Preferences Refactor

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This list describes options in the Preferences dialog that could be removed (Either because they are useless or too complicated) or changed.

Remember folks, this is a Wiki. alastair has removed discussions that are 'finished'. If you want to see whats been removed since the last edit, click Diff or ~Page History and tick the 2 top boxes

moranar Just read several articles I found really interesting and relevant to this. In chronological order:

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. onusability

moranar I have now some screenshots available on my website:

Prefs at 640x480

Prefs at 800x600

Prefs at 1024x768

These pics come from the 2004/03/17 snapshot. As you can see (apart from the ugliness of mandrake's fonts at those resolutions), the window spans quite a bit more than the available screen real estate. (update: the 22/03/2004 snapshot is already a bit smaller)

This situation has improved from the previous releases (as I said, this happened even on a 1024x768 res, not anymore), but still, the window should just provide a scrollbar, and be resizable; not need a minimum of real estate.

Note the screens are not of sections in particular, just of the size of the window.


  • Most GTK/GNOME apps have their prefs realised as soon as the option is changed. Then there is a revert button that sends them back to what they were. Can we do this? Or will it not work with tabs like Filetypes and External Programs.



  • Combine If you are using xhtml tags, then they will be lowercase and you won't be able to use depreciated ones anyway. Are we going to combine this with a default Doctype?
    • I think we should gray-out the other options when you choose xhtml
    • alastair OK, this is a good idea. Shall we remove all the comments below this and work on order/when they are greyed out? Where is the default doctype stored?
    • moranar just tried with 2004/03/06 snapshot, and it made no difference: tags appeared in lowercase (using Mandrake 9.2, tried with and without caps lock on).
      • You need to untick the \"use xhtml\" and* \"use lowercase\" boxes then use a dialog. The tags inserted will be uppercase
    • olivier about the default options: yes, but the question is, do we still want to allow people to use html4 and uppercase tags? (I think we want that)
      • alastair Yes
      • moranar Yes we do. I think it should depend on whether you have chosen a particular doctype (or none at all): if $doctype is XHTML x.x strict, option grayed out, lowercase tags, no obsolete. Else (even with XHTML 1.0 transitional) options allowed.


  • Remove Remove backup file on close
    • olivier I know some users that don't like the backups, they use windowz over samba as well, and windowz cannot hide the backup files
  • Remove Undo stuff. Who actually changes it? Just set it to 100 or something and don't remove it on save.
    • moranar I agree. Let's pick a decent number for most configs ( for \"ancient\" configs) and be done with it.
  • Remove Allow multi instances of files. Where is this useful?
    • michele Very useful, when making important changes in a file and wanting to have a trace of the old file (not a backup which will be erased anyway on the next opening) somewhere else.

User Interface

  • Remove Dimensions. Just restore last used ones on open.
  • Remove ?? Default notebook tab font. Is this so you can make it smaller and fit more in?
    • olivier yep that is the idea, so not remove?
  • Remove ?? Show Main Toolbar, Show Left Panel, Show ... Menu (working with the Spanish build, don't recall the exact word for \"personalized\" used here) and Show HTML toolbar. Just show them by default the first time, and remember if the user removes them from the \"View\" menu. Same as with Dimensions above.
    • alastair This is a good idea. Although if someone quickly adds/removes 1 toolbar just to check something, next time they load up it won't be how they usually like it
  • Combine ? The position selectors for the tabs could be merged: does anyone want to move the mouse (or look) up to the tabs in the main text area, then go down in the left panel? True, you could also set one to \"left\" and the other to \"right\"... Still seems overkill to me. I'd say follow the browsers, put them both on top.
    • alastair has files on the bottom and left panel on the top. Don't ask why.... I just like it.
  • Remove ? Unknown/Directory Icons. How man people have this changed
    • olivier the problem is, if these icons are not found you will not have a filebrowser in the left panel
      • alastair can't you use DESTDIR/share/bluefish/icon.png or whatever in the source? olivier yes we use that in the source, so we could rely on that if we want to..



  • moranar I actually don't understand what one can do here. I see I can create filters but don't have the foggiest idea of how or why.
  • I also see you cannot undo errors in filters you create: I just created an empty filter, thinking I could erase it by selecting and pressing DEL, but no can do.
    • olivier I agree the user interface is ugly, but it's useful to allow people to add filetypes and filters
    • moranar not saying you should remove this: It's just that I don't get how to use it. Someone with a greater clue on this than me? What I mean is that more people could use it with a little help. Maybe in the manual?
    • olivier first we need to finish this user interface, Jim also wants to work on it, but when?
    • michele Very useful when need to add extension to some file types or to only open certain type of files araises, i.e. .shtml.en, etc... for ssi. Works exactly the same as in external programs.

Syntax Highlighting

  • The \"weight\" radio buttons (below and to the left) should not be so close nor so lined up with the selector area above them. They should be grouped with their \"style\" cousins to the right.
  • the writable text fields should be lined up. (starting at the same vertical position). Also, color fields (and the \"file type\" selector) should'nt be so long...

External Programs

  • In Spanish, the translation for the title of the first column in the \"Browsers\" field is \"Examinar\" (Examine). I think \"Label\", \"Name\" or \"Description\" are better titles for a field that essentially is the name of the browser. Or does it mean \"Examine webpage with this browser\"? olivier it's the label for the browser in the menu
  • The \"Examine\" and \"Command\" labels and text areas below (same as with \"Label\" and \"Command\" further down) do not line up. The text areas should start at the same vertical position, and not take the whole width of the screen (make it, say, 80 chars?). olivier this should be rewritten like the filetypes are
  • The \"Add\" button for both groups should be next to or below the \"command\" field. AS is, it makes it look like the command is not really related to the label.
  • Instead of a \"Top\" button (in the browsers area, next to \"Delete\") why not make this \"simply\" drag'n drop? More support for the keyboard would be nice, too (e.g. press DEL after selecting a browser to delete it).

Output Parsers

  • olivier I agree the user interface is ugly
  • moranar Hmm.. this interface is not that bad. \"Konqueror preferences\" is ugly. Gconf is ugly. This is just a bit unpolished.
    • olivier no it should be rewritten like the filetype stuff