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[Preliminary discussion] The opportunity of a new UI?, Is it worth the effort?
r0k
post Jul 28 2012, 11:30
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Hi there. I really like Columns UI and the customization options it offers. However, i'm pretty sure it's now abandonware (I tried contacting musicmusic by every possible way, but never got an answer) and since it never was open-source, nobody will be able to take up where musicmusic left. This means one day, after some foobar2000 update, columns UI will no longer work and leave everyone with only the default UI and it's "limited" customization (that's already more than any other player i know of wink.gif ).

Some people already stated they would stop upgrading fb2k if it ever breaks Columns UI. This made me wonder whether it would be worth the effort to re-write a new up-to-date UI bringing back the most important features of CUI.

I don't plan to "require" someone to write this up. I can try and work on this, however i have limited programming experience and close to zero C++ experience, meaning it would be long for me to work on this alone crying.gif
If i ever work on this, i plan on trying to use QT to build the GUI because all of my limited C++ experience is with QT, because QT offers tools that really simplify UI design and because QT is cross-platform, so if Peter ever think about porting fb2k to linux, having a portable UI would be a big helper.
However, this would be a big project, probably too big for me. Maybe if a couple of motivated people work together, it could be done. Doing it open-source also seems like the right choice.

So, do you think it's worth the effort? We already have the default UI and WSH panel for heavy customization, but columns UI had even more to offer.
Do you think it's possible to use QT at all with the fb2k SDK?
Are there any motivated people out there ready to help on this?
Or does someone still have contact with musicmusic so we could be sure what's the future for CUI?
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derty2
post Jul 28 2012, 18:39
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Looking at the foobar2000 feature proposals thread here [hydrogenaudio.org], it seems the usage of colors in Default UI is being considered.

Me. . .I'm a Columns UI user mainly because of the color options,
but also because I love using vertical AND horizontal scrollbars in every possible panel, not just the playlist viewer (NG Playlist).
I love using long text strings and I WANT to extend the views infinitely beyond the horizontal borders.
I get angry when my strings are cut down with the Ellipsis character:      (ALT+0133).

It seems to me as if musicmusic didn't quite finish creating Columns UI;
Some of the panels which needed to have the option of a horizontal scrollbar are completely missing it, for example: "Item Properties", "Playlist Switcher", and the "Library Filters".
Another thing about the "Playlist Switcher" panel is it doesn't even have a "sort" option in the context menu !!!

The thing I have for scrollbars is not what every foobar2000 user wants, but the preference (a checkbox) in all panels which handle strings should be there for everybody IMHO.



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Zao
post Jul 28 2012, 21:57
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As someone who has tried making an UI element and a whole UI using Qt. Don't.

Really. Don't.

While you kind of can shoehorn Qt event pumping into message hooks, it's brittle and incomplete. Qt gets really weird and unhappy if it's not the sole actor in the ecosystem. It really wants its message pump, it's application, and all that.

It's also a massive dependency to deploy Qt bits into a component directory, and you can't really share anything across components.

This post has been edited by Zao: Jul 28 2012, 21:58


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q-stankovic
post Jul 29 2012, 00:48
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musicmusic was the only one who had the skills to make an own well-working ui. If the development of CUI really should have been stopped and at some point it gets incompatible to foobar2000 in the future - then my suggestion is to remove the possibility to create own ui's. With DUI we have an excellent ui (that was highly inspired by CUI by picking its best details and refraining its annoying points) - also something marvelous like CUI probably isn't going to be repeated again.

This post has been edited by q-stankovic: Jul 29 2012, 00:52


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derty2
post Jul 29 2012, 03:23
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If I was to boil down the specific 'details' of CUI which I find essential for my usage, it is three things:
- color options in title formatting
- horizontal scrollbars in the playlist viewer (and unfortunately NOT in other related panels, see my previous post).
- inline editing of the playlist viewer and other related panels.

For users like me, DUI has borrowed zero 'best details' from CUI which can assist us to migrate away.

Unless a high ranking fb2k developer bothers to come here and lay the future down right here for all of us to see,
I will offer my respect and best wishes to the OP for his valiant efforts in initiating such a project.
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Zao
post Jul 29 2012, 03:33
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QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Jul 29 2012, 01:48) *
musicmusic was the only one who had the skills to make an own well-working ui.
QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Jul 29 2012, 01:48) *
also something marvelous like CUI probably isn't going to be repeated again.
Nice subtle insult of anyone that might have hacked on UI module concepts but never gotten sufficient Free Time™ to fully flesh one out. rolleyes.gif

I can't make sense of this thread. Most of it seems to be poorly veiled attempts at sucking up to music, trying to lure him back into the land of misfits.

I'm sure that you're capable of enumerating the things that makes and breaks an UI without simultaneously alienating anyone that doesn't give a hoot about the drama of CUI.


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db1989
post Jul 29 2012, 09:43
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Don’t forget this…
QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Jul 29 2012, 00:48) *
[If] at some point [CUI] gets incompatible to foobar2000 in the future - then my suggestion is to remove the possibility to create own ui's.

q-stankovic: Would you care to elaborate in a way that can save your post from appearing as it does now – presumptuous, insulting, and effectively nonsensical – or should we just bin it as TOS #2–bait and try to move on to discussion with any actual chance of productivity?
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q-stankovic
post Jul 29 2012, 10:24
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I am sorry if my post was misunderstood - it wasn't my intention to insult somebody. I can remember that i have read here that programming an ui is one of the hardest task for a developer. Please strike through "skills" and replace it by a better word that also express that developing a component like CUI is a highly time-consuming task.

As i said that an UI like CUI won't be repeated i meant following: It is not enough just to create a new and simple ui but a full replacement of CUI with all its features respective the features that are expected by CUI-users who aare not satisfied with the DUI. Maybe some of the developers can say how log would it take to create a replacement - i just can't imagine that an component that has grown over many years and has fullfilled the requests/needs of its users could be replicated in few months.

If development of CUI has indeed stopped (what would really be a shame) then derty2's idea is good to collect features what CUI-users are missing in DUI and how that or if at all that can be implemented in DUI.

@db1989
Removing that could at last bring the attention back to fb2k's core features and not all the ui-stuff that was too dominant in my eyes the last years.

This post has been edited by q-stankovic: Jul 29 2012, 10:34


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db1989
post Jul 29 2012, 11:02
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Thanks for explaining. smile.gif
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audioclaudio
post Jul 29 2012, 16:29
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The only real, or should I say "important", reason why I am using CUI is because spectrum peak visualization component requires it. Just saying, the fact a component is old and hasn't been updated for a long time does not necessarily also mean it has completely lost its usefulness to everyone who uses foobar2000...
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mudlord
post Jul 30 2012, 00:02
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The way I see it, not gonna happen with what you envision Qt will do. Also doesnt seem justified to resurrect even for one component....
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Zao
post Jul 30 2012, 00:07
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QUOTE (audioclaudio @ Jul 29 2012, 17:29) *
The only real, or should I say "important", reason why I am using CUI is because spectrum peak visualization component requires it. Just saying, the fact a component is old and hasn't been updated for a long time does not necessarily also mean it has completely lost its usefulness to everyone who uses foobar2000...

What's wrong with the one that DUI seems to have?


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Bob Brines
post Jul 30 2012, 04:28
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QUOTE (Zao @ Jul 29 2012, 18:07) *
What's wrong with the one that DUI seems to have?


The same thing that is wrong with the CUI one: No grid in the frequency direction. I understand why the X legend has to go away with more bars, but there has to be some reference to make the frequency information useful. Add to that, 160 bands is no where near enough to follow the note pattern and harmonics in the music.

Bob
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Canar
post Jul 30 2012, 15:34
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Every last complaint in this thread is solvable by writing DUI elements. There is really no overwhelming reason to recreate DUI (which was really just Peter's re-interpretation of CUI).

I think that a Qt UI might be one of the justifiable alternate UIs. Unlike Zao, I don't consider it an impossibility, but it's not going to be easy, either.

This post has been edited by Canar: Jul 30 2012, 15:35


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ruebe
post Jul 30 2012, 15:49
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QUOTE (Canar @ Jul 30 2012, 16:34) *
Every last complaint in this thread is solvable by writing DUI elements.


even stacking of panels? one of the few things i "need" to perfectify my DUI config...
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Canar
post Jul 30 2012, 16:31
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QUOTE (ruebe @ Jul 30 2012, 07:49) *
even stacking of panels? one of the few things i "need" to perfectify my DUI config...
I have no idea what you mean here.


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Kohlrabi
post Jul 30 2012, 16:39
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QUOTE (Bob Brines @ Jul 30 2012, 05:28) *
The same thing that is wrong with the CUI one: No grid in the frequency direction. I understand why the X legend has to go away with more bars, but there has to be some reference to make the frequency information useful. Add to that, 160 bands is no where near enough to follow the note pattern and harmonics in the music.
It's a visualization component, which purpose is mainly aesthetic. I think it's out of the scope of the element to provide a full fledged spectrum analyzer, you might want to use a DAW if you need something like that.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jul 30 2012, 16:40


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Bob Brines
post Jul 30 2012, 16:47
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There is an additional "problem" with DUI that is the singular reason that I use CUI: In DUI, playlists do not remember a specific grouping.

Background: My collection is predominantly classical, but I have significant amounts of other genre. FB2K, like every other player I have encountered is designed around the Artist/Song paradigm. This absolutely worthless for classical, which needs to be Composer/Work/Movement, which is worthless for any other genre. Therefore, I have two different groupings. In CUI, I have a "Classical" playlist and "Default" playlist. I go to a library viewer ( "View" set accordingly) and dump some files into the appropriate playlist. In CUI, the presentation is always correct. In DUI, I have to reset the grouping. A killer, no. An inconvenient, yes.

Bob

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ruebe
post Jul 30 2012, 17:41
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QUOTE (Canar @ Jul 30 2012, 17:31) *
I have no idea what you mean here.

i was just asking, if something à la the stack splitter component would be possible - mainly because of the stacking
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BoraBora
post Jul 30 2012, 18:41
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QUOTE (Bob Brines @ Jul 30 2012, 17:47) *
There is an additional "problem" with DUI that is the singular reason that I use CUI: In DUI, playlists do not remember a specific grouping.

Maybe I misunderstood your post, but you can have up to 3 different groupings in DUI by using 3 different playlist components. The default one, SimPlaylist and WSH Playlist.
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q-stankovic
post Jul 30 2012, 20:19
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Probably grouping on a per-playlist basis is meant,


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foosion
post Jul 30 2012, 22:26
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QUOTE (Bob Brines @ Jul 30 2012, 16:47) *
In DUI, I have to reset the grouping. A killer, no. An inconvenient, yes.

Have you tried to create a custom grouping scheme that combines both? Something like this (line breaks added for readbility):
CODE
$if(%movement%,
// Use grouping for classical music.
%composer% - %work% - %movement%
,
// Fall back to artist/album grouping.
%album artist% - %album%
)

I have no idea how people normally tag classical music so the above is just an illustration inspired by the information you provided.


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Bob Brines
post Jul 31 2012, 01:01
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foosion,

No, I haven't tried that. I have a self-made problem here in that I use standard tags when reasonable so I stick "movement" into "title" , but then again "work" is a custom tag.

I realize that I am in the probably less the 5% than have significant classical collections. I really can't expect tailored features at that use level. I don't use playlists in the normal way as my listening is always ad hoc. I have for all practical purposes, exactly two playlists: Classical, Other. In CUI, I have a classical grouping that is assigned to the classical playlist only and a default grouping that applies to everything else. In DUI, I have the two groupings, but when I change playlists, I must reset the active grouping.

I may just live with this in DUI. I really do want to be using DUI before CUI goes away, and I prefer to not use third party components because there is no guarantee that they will survive the next FB2K update.

I'll be quite now.

Bob
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BoraBora
post Aug 1 2012, 20:06
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QUOTE (Bob Brines @ Jul 31 2012, 02:01) *
I don't use playlists in the normal way as my listening is always ad hoc. I have for all practical purposes, exactly two playlists: Classical, Other. In CUI, I have a classical grouping that is assigned to the classical playlist only and a default grouping that applies to everything else. In DUI, I have the two groupings, but when I change playlists, I must reset the active grouping.

What about my suggestion? You can assigne "classical" to Simplaylist, with its own grouping, and "Other" to WHSPlaylist with another grouping. Two tabs, that's all.

You have separate preferences and thus separate grouping for each playlist component. The three of them.
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audioclaudio
post Aug 2 2012, 23:05
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jul 30 2012, 16:39) *
QUOTE (Bob Brines @ Jul 30 2012, 05:28) *
The same thing that is wrong with the CUI one: No grid in the frequency direction. I understand why the X legend has to go away with more bars, but there has to be some reference to make the frequency information useful. Add to that, 160 bands is no where near enough to follow the note pattern and harmonics in the music.
It's a visualization component, which purpose is mainly aesthetic. I think it's out of the scope of the element to provide a full fledged spectrum analyzer, you might want to use a DAW if you need something like that.

No, no and no. The one in DUI is mainly an aesthetic, even though IMO it's fugly, but that doesn't mean the one in spectrum peak visualization component is mainly an aesthetic too. It's not. It comes with a whole truckload of unique features and it even has the option to choose between different window functions (hanning, blackman, hamming, blackman harris, blackman nutall, nutall and flat top). If I wanted DAW software I'd be using DAW software. This topic is about customizing foobar2000's UI.
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