art with code

2008-12-19

Filezoo day 35-37: better context menus, Fitts's law in breadcrumb, wacky single-button navigation

Lots of fancy stuff recently. Moved to using Gnome's thumbnail factory for the thumbs. Which means video thumbs and font thumbs, etc.

Also went over the context menus and removed some superfluous entries ("Copy to..."), rearranged menu items (e.g. moved "Move to trash" away from the bottom-most element, replaced the bottom item with a non-destructive one to decrease the impact of accidental menu invocations), added separators and type-specific handlers for selections, and image rotation commands.

The context menu is still not quite done but it's getting pretty useful. It doesn't have submenus (apart from the under-mouse-submenu when there's a selection), which is good. Submenus are finicky to use and their contents invisible. And the size constraint imposed by the lack of submenus acts as selection pressure towards a better set of menu items. I'd like a pie menu. A common desktop-wide pie menu that works the same in all apps.

The breadcrumb bar at the top of the window now has its active area spanning all the way to the topmost pixel of the window (top of screen in panel mode.) Now you can throw your mouse up and click and ooh, success!

Also made a smoothly zooming and panning middle-button drag navigation thing. It makes the app nicer to use with a Wacom tablet. It's very finicky though, which I need to fix.

Also added inertia scrolling, a.k.a. throw-panning. What is the name of that thing? It's nifty though. And works with zoom. And works great with the new seamless zoom and pan. Want to go to the next dir? Throw the screen upwards and it pans there. Previous dir? Throw downwards. Click or hit a key to stop.

I'm writing a plan for month two but it's gotten stuck in some limbo of literary self-crit.
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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes, much bad code, much bad art.

Have freelanced for Verizon, Google, Mozilla, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Valve Software, TDK Electronics.

Ex-Chrome Developer Relations.