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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
mtPaint development
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3613
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan 2009, 02:42    Post subject:  

Quote:
and the SWF format is closed, so is impossible to support even if I wished to.


gimp under "presentation" manages to export .swf

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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3613
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan 2009, 03:20    Post subject:  

aarf wrote:
Quote:
and the SWF format is closed, so is impossible to support even if I wished to.


gimp under "presentation" manages to export .swf


think it should be Open Office under "presentation". at least one of the open sourced can do .swf
Edit:
Yes it is OpenOffice Impress presentation.
Edit:
five minutes in openoffice impress:
http://www.badongo.com/vid/987272
you may need to click it for it to go forward t the next page. this version seems unable to add automatic screen changes.
Nice of badongo.com to host .swf now.

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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan 2009, 13:09    Post subject:  

aarf wrote:
think it should be Open Office under "presentation". at least one of the open sourced can do .swf

Remember the size of the beast. Open Office is beyond huge - it is enormous; one can have a complete OS using a tenth of that space. So having everything, up to and including kitchen sink, in there is only to be expected. Smile

The smallest open-source SWF writer I found is 100+ Kb (http://www.swftools.org/); given that entire mtPaint binary is less than 500 Kb, this is prohibitively large size for an export filter. And if one needs an SWF slideshow, he can use the 'png2swf' tool from the link above, to produce it from a sequence of PNGs (or 'jpeg2swf' and a sequence of JPGs); no real need for me to waste significant space building that same tool into mtPaint.
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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 1323

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan 2009, 13:47    Post subject:  

It would be good not to have the settings toolbar appearing when starting it.
File-actions are useless ?
Help menu is too much on the right.
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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan 2009, 15:08    Post subject:  

linuxcbon wrote:
It would be good not to have the settings toolbar appearing when starting it.

Hide it, and it won't appear - mtPaint remembers settings toolbar's state across sessions.
Quote:
File-actions are useless ?

Everything in this world is useless to one unwilling to learn how to use it.
Actions are configurable; it is user's responsibility to modify them to match his system's specifics and personal preferences.
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15588
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 01:48    Post subject:  

Quote:
Everything in this world is useless to one unwilling to learn how to use it.


Learn how to use it?
We end users are so much trouble . . . Very Happy

wjaguar these two Puppy forum guys might be able to help you with better icons (assuming you believe they can be improved upon) for Mtpaint - say Lobster sent you

jebaJQ8
rastapax

Very Happy

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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 04:28    Post subject:  

Lobster wrote:
Learn how to use it?
We end users are so much trouble . . . Very Happy

From a programmer's side, it looks less than funny.
Consider this: I, the coder, spent how much time and effort designing, implementing, debugging, packaging; and all that by my own self. And after that, some user compains that he doesn't want to spend five minutes looking into the manual; he says he's "too busy" or whatever.
What this really feels like - is that said user considers me so much below a menial, and my time so much less valuable than his own, that uncountable hours of my time cost less than five minutes of his.

Think of it - and you'll understand the disconnect between developers and users. When I get treated like dirt, it is only natural for me to return the "courtesy" - and then users start complaining that "arrogant developers just ignore them"... Wink
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Lobster
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 05:50    Post subject:  

You may be right. Users should read the manual.

I do not read the manual when using a word processor.
I know how to use one.
Same with a spreadsheet.
Same with most programs.

If I have to access the manual it is because I want to access advanced features.
Ease of use is not an afterthought. It is integral to how people use a program. If it is unclear or obscure or difficult, who is responsible for this?

And yes developers are undervalued. You know all this. We have gone over it before.
Good developers have a habit of listening to users and implementing. I for one am happy with mtpaint but I am unhappy that I only access the tip of the iceberg.

I am offering you the possibility of clearer icons because I believe they are obscure. You can have the grace to make use of this or berate me for being like 90% or more of users not interested or prepared to read manuals. Programs would work perfectly if only they remained unused by people .. . ..

I know you have added features to mtpaint, if these are not accessed (for reasons known as 'human behaviour') then I feel we have to come up with a realistic solution. Is that what you want too?

Software ergonomics are important. If you feel they are not, then I am at a loss to understand how a program where new features are not accessed is developing?

Apart from reading the manual, what feedback or help can we suggest or offer?

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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 08:31    Post subject:  

Lobster wrote:
I do not read the manual when using a word processor.
I know how to use one.

You lost some important details in this statement; *now* you know how to use *one specific brand* of word processor - and *maybe* can feel your way through an imperfect imitation of same. You weren't born with the knowledge; you were forced to acquire it - maybe indirectly, just by everyone around you using that specific product, but still forced.
And now you want all other word processors ever to exist to imitate that one specific brand which you know. Understandable - but not rational.

Quote:
Ease of use is not an afterthought. It is integral to how people use a program. If it is unclear or obscure or difficult, who is responsible for this?

"Ease of use" is a marketing fantasy. I lost count of weird problems with "The One True Word Processor" that made users run to me for help - and still, people forget about all that the next day, but are ready and willing to hate OOo for some button not being in the "proper" place.
People use whatever software they cannot avoid using, and rationalize having to use it into "liking" it - and likely rationalize their unwillingness to learn anything else into reasons to dislike it. Take any GIMP-vs-Photoshop flamewar for a ready example.

This is why I focus on features, binary size and efficiency - when for some niche there is no other realistic choice except mtPaint, then users in that niche learn to like mtPaint. Smile

Quote:
I am offering you the possibility of clearer icons because I believe they are obscure.

Life taught me that the time to take an offer of something seriously is when the offered stuff is on my harddrive - and not before. Saved me a lot of disappointment. Wink

Quote:
Programs would work perfectly if only they remained unused by people .. . ..

Exactly the reason why the majority of FOSS projects are "by programmers for programmers".

Quote:
Software ergonomics are important. If you feel they are not, then I am at a loss to understand how a program where new features are not accessed is developing?

Don't tell me of "software ergonomics" when people not only use Photoshop and GIMP, but learn to like them. Smile The kind of ergonomics I care about, is one supported by use cases - if some real-world task is awkward to do using the interface, then the interface needs improvement, but if the only problem with the interface is that it is unfamiliar, then so be it.
Quite a few things are *really* awkward and limited in a "standard" (aka Photoshop-clone) interface; and in these areas, mtPaint goes its own way: channels, modes, "gradient placement".
And other things might be good to have in principle, but are either uninteresting, or too much work for too little gain. Skinnable interface is one example.

And remember that any new feature in mtPaint has at least one user: either myself, or Mark Tyler. Smile So if something is done a certain way, it is because one of us considered it best (or, at least, good enough) for his own use. And if the way it is done turns out to be wrong for some other use, to get it fixed I need to at least know what the problem is.

Quote:
Apart from reading the manual, what feedback or help can we suggest or offer?

Like I said - use cases. Things which users want to do with mtPaint, and for which mtPaint is currently deficient, or awkward to use. I use mtPaint in certain ways for certain tasks, but (naturally) I do not even think of some things which someone else would want from a graphics editor.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 13653
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 08:56    Post subject:  

There's a manual for mtPaint? Where is it? Should I Google for it?
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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 09:48    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
There's a manual for mtPaint? Where is it? Should I Google for it?

For every mtPaint package on Sourceforge, there is corresponding handbook package. The one for 3.29 is here: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/mtpaint/mtpaint_handbook-3.29.zip (it is beta version, as is mtPaint 3.29 itself, so part of new features aren't documented yet).
And an online copy of the handbook for the current release version is always here: http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/handbook/en_GB/chap_00.html (the "Documentation" link from the main page).
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15588
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 10:36    Post subject:  

Quote:
Things which users want to do with mtPaint, and for which mtPaint is currently deficient, or awkward to use


Thanks for all your points Smile
Here is the sort of generic interface that was implemented by Mark Tyler. Notice the simplicity. This is a cut down version of Mtpaint.
http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/rgbpaint.html

and for those interested in online image programs this will be available in 4.2
http://www.openplatformeducation.org/webdesk.html

I probably make more use of Mtpaint then most and as you know made efforts to get Mtpaint used in Puppy rather than our previous default.. Most of our Puppy users are happy with its basic features.

As you feel the advanced features such as animation are easy to understand and implement, there is clearly nothing to get animated over.

So it is best I wish you good luck Smile with any sensible improvements others can suggest. Smile
For some reason I am reminded of this story . . .
http://www.short-funny-stories.com/funny-stories/story-88.html

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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 11:33    Post subject:  

Lobster wrote:
Here is the sort of generic interface that was implemented by Mark Tyler. Notice the simplicity. This is a cut down version of Mtpaint.

And here is the history behind it. Mark made RGBpaint for the OLPC project - and then, after the work was done, they decided to drop it and instead use some kludgy app written in Python. Notice the result: for all the work Mark had done on it - the "acceptance level" of 500 downloads in all.

Quote:
As you feel the advanced features such as animation are easy to understand and implement, there is clearly nothing to get animated over.

Getting animation right needs some sizable improvements on the foundation level - the least of which is the multiframe save/load support. Trying to do something before the engine changes would amount to nothing but putting lipstick on a pig.
And these changes not only do not happen by magic - worse, they are interdependent, and to improve something, several other somethings need to be done first. Save/load infrastructure was rewritten in 3.10; image store and undo stack, in 3.20; rendering and layer handling, in 3.30; animation features depend on all of that. And when no one is contributing code, complex things cannot get done fast.

And this is why I'm less than concerned about the interface trivia. When the house is missing a wall, the color of wallpaper is not the biggest problem. Smile
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ravensrest


Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 365
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 11:46    Post subject:  

I'll add my vote for cut and paste operations carried out similarly to gimp. The ease with which I can do this in gimp is the primary reason I use it.
BS
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wjaguar

Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 12:06    Post subject:  

ravensrest wrote:
I'll add my vote for cut and paste operations carried out similarly to gimp. The ease with which I can do this in gimp is the primary reason I use it.

Which specific features of "the GIMP's way" of doing cut and paste you do like?
(Myself, I'm not that familiar with details of GIMP's behaviour - I'm eating my own dog food Smile and mtPaint serves for all my graphics-related needs.)
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