Talk:Completed Proposal Non-grayed-out editing commands

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Revision as of 16:26, 5 November 2016 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Select all... if none could be made less aggressive: reply to Gale: I have categorically not opposed any changes the the operation of the "Select all ...")
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Peter 25Oct17: 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.

  • 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.

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.

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. 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.

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

  • 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 tetaining 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.

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. And if you do go down that more complex route then that makes a further strong argument for making the defailut setting to be "off" so that newbies don't get confused. But that is not part of this proposal anyway and should be discussed elsewhere

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.

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.

No Audio Selected

Drag-select the audio you want to affect (or select all the project's audio) then click OK.

[ ] In future, let me select all when none selected

[Help] [Select All] [Cancel] [OK]

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.