[Pharo-users] Calypso - can we improve the bar of radio buttons?

Tim Mackinnon tim at testit.works
Mon Jun 25 09:49:43 EDT 2018

Hi - I don’t want to case a UI war, particularly as I was very impressed with Denis’ presentation about Calypso at the PharoDays conference last year.

Now that I’ve made a concerted effort to try and use Calypso, and in general like it,  I do however find that the bar of Radio Buttons above the tabs is a bit overwhelming and I’m wondering if there might be something we can do to help make it less so?

I’m sure the problem is the age old observation that a checkbox or button that toggles between states is difficult to understand whether its on or off and what the alternate state is - so this is why we now have a row of 8 radio buttons. 

But 8 is a lot of radio buttons… which  I find visually hard to parse and often find the order of the buttons the opposite to what I expect - eg. When I want to see class methods I keep pausing over that group to see which one to click (for some reason I keep thinking the class one should be before the instance one - not sure if anyone else notices this).

I’m also not overly keen on the terminology of “side” (as in class side, vs inst. side) and equally I question abbreviations like: Hier. Inst. Refs.

Can we not just get rid of that bar completely - and put little icon buttons next to the filter field for pkg/project and flat/hierarchy ?

OR  given the method pane is now a tree and it already has an entry “instance side” - why not just have entries for “instance methods” and “class methods” and just expand accordingly? We also now have a tab “Inst. side method” - why not 2 tabs “+instance method” and “+class method”. It breaks a bit with regular smalltalk browser conventions - but I think Calypso has already pushed the boat out on all this anyway in favour of improved navigation and ease of typing code.

My understanding is that this is all pretty doable with the mechanism Denis has put in place. I’m tempted to have a look, but thought I’d see what that general feeling is here, as maybe I’m on my own here.


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