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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
Hi all.

Currently, because of some fundamental changes in the visual libraries, I decided to stop developing Fresh1.x.x and to jump directly to version 2.0.0
The main reason is that I want to keep Fresh self compilable and this is impossible with new libraries, without big changes in the sources.
IMO, so fundamental changes worths, because the new architecture is times more powerfull and flexible than old one.

You can check the current work on: http://fresh.flatassembler.net/drafts/ -- the filename is something like: Fresh2_dd_mm_yyyy.zip
Note, it is not a working IDE. There are mainly libraries and little test application.

The documentation is pretty poor, but the main ideas are described in the file source\documents\Conventions.txt

So, in order to keep the project as close as possible to the wishes of the users, I need some discussion on following two points:

1. The main "layout", look&feel, behaviour of the IDE: What you prefer? MDI? One window SDI? Multiwindow SDI (like in Fresh 1.x.x)
How the visual editor should work? like now, or the forms should be inside some edit window (as in MS visual editors and orher popular resource editors).

2. Projects: I have one old idea, that comes again and again in different forms. The idea is to handle the whole project in one single file, not in multiply files using OS file system. The implementation seems to be very easy and flexible using SQLite database as a project file format.
This approach can ensure the high consistency of the projects and have some other big advantages: compression of the project, password protection, even some version control and team work features (like CVS).
Of course working with normal include files will be possible as well, for example for standard libraries.
Actually I reject these ideas every time they come to me, but they returns like boomerang again and again Wink Maybe some side view can show its advandages/disadvantages in more clear way?


Any opinions on above points will be highly appreciated.
Also any other strategy ideas about Fresh2 design can be usefull, before real implementation.

Regards
Post 03 May 2005, 07:11
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MCD



Joined: 21 Aug 2004
Posts: 604
Location: Germany
MCD
JohnFound wrote:
1. The main "layout", look&feel, behaviour of the IDE: What you prefer? MDI? One window SDI? Multiwindow SDI (like in Fresh 1.x.x)
How the visual editor should work? like now, or the forms should be inside some edit window (as in MS visual editors and orher popular resource editors).

Hi John Found!

For me it's clear, I prefer Multiwindow SDI, it's most screen space economic. I'm just not sure if they should be made dockable, you know, like Visual C++ and Delphi IDEs, where you can dock multiple windows into the main window.
Post 03 May 2005, 10:07
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
1. I like Visual C style and I didn't like Fresh 1.x.x style

2. Will we have to install some SQL libraries then, or is ti part of OS, or will it be built in fresh, or how?
Post 03 May 2005, 11:28
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
vid wrote:
2. Will we have to install some SQL libraries then, or is ti part of OS, or will it be built in fresh, or how?


SQLite SQL engine contains only one .dll (about 300k) and doesn't needs any installation. You can find simple example in current Fresh 1.1.D package: "examples\SQLiteExample\Planets.fpr"

Regards.
Post 03 May 2005, 12:14
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
Vid, MCD: about interface - What is Visual C design? MDI? Do you have some idea how to make Fresh interface more comfortable/habitual for both MS/Borland fans at the same time? Actually I never worked with MS products (VS) before, so my opinion is a little bit unbalanced. Smile

Regards.
Post 03 May 2005, 12:19
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
I don't know the name of interface, it's like Turbo C IDE, Turbo Asm IDE, Turbo/Borland Pascal etc., I liked all these.
I would mostly like something like FASMW with dockable windows around (breakpoints, watches, documentation, ...), and one main window above it all, where will be some menu that can open/close these windows. I think Fresh was directing to something like that, but there was a big confusion about windows, and i missed the "main" window.
Post 03 May 2005, 12:44
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
A few thoughts and such...

I've never really liked MDI. In MDI apps, I always end up with maximized view, ctrl-tabbing through open files - which is effectively the same as using a tab control. I do like tab controls though - good use of screen space, easy to manage.

The SQLite idea doesn't sound bad at all - you could do some very nice code re-use and source browsing things that way. You should still include the ability to reference externals includes though, and a way to generate normal .asm/.inc files from a database.
Post 03 May 2005, 13:04
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khanh



Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Posts: 27
khanh
Why don't you just make up the poll to see how many prefer MS style or Borland style (the old one).

But personally, I like MS most. Look at the MS 2003 and 2005 to see how elegant they are. WinStudio also makes a good example of this.
Post 03 May 2005, 13:20
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
khanh wrote:
Why don't you just make up the poll to see how many prefer MS style or Borland style (the old one).


Because I don't want to choose one of them. I want to satisfy both users. It seems pretty hard, but not impossible. I am sure both SDI and MDI interfaces have flaws and advantages - I want to get only advantages and to avoid flaws. Of course this is only "ideal end result", but we should try to achieve it as close as possible.

Regards.
Post 03 May 2005, 13:28
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pelaillo
Missing in inaction


Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 878
Location: Colombia
pelaillo
1. I prefer dockable windows ala RadAsm. I think it permit a good space optimization and easy navigation with tab key as f0dder said. And when you need a float window, you could do it easily.

2. I like the idea of using Sqlite to manage sources and components, including versions and contributions. You can easily obtain single files when required.
Post 03 May 2005, 18:26
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coconut



Joined: 02 Apr 2004
Posts: 326
Location: usa
coconut
visual basic SDI enviroment is comfortable i think. for me it doesnt make sense to edit a form/window inside an mdi window. please see the image at the link to see how effective the layout is

http://maveck.com/vb_sdi.jpg
Post 03 May 2005, 20:03
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
coconut wrote:
visual basic SDI enviroment is comfortable i think. for me it doesnt make sense to edit a form/window inside an mdi window. please see the image at the link to see how effective the layout is
http://maveck.com/vb_sdi.jpg


Well, this screenshot shows the same layout like Delphi and Fresh1 - multiwindow SDI. I like this style too, but if the main window can work like dock site and all flying windows can be docked to it, the layout becomes to single window SDI with tabed editing.
I am agree that MDI interface is old-fashioned and have little advantages towards tabed editor.
The only problem remains the form editor. It always contains two windows - one for the form itself and one source editor for related source code. So, when the main layout becomes "single window", remaining flying forms will always fall behind it on every edit of the source, properties, etc. This can be prevented if the forms are not flying, but are children of tabed editor window.

Regards
Post 04 May 2005, 06:23
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
I find the SDI environment of VB/Delphi/Fresh somewhat annoying - with a fully tabbed environment it's much easier to manage screenspace (just resize the IDE window if you need more screenspace - and if you maximize the IDE, child tabs are (of course) maximized as well).

Quote:

The only problem remains the form editor. It always contains two windows - one for the form itself and one source editor for related source code.

Shouldn't be too bad - once you double-click (or whatever) something in the form editor, make the code editor the active window and set caret to the correct position...
Post 04 May 2005, 15:27
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decard



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1092
Location: Poland
decard
And I really like environment like in Fresh 1 - maybe it could be improved by some docking... and especially I wouldn't like to press TAB to switch between source editor and project menager...
Post 04 May 2005, 17:57
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
f0dder wrote:
Shouldn't be too bad - once you double-click (or whatever) something in the form editor, make the code editor the active window and set caret to the correct position...


Transition from the edited form to the source editor is not so big problem, because the part of the source editor is always visible around the form (well in most cases) so simple click on source editor activates it. The problem is when you want to go back from the source editor to the visually edited form.
In the case of multi-windows layout usual method is to leave some gap and that to make part of the edited form visible behind the source editor, so simple click to activate it back. In the case of maximized one-window interface, the form always is behind the main window and we should use some button/menu/accelerator to switch back to the edited window (F12 in Fresh1) - that is not so bad, but makes these two transitions not uniform and this is IMHO not too acceptable from the design point of view.
Of course, there are some solutions of the problem - for example we can make edited forms to become children inside the source editor, when the source editor window is docked to the main window and to become back floating (overlapped) windows when the source editor becomes undocked.

Regards.
Post 04 May 2005, 18:19
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coconut



Joined: 02 Apr 2004
Posts: 326
Location: usa
coconut
one doesnt always want to see the source editor, sometimes you just want to design the form. f0dder, imo, it is clumsy to design a form inside an mdi frame; and where would the toolbox be? the only thing i did not like about fresh1 was the fact that the toolbox with child controls was intergrated into the main window. perhaps that should be an option? sometimes all you want is the source editor open, other times just the form designer and child control toolbox. whatever the outcome, the best would be as much customization as possible for each individual. visual basic also has an MDI mode, see the link for the screenshot. it is far too cluttered for me

http://maveck.com/vb_mdi.jpg
Post 04 May 2005, 23:02
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mike.dld



Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 235
Location: Belarus, Minsk
mike.dld
If I don't miss something, Delphi 2005 has 2 interfaces - one is an MSVC-like, and another DELPHI(1..Cool-like. But, designing 2 UIs for one app is a bit difficult IMHO.
Post 05 May 2005, 07:58
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cb-toledo



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Brazil
cb-toledo
[quote="JohnFound"]Hi all.

.....................
Any opinions on above points will be highly appreciated.
Also any other strategy ideas about Fresh2 design can be usefull, before real implementation.

Another feature that I think is very import to see all programs compile results is open the binary files in hexadecimal mode in the same editor...like does ultraedit, http://www.ultraedit.com/
Post 06 May 2005, 17:08
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
cb-toledo wrote:
Another feature that I think is very import to see all programs compile results is open the binary files in hexadecimal mode in the same editor...like does ultraedit, http://www.ultraedit.com/


Fresh1 have uniform editor API than allows adding different type of editors possible with minimal efforts. This system definately will exists in Fresh2, so adding hex editor should be no problem at all. However, as far as hex editor is not important for the base functionality, I am afraid this task is low priority now.

Regards.
Post 07 May 2005, 06:52
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JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3500
Location: Bulgaria
JohnFound
What you think about following idea:

As far as the visually created forms in Fresh are actually chunks of source text, why not to go straight ahead and to built the forms directly inside the source editor. Something like applied picture. Also this allows editing more than one form in a file.


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VisEditor.gif


Post 11 May 2005, 07:04
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