use of the Space key

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use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
Hi,

I consider to change what GIMP uses the Space key for and would like
to get some user feedback on this. Currently, pressing the Space key
temporarily switches to the move tool. This is sometimes convenient
but I am not sure if it is all that useful.

Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that GIMP
has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image display. Since
not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially on tablet pens), it
might be a good idea to follow that example. If we did that, pressing
Space would keep the current tool but the cursor would change to a
hand symbol and one could drag the image display (not the content!)
using the mouse.

Any opinions on that, anyone?


Sven
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Re: [Gimp-user] use of the Space key

Jakub Steiner
On Sat, 2005-05-21 at 17:00 +0200, Sven Neumann wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I consider to change what GIMP uses the Space key for and would like
> to get some user feedback on this. Currently, pressing the Space key
> temporarily switches to the move tool. This is sometimes convenient
> but I am not sure if it is all that useful.
>
> Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
> compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that GIMP
> has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image display. Since
> not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially on tablet pens), it
> might be a good idea to follow that example. If we did that, pressing
> Space would keep the current tool but the cursor would change to a
> hand symbol and one could drag the image display (not the content!)
> using the mouse.
>
> Any opinions on that, anyone?

Hola Sven.
I was initially very excited about the GIMP's behaviour. But I found
myself mostly sticking to swapping the active tool with the default
shortcuts. Sounds like a great workflow speedup in theory, but I don't
really use it :/

I see it as a good thing to use spacebar for panning, helping a lot of
people transitioning to the free software tool. Two thumbs up.

cheers

--
Jakub Steiner <[hidden email]>
Novell, Inc.

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Re: use of the Space key

Adam D. Moss
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
Sven Neumann wrote:

> Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
> compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that GIMP
> has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image display. Since
> not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially on tablet pens), it
> might be a good idea to follow that example. If we did that, pressing
> Space would keep the current tool but the cursor would change to a
> hand symbol and one could drag the image display (not the content!)
> using the mouse.
>
> Any opinions on that, anyone?

I agree that the space key should be reserved for something
pretty amazingly common and useful.  I suppose it's also likely
that panning the image is a slightly more common temporary mode of
action than moving a layer, regardless of what The Other program
does, though we DO have a super-handy little single-click panning
tool on the image window already, so overall I don't think it's a
compelling win (or loss).

--Adam
--
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Re: use of the Space key

Jakub Friedl (lists)
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
it is a good idea. the descibed behaviour is really handy when editing
zoomed in image. however i use the current space function too. would
it be possible to use a different key for the temporary move tool?

Jakub Friedl
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Re: use of the Space key

Joao S. O. Bueno Calligaris
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
Hi,
I find the current use of the space key just great.
If other image manipul;ation programs fail to do that, that is a lack
of functionality on those programs - I see no reason to "downgrade"
the GIMP just to get the look and feel of other programs. The panning
funcionality on the botton right corner of the image windows works
allright for me - maybe there could be a way to let that more
visible.

OTOH, what about making it configurable? Is it feasible?

Regards,
        joao
        -><-

On Saturday 21 May 2005 12:00, Sven Neumann wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I consider to change what GIMP uses the Space key for and would
> like to get some user feedback on this. Currently, pressing the
> Space key temporarily switches to the move tool. This is sometimes
> convenient but I am not sure if it is all that useful.
>
> Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
> compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that
> GIMP has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image
> display. Since not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially
> on tablet pens), it might be a good idea to follow that example. If
> we did that, pressing Space would keep the current tool but the
> cursor would change to a hand symbol and one could drag the image
> display (not the content!) using the mouse.
>
> Any opinions on that, anyone?
>
>
> Sven
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Re: use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Jakub Friedl (lists)
Hi,

"Jakub Friedl (lists)" <[hidden email]> writes:

> it is a good idea. the descibed behaviour is really handy when
> editing zoomed in image. however i use the current space function
> too. would it be possible to use a different key for the temporary
> move tool?

Anything is possible but the question is if it is a good idea to
implement any possible option. The current feature is hard to discover
already, adding another key will hide it even more.  Since tools can
already be switched using the keyboard, I propose that the current
behaviour is ditched in favor of the panning feature.


Sven
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Re: use of the Space key

Jakub Friedl (lists)
imho it is not a problem to have "hidden" features, if knowledge of
such features is not required. at least we have some bonus for people
rading the manual then. however i certainly support implementing the
panning feature for the space key, because it is more useful than the
current switch to move tool. i can live with normal keys for switching
tools, even if it requires one more keypress.

Jakub Friedl
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Re: use of the Space key

Jakub Friedl (lists)
In reply to this post by Joao S. O. Bueno Calligaris
> funcionality on the botton right corner of the image windows works
> allright for me - maybe there could be a way to let that more
> visible.
>
That feature is really great when you need just panning, but in some cases it is
not enough. I very often do retouching of zoomed photos with quick brush strokes
and i do need a way to pan in the image very often. The Space is just
ideal for that:
stroke, stroke, stroke.... hit space and pan... stroke stroke
stroke... hits space and pan... stroke stroke stroke --- this way i do
not move my mouse/tablet cursor from the comfortable working area at
all and it really speeds things up.

Jakub Friedl
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Re: use of the Space key

Andreas Røsdal
In reply to this post by Adam D. Moss
Adam D. Moss wrote:

> Sven Neumann wrote:
>
>> Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
>> compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that GIMP
>> has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image display. Since
>> not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially on tablet pens), it
>> might be a good idea to follow that example. If we did that, pressing
>> Space would keep the current tool but the cursor would change to a
>> hand symbol and one could drag the image display (not the content!)
>> using the mouse.
>>
>> Any opinions on that, anyone?
>
>
> I agree that the space key should be reserved for something
> pretty amazingly common and useful.

To decide which operation which is most common, it would be interesting
to see
some numbers comparing the two alternatives (and perhaps others). One
could gather
data for which operation is most often executed by a "typical" user,
sort of like a usability test.
In fact, a totally different operation might be used more than either of
these alternatives.
This could be something to do on the next GIMPCon or similar.

However, the resemblance with Another image manipulation program might
be important also.

Andreas R.


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Re: use of the Space key

Fredrik Alströmer
In reply to this post by Jakub Friedl (lists)
Jakub Friedl (lists) wrote:
> imho it is not a problem to have "hidden" features, if knowledge of
> such features is not required. at least we have some bonus for people
> rading the manual then. however i certainly support implementing the
> panning feature for the space key, because it is more useful than the
> current switch to move tool. i can live with normal keys for switching
> tools, even if it requires one more keypress.

A simple shift-key modifier (or the like) perhaps? I use the space-move
tool too, especially when placing text as these are, for me, the most
common "off-size" type of layer.

A bit of a nuisance though, the fact that it is the space key sometimes
causes it to put a random number of spaces in the text.... I guess
that's another issue. :)

--
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Re: use of the Space key

Laxminarayan Kamath
In reply to this post by Jakub Friedl (lists)
An entire new idea of keystrokes : for the keyboard shortcuts: if you
press a key the normal way ,it will select the tool indefinetely
alright. But if the key is pressed and held, and i do something, and
then release the key, the tool reverts back to the one last used.

very helpful for quick erasing,color picking, moving, panning,
selection, unfloating floating area, etc. etc. etc.... :-)


--
Laxminarayan Kamath Ammembal
*****note change of mobile number*****
(+91) 9342287956
[hidden email]
www.geocities.com/kamathln
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Re: use of the Space key

Jakub Friedl (lists)
In reply to this post by Jakub Friedl (lists)
> very helpful for quick erasing,color picking, moving, panning,
> selection, unfloating floating area, etc. etc. etc.... :-)
> --

would it be possible to extend dynamic shortcuts feature to this area?
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Re: use of the Space key

Tino Schwarze
In reply to this post by Laxminarayan Kamath
On Mon, May 23, 2005 at 06:54:10PM +0530, Laxminarayan Kamath wrote:
> An entire new idea of keystrokes : for the keyboard shortcuts: if you
> press a key the normal way ,it will select the tool indefinetely
> alright. But if the key is pressed and held, and i do something, and
> then release the key, the tool reverts back to the one last used.
>
> very helpful for quick erasing,color picking, moving, panning,
> selection, unfloating floating area, etc. etc. etc.... :-)

That would be cool!

Bye, Ti"I want it!"no.

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Re: use of the Space key

GSR - FR
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
Hi,
[hidden email] (2005-05-21 at 1700.27 +0200):
> Another image manipulation program, which GIMP is frequently being
> compared to, uses the Space key to offer the functionality that GIMP
> has bound to the middle mouse button: panning the image display. Since
> not everyone has a middle mouse button (especially on tablet pens), it

Last tablets I tried (not tablet pc, but the input device ones) seem
to have tip and two side buttons (so MB1, MB2 and MB3 as per X11 terms
are avaliable). OTOH, I am talking about the typical brand of tablets,
dunno other brands.

As is, it is just moving from MB2 to MB1+Space, so requires two hands
and still moves the pointer. Only adventage I see is when there is no
MB2 at all (single button devices without any option to simulate other
buttons).

> might be a good idea to follow that example. If we did that, pressing
> Space would keep the current tool but the cursor would change to a
> hand symbol and one could drag the image display (not the content!)
> using the mouse.
>
> Any opinions on that, anyone?

So I wonder... are there other better uses? Alternate between two
tools for example? Or would there be a way to make it configurable, so
anyone can bind any function to it (I ask due the "only while pressed"
vs "press & release", and the lack of "move view" tool)?

GSR
 
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Re: use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Laxminarayan Kamath
Hi,

Laxminarayan Kamath <[hidden email]> writes:

> An entire new idea of keystrokes : for the keyboard shortcuts: if you
> press a key the normal way ,it will select the tool indefinetely
> alright. But if the key is pressed and held, and i do something, and
> then release the key, the tool reverts back to the one last used.

Sounds interesting. Probably worth trying. Anyone?


Sven
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Re: use of the Space key

GSR - FR
In reply to this post by Adam D. Moss
Hi,
[hidden email] (2005-05-22 at 1710.22 +0100):
> > Any opinions on that, anyone?
>
> I agree that the space key should be reserved for something
> pretty amazingly common and useful.  I suppose it's also likely
> that panning the image is a slightly more common temporary mode of
> action than moving a layer, regardless of what The Other program
> does, though we DO have a super-handy little single-click panning
> tool on the image window already, so overall I don't think it's a
> compelling win (or loss).

I have been thinking, and remember some people were saying tools were
running out of mod keys. Why not reserve it for those cases? Tools
could use shift, control, alt and space. Or is the any technical
limitation about making mod+space a mod?

Space alone obviously not, but dunno if it would give us a single key,
or another level. Still one mod more is a win, a family of them a
bigger one, specially if it makes all the required operations to be
based in one or two keys, never three.

GSR
 
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Re: use of the Space key

Joao S. O. Bueno Calligaris
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
On Monday 23 May 2005 20:08, Sven Neumann wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Laxminarayan Kamath <[hidden email]> writes:
> > An entire new idea of keystrokes : for the keyboard shortcuts: if
> > you press a key the normal way ,it will select the tool
> > indefinetely alright. But if the key is pressed and held, and i
> > do something, and then release the key, the tool reverts back to
> > the one last used.
>
> Sounds interesting. Probably worth trying. Anyone?

I like the idea.
I had never looked at this part of the code. I believe that with Gimp
contexts it is possible to "push" any tool with the current code
already?

        JS
        -><-

>
>
> Sven
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Re: Re: use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by GSR - FR
Hi,

GSR - FR <[hidden email]> writes:

> I have been thinking, and remember some people were saying tools were
> running out of mod keys. Why not reserve it for those cases? Tools
> could use shift, control, alt and space. Or is the any technical
> limitation about making mod+space a mod?

The fact that we are running out of modifier keys means that we have a
problem to solve. But I very much doubt that adding more modifier keys
is a reasonable approach to it. If a tool needs more than the
available modifier keys, then it should probably be split into
multiple tools.


Sven
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Re: use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Andreas Røsdal
Hi,

Andreas Røsdal <[hidden email]> writes:

> To decide which operation which is most common, it would be
> interesting to see some numbers comparing the two alternatives (and
> perhaps others). One could gather data for which operation is most
> often executed by a "typical" user, sort of like a usability test.
> In fact, a totally different operation might be used more than
> either of these alternatives.  This could be something to do on the
> next GIMPCon or similar.

Very good point, except that GIMPCon is probably not the right event
to do usability testing. After all usability tests should be done with
users; experienced and new users.


Sven
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Re: Re: use of the Space key

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by GSR - FR
Hi,

GSR - FR <[hidden email]> writes:

> So I wonder... are there other better uses? Alternate between two
> tools for example? Or would there be a way to make it configurable,
> so anyone can bind any function to it (I ask due the "only while
> pressed" vs "press & release", and the lack of "move view" tool)?

We should be very careful here and keep in mind that the feature
should be discoverable. If the user presses the Space key, it needs to
become obvious what is happening. Changing the cursor to a hand should
make it clear that dragging with the mouse will now pan the display.

If instead we switched to the last-used tool, the user will only see
that a tool switch takes place. She will probably be surprised that it
switches to a different tool next time she tries. It will be rather
hard to grasp that the tool changes to the last used tool. A lot of
users will simply not understand the logic and won't use it because
the behaviour appears as random.


Sven
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