Talk:Completed Proposal Non-grayed-out editing commands
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.
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.
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 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.<p>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.