing before. Not telling the most clueless users the most obvious way to select is not "educational". My dialogue solves these issues. It is terse, gives direct help inline and lets those who want to "Select all... on none" merely tick a box, not wade the Manual or possibly ask on the Forum or [email protected], taking our support time up.

          Of course IF the Preference is ever removed in favour of some other time saving solution, which seems very long term and unlikely, then we can remove the checkbox.

        • Steve 09Nov16: If it's my choice, pressing ESC will close and cancel. Do you have a better suggestion? Did you say what happens if a user presses ESC with your preferred dialog?
        • Gale 11Nov16: As above, ESC in my dialogue will close the dialogue and cancel the effect or action. The Close button in my dialogue will also close the dialogue and cancel the effect or action. So yes that is my preferred result of ESC.