Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

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Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

Tom Chadwin
Hello all

Nathan got in touch over the weekend, and we discussed possible plugin changes. He suggested breaking up the one-dialog GUI, and instead embedding the different parts into appropriate places in QGIS:

- general options into own pane
- preview window into own pane
- layer settings as plugin to style dock

I honestly can't decide what I think about this.

Pros:
- tighter integration with QGIS and improved workflow (instead of start plugin, preview, close plugin, change QGIS settings, start plugin)
- remove GUI duplication
- reduce GUI development of plugin (perhaps)

Cons:
- plugin loses identity (vague)
- cluttering/confusion/pollution of QGIS GUI
- initially less simply for user, as not all functionality in one dialog

What do others think about this? I think it could probably improve workflow for the plugin, by using QGIS UI to allow user customization of the UI (dock/undock panes, etc). However, one dialog is certainly simple.

Thanks

Tom
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Re: Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
Hi Tom,

Offering the possibility for this sounds good to me. I have already
added an API to register custom pages on the vector layer properties
page and will be happy to see more such functionality.

https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/visualchangelog216/index.html#feature-api-add-pages-to-vector-layer-properties

Are you talking about qgis2web in particular or more generally?

I think most of the cons can be neglected because the whole process is
opt-in. If someone wants he can still use a simple single dialog. Or
create the integrated option windows while keeping a simple "setup
wizard" around for people to get started with.

At the same time, the risk of "cluttering" the UI is present. But there
are already now a ton of possibilities to decrease UX from plugins.
That's the cost of giving power to plugin developers, "with great power
comes great responsibility" ;)

Cheers
Matthias

On 11/14/2016 12:23 PM, Tom Chadwin wrote:

> Hello all
>
> Nathan got in touch over the weekend, and we discussed possible plugin
> changes. He suggested breaking up the one-dialog GUI, and instead embedding
> the different parts into appropriate places in QGIS:
>
> - general options into own pane
> - preview window into own pane
> - layer settings as plugin to style dock
>
> I honestly can't decide what I think about this.
>
> Pros:
> - tighter integration with QGIS and improved workflow (instead of start
> plugin, preview, close plugin, change QGIS settings, start plugin)
> - remove GUI duplication
> - reduce GUI development of plugin (perhaps)
>
> Cons:
> - plugin loses identity (vague)
> - cluttering/confusion/pollution of QGIS GUI
> - initially less simply for user, as not all functionality in one dialog
>
> What do others think about this? I think it could probably improve workflow
> for the plugin, by using QGIS UI to allow user customization of the UI
> (dock/undock panes, etc). However, one dialog is certainly simple.
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom
>
>
>
> -----
> Buy Pie Spy: Adventures in British pastry 2010-11 on Amazon
> --
> View this message in context: http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Plugins-standalone-versus-more-tightly-integrated-tp5295643.html
> Sent from the Quantum GIS - Developer mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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> Qgis-developer mailing list
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Re: Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

Tom Chadwin
Hi Matthias

Yes, I'm talking about qgis2web, but thought the discussion was generally relevant. I'm not sure I agree with the opt-in approach. I think either it stays as it is, or the single dialog disappears, and it is embedded as Nathan suggests. Users could then configure the qgis2web panes in their QGIS UI layout, but I don't think the single dialog would remain.

Thanks for the thoughts

Tom
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Re: Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

Nathan Woodrow
Hey,

Yeah, this was mainly just a side comment from watching Tom's talk and how integrated some plugins should be as part of the UI and if that makes the
general UX better or worse.

It's not always relevant in every context but I have started to become a fan of reusing what is provided in core vs custom for each plugin, but 
this depends on the plugin and the user.

Something to keep in mind at least.  As most people know I'm not a fan of dialogs, even non-model ones so always on the look out for better integration with 
the main interface.

- Nathan

On Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Tom Chadwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Matthias

Yes, I'm talking about qgis2web, but thought the discussion was generally
relevant. I'm not sure I agree with the opt-in approach. I think either it
stays as it is, or the single dialog disappears, and it is embedded as
Nathan suggests. Users could then configure the qgis2web panes in their QGIS
UI layout, but I don't think the single dialog would remain.

Thanks for the thoughts

Tom



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Re: Plugins: "standalone" versus more tightly integrated

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
In reply to this post by Tom Chadwin
Hi Tom,

The opt-in approach was for plugin development in general. As long as
the API is there, anyone is free to use it or not. What's done for a
specific plugin - like qgis2web in this case - is up to its developer.

Anyway, for an example of what's possible now, have a look at the globe
plugin which uses the plugin API to register additional pages.

Cheers
Matthias

On 11/14/2016 12:57 PM, Tom Chadwin wrote:

> Hi Matthias
>
> Yes, I'm talking about qgis2web, but thought the discussion was generally
> relevant. I'm not sure I agree with the opt-in approach. I think either it
> stays as it is, or the single dialog disappears, and it is embedded as
> Nathan suggests. Users could then configure the qgis2web panes in their QGIS
> UI layout, but I don't think the single dialog would remain.
>
> Thanks for the thoughts
>
> Tom
>
>
>
> -----
> Buy Pie Spy: Adventures in British pastry 2010-11 on Amazon
> --
> View this message in context: http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Plugins-standalone-versus-more-tightly-integrated-tp5295643p5295650.html
> Sent from the Quantum GIS - Developer mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
> Qgis-developer mailing list
> [hidden email]
> List info: http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/qgis-developer
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/qgis-developer
>
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