Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Update...Not that I regularly update on Mondays...

Okay, so due to some time constraints, I haven't been able to draw up and scan in a new version of the Search app with all the comments taken into account. I'll get around to it. It will be done by Friday for sure.

I did meet with Veronica and Aran this morning to talk about the VCS UI. Well I mostly told them what I wanted and they told me weather it would be possible or not. I'm trying to look through their API to see what's possible, but I definitely think that anything *should* be possible. Anyways here are a few things that I think it will have:
* Tree hierarchy of the file system including all branches. Basically like Windows Exporer. The view of this should be be a smaller portion of the screen (like 20% perhaps) just enough to see the directories and filenames.
* Next to the exploring portion, will be a text area where a selected file will be displayed and users can scroll through the content of the file.
* It would also be cool to give users the ability to view the details of the document with a right-side slide-in column. It will display the different revision numbers of the document as well as who committed it and possibly the size. I say possibly the size, because in the context of small student projects, the size may not be that important. However, for large projects, it could be useful.)
* There should also be a navigational links bar on top, so that users can click on a parent directory and be taken straight there.

I'm not so sure what to do about adding files and committing new revisions yet.

Aran asked me to think about merging and differencing as well in terms of UI. I gave it some thought, and for now I'm thinking that once the user has selected 2 revisions to merge, it will appear in either a new window or page or possibly even in the current text viewing area. Where the texts are the same, it will appear in black, and where they differ, the differences will appear in different colours. So similar to the command line (in that it shows the differences one after another separated by '>' lines) but instead of using '>', we can differentiate in different colours, which is more eye-catching and easier to look at, I think. This same method can be used for differencing as well.

Sketches of everything will be coming soon...to a blog near you.

2 comments:

Haz said...

Few things:

- Are you proposing that the UI will have an impact on the files in the VCS? ie. Being able to edit / merge files and have that committed back into the repository?

- Have you seen the review board for how they do diff displays?
http://review.basieproject.org/r/35/diff/#index_header

It does a pretty good job at the side-by-side comparison, and it would be nice for if the UI that is thought up for displaying diffs could also be used for the code review tool that basie will eventually have.

Cheers

pongers said...

I Think it'd be neat if the UI DID have an impact on the files in the vcs. It would have definitely made my life easier when figuring out all the commands with different flags.

And i like the side by side comparisons. but there's something about it that doesn't seem right. I'll take a close look at it to maybe find a happy medium.

Thanks for the quick feedback!