"Open" dialog in WinMerge 3.x

Discussion about WinMerge 3 development.

"Open" dialog in WinMerge 3.x

Postby gerundt » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:53 pm

We should maybe think about the "Open" dialog from the new WinMerge 3.x:

Split files and directories?

In WinMerge 2.x you can open files and directories over the same dialog. This makes it very flexible but also more complex and had more traps for the user.

Should we use for WinMerge 3.x better a own open dialog for files and a own dialog for directories? In this case could be the "Open files" dialog much simpler then the "Open directories" dialog. And we can use the native select dialogs from the OS. Currently we abuse the Windows file dialog to open directories in WinMerge 2.x.

If we still want one dialog for files and directories, we could maybe use tabs to seperate the file and directory selection?

Greetings,
Tim
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Re: "Open" dialog in WinMerge 3.x

Postby kimmov » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:09 pm

This is very good question - thanks for bringing it up now! :!:

WinMerge 2.x Open-dialog has quite a many problems. And it is constant battle against people wanting even more features into it! Where areas it should be very simple dialog everybody can use without thinking about it. It is the most used dialog and one people see first when they start using WinMerge.

I've been thinking about this one/two dialog problem. And I'm still undecided about it myself. There are strong pros and cons.

I think I've slightly in favor of two dialogs. But it doesn't allow selecting file from side1 and then only directory from side2. Then WinMerge would select the same filename for side2 than selected for side1. This works nicely in WinMerge 2.x. However I'm not sure how important this use case is after all.

For single dialog approach I've seen couple of solutions by other programs. And I haven't really liked then. Either they have many buttons or tabs or such. Which IMO clutters the GUI and makes those dialogs harder to use. If you need to think if you press "file" or "directory" button or if you need to switch between tabs its not something you want to do all the time. Just to open two files or directories.
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Re: "Open" dialog in WinMerge 3.x

Postby gerundt » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:53 pm

kimmov wrote:I think I've slightly in favor of two dialogs. But it doesn't allow selecting file from side1 and then only directory from side2. Then WinMerge would select the same filename for side2 than selected for side1. This works nicely in WinMerge 2.x. However I'm not sure how important this use case is after all.


Oh, I don't know, that this works. So I think this is more a power-user thing and the most user dont' know/use this way.

I personally like two dialogs!

And later we could add a startup dialog like QtCreator, Eclipse and OpenOffice has, were you can select the most important tasks (like "New", "Open files" and "Open directories"). This could replace the current "Show 'select files or folders' dialog in startup" option from WinMerge 2.x.
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Re: "Open" dialog in WinMerge 3.x

Postby kimmov » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:22 pm

Yes, we should start with simple things first. Separate dialogs are in many ways easier. Current "combined" dialog in WinMerge 2.x causes constant confusion for new users before they learn how selecting folders work.
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