12 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2012 7:12 AM by jormond

    What's with ver 12 UI?

    AllegroDataSolutions

      Is anybody else having as much trouble with the UI in layout mode as I am? Having to click two or three times on things to get a context sensitve menu to pop up? Having to wait up to 2 seconds for controls to respond? Not being sure whether text objects are selected (and the bizzarre behavior when editing them changes their length)? Constantly selecting things you don't intend to?

       

      Here's one that really threw me for a loop: I used to be able select a group of objects, look at the Top and Right positions in the Inspector window, copy the objects, move to a new layout, paste the objects and get them into exactly the same postion on the new layout. Here's what happens in ver 12. It is no longer possible to use pixels as an increment of measurement (disappointing, but not critical -- points should suffice -- although I have been using pixels for about a decade now and have a pretty good feel for judging sizes by them). When I select three objects that are horizontally aligned, the position of the uppermost, rightmost object (which I used to use for positioning) disappears. It forces me to select the just the first object, to get the position, then select all three. After copying and pasting it to the new layout, it doesn't position them in the same place where they were on the original (standard FMP behavior, though I have never like it). But, in ver 12, if I set the top and right position for the first object, it places ALL the objects in that spot. So I have to separate them, then go back and measure each one, or guess about where they should be. If I try to use the new guidelines feature, by dragging the lines on the first layout, they are gone when I get to the second one. This is one of the most common tasks in graphics programs -- to make sure that objects on one page match up with others on the next -- of course, the guidelines need to be persistant from layout to layout, unless you intentionally override that. And if you try to set each pair of guidelines manually for every layout, it's hard to get them to line up with the ruler unless you are using very large increments.

       

       

      This is a very common task that I do all the time, every day and now it takes about 100% longer, just because FM changed long established behavior and offered no way to override it. That's as good a receipe as I know to discourage loyal customers and force them to be less productive from day one. Making similar layouts is something I do all the time. Tab controls, as far as I know, still don't allow you to bind each tab to a different table, so we have to simulate that behavior. (I know, you can avoid all this buy simply copying a layout, but that assumes you have finished and set all the elements on the one which will serve as the template for all the others. Development in the real world rarely goes that way. You inevitably end up jumping around, because clients change their minds, things you plan (no matter how much planning you do) sometimes work diffrent in practice, and, heck, flexibilty is supposed to be one of the reasons we choose FileMaker.

       

      Again, I have to wonder what they were thinking, and why something like this wasn't rejected at the design state, if not in testing. It seems more and more like we have an Edsel here, rather than the Ferrari we were promnised and expected.

        • 1. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
          Stephen Huston

          My main complaint with the changes you noted is that pre-12 buttons seem to be treated like some kind of unaligned text objects. If you select a pre-12 button with text centered/middle, and change the text formatting in practically any way it all, it snaps to the smallest size for the enclosed text and aligns left. This messes up all pre-12 buttons when editing them before button states have been specified for them.

          • 2. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
            usbc

            Stephen,

            On another thread someone posted a sensible albeit daring fix.

            https://fmdev.filemaker.com/message/77599#77599

            • 3. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
              Stephen Huston

              I'm not sure that fix applies to how pre-12 buttons get resized if you edit them.

               

              The CSS from themes is embedded in the layout, not dynamic with CSS edits, so one would have to edit the theme CSS, change themes, then change them back to the new rev of Classic them to re-embed the change, and then see if that protected the buttons, assuming you do all that before changing font size or whatever edit to the button.

               

              Sounds like at least as much work as fighting with redoing the button size and alignment.

              • 4. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                thosliot

                There are certainly some challenges with the new features in Layout mode.

                 

                Here's one that really threw me for a loop: I used to be able select a group of objects, look at the Top and Right positions in the Inspector window, copy the objects, move to a new layout, paste the objects and get them into exactly the same postion on the new layout …

                 

                If you group the selected objects (Command–R on Mac OS), you will get the position of the group, then ungroup (the copied objects), go paste - using the memorised position - and finally ungroup the pasted objects

                 

                … of course, the guidelines need to be persistant from layout to layout, unless you intentionally override that. And if you try to set each pair of guidelines manually for every layout, it's hard to get them to line up with the ruler unless you are using very large increments.

                 

                Guidelines can be set to show on all layouts - right click the guideline

                 

                cheers

                 

                Tom

                • 5. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                  hschlossberg

                  allegro wrote:


                  if I set the top and right position for the first object, it places ALL the objects in that spot. So I have to separate them, then go back and measure each one, or guess about where they should be.

                   

                  This is also a huge pain for me.  The "workaround" is to group your objects together (as in CTRL-R or CMD-R), set your top-left values and then ungroup the objects again.  Along with the changes to the new mouse lasso behavior, I find this counter-intuitive to how we need to work 90% of the time.  The most common tasks should be the default, but FM12 chose otherwise.

                  • 6. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                    AllegroDataSolutions

                    My point about the guidelines, is you have to set them manually on every layout (i.e. they are tied to the layout, rather than the solution file or the application). This can be a royal pain if where the control needs to be is on one of those tiny hashes on the rulers -- especially if there a lots of layouts and they all need to line up. Nothing is more irritating to me and disorienting to users to see a control appear to hop a pixel or two in a different direction when navigating layouts that are meant to appear as a single layout with the content of the underlying table changing.

                     

                    The problem with selecting objects is now, if any portion of the object is within the selection box, it is also selected. So I always seem to be grabbing backgounds along with the intended objects.

                     

                    Having to group objects to move them and then ungroup them again to make changes is going to add a lot of time when developing a big solution. Cumulatively the changes to the UI have slowed me down to about half my normal speed.

                     

                    I wonder what on earth they were thinking.

                    • 7. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                      thomas_staehli

                      No you don't have to set the guides on all layouts. Right-click => Share guide with all layouts. This way you can have guides for the entire solution and specific to one layout. You can even lock the guides to make sure you don't move one by mistake

                      • 8. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                        AllegroDataSolutions

                        Didn't see that one (about guidelines) thanks.

                        • 9. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                          jgalt

                          Tom Elliott wrote:

                           

                          If you group the selected objects (Command–R on Mac OS), you will get the position of the group, then ungroup (the copied objects), go paste - using the memorised position - and finally ungroup the pasted objects

                           

                           

                          Are you saying that there is a new option in FM12 (paste - using the memorised position) that allows you to paste a group into the exact same location that you copied it from without manually entering the coordinates? If so, can you please explain how to do this?

                           

                          Copying and pasting within the layout mode in FM12 seems very unpredictable. On very rare occasions FM12 will paste into the exact same position...but 95% of the time it  just sticks it wherever it pleases. What I find very frustrating is copying and pasting objects between different layouts. I can copy and paste a small object between layouts and FM12 will tell me that pasting the object will increase the size of my layout even though it has more than enough room to paste it into the existing layout. Has anyone else had this problem?

                          • 10. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                            AllegroDataSolutions

                            I have noticed the button re-sizing issue. But even more annoying than that is that layout objects are so easily moved that just clicking on an object to select it typically moves it in one direction or another, causing it to be misaligned. And all those guide marks that appear when you start to move something -- sometimes it shows rules for left alignment, sometimes right, sometimes the spacing between objects, etc. -- often enough it's not showing me what I need to know and I can't measure anything by pixels anymore unless I group them. In fact, measuring anything has become extremely cumbersome, as I often get point sizes with two or three decimal places after the last didgit.

                             

                            I know why they did all this. I'm just saying that, while these ideas may have sounded great on paper, practically speaking, they have made me siginificantly less productive.You have to ask yourself what they must have been thinking. "Lets' dumb down our serious, full featured DBMS application so that it's more like Bento, which is really only suitable for very simple solutions!" Or "Let's make sure that FMP will work on our new hi-res iPad screen, which is only about 7" and can only hold so much data anyway ... at the expense of hobbling development of mission critical solutions used by businesses everywhere".

                            • 11. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                              thosliot

                              No, I wasn't saying that.

                               

                              What I was saying was that, since in v12 when multiple objects are selected the inspector only shows each position/size value when all the selected objects have the same value, you need to group the objects to be copied/pasted so that only one object is now selected and the inspector will show its position/size.

                               

                              The position of pasted object(s) is not unpredictable - the object(s) is/are centred on the position of the last mouse click on the target layout, subject to the constraints of the top and left of the layout.  So if you click roughly where you want the object(s) immediately before pasting they will go there, and then, as long as the objects are grouped (v12), you can adjust by entering the previously noted top/left in the inspector (or using the arrow keys until the top/left values are correct).

                               

                              The only difference in pasting position between v11 and v12 that I have found is that when you click on an existing object before pasting, in v11 the paste occurs at that position regardless, whereas in v12 any such click is disregarded unless the clicked object is a portal or a tab panel.

                               

                              The message regarding increasing the layout size when pasting occurs when the clipboard objects will not fit (height-wise) at the target position - if you click sufficiently far from the bottom of the layout before pasting you should be able to avoid this message.

                               

                              cheers

                               

                              Tom

                               

                              On 3 May 2012, at 04:17, jgalt wrote

                               

                              Are you saying that there is a new option in FM12 (paste - using the memorised position) that allows you to paste a group into the exact same location that you copied it from without manually entering the coordinates? If so, can you please explain how to do this?

                               

                              Copying and pasting within the layout mode in FM12 seems very unpredictable. On very rare occasions FM12 will paste into the exact same position...but 95% of the time it  just sticks it wherever it pleases. What I find very frustrating is copying and pasting objects between different layouts. I can copy and paste a small object between layouts and FM12 will tell me that pasting the object will increase the size of my layout even though it has more than enough room to paste it into the existing layout. Has anyone else had this problem?

                               

                              • 12. Re: What's with ver 12 UI?
                                jormond

                                Yes. I have noticed some things that are not better...and a few that are better.

                                 

                                1. Selecting multiple objects to position is difficult using the guides.  Because multiple selected objects don't carry a boundary line to help "guide" you.  They do if you group them, but I don't need all that noise.  I'll do it, but I should have to.  [Feature Request sent to FMI]

                                2. Sharing Guide across all layouts is very cool.

                                3. I, personally, have found the selection tools to be easier to use.  It's backwards from previous versions.  But it only took me about a day to get used to it, and I find it faster to select items...with the exception of the Tab Panels, still getting used to that one.

                                4. The dimensions/inspector info disappearing when you select multiple items is also frustrating.  I can group them, yes...but I shouldn't need to.  [Feature Request sent to FMI]

                                5. Haven't seen to much delay in the UI.  A few places, but I'm still trying to determine exactly what is different with those layouts and ones where I don't see the delay.