Chapter 19. General interface sketch

Nikolay (unDEFER) Krivchenkov


So, it is time to draw the first sketch of our future system. It will be a sketch in the most general terms without details.

General unDE screen sketch

In the lower right corner is the virtual keyboard, it also - the universal toolbar. It was described in detail in the article "Toolbar as screen keyboard".

Most region of the lower field is called the "tools adjustments".. Through it will be most settings such as the thickness of the pen or an exact font size, in a word, such on all values of which there is no possibility to allocate own hot key.

There will also be shown the contents of the Clipboard when working with the "copy / paste" operations.

In the lower left corner will be placed "Minimap". It actually becomes replacement of scrollbars. But at the same time the moving through large documents will be easy, thanks to the universal scale function. Just "move away" the document, having its more a general view, you can always orient and navigate to the necessary section.

At screen edges near to a minimap, and with area of tools adjustments will be located "tabs" for switching of possible views of these areas. Their position is linked to the reasons described in article "The way of screen space saving".

Directly over the lower panel will be located the command line. It will be displayed on the screen not always, but only when it is called. All messages from the utilities running with the command line, and any output of applications will be displayed above the command line directly over the main area of operation with the document. Thus it will not distract attention of the user and to demand reading by creation of modal dialog.

At top will be located one or several lines of tabs. In many respects it will possess properties worked out in article "Design Firefox". The main difference is that we will turn them so that current level of tabs has appeared on the screen edge. It will allow to increase considerably speed of access to them.

Tabs displays both documents and directories. According to the unDE principle "all is a directory", documents and directories are the merged concepts. After all, for example, the directory of some software project on the one hand contains other documents - files of source codes. And on the other hand itself directory is the single document - the project.

At the left (as well as on the right) there can be some additional panels customised by the user. For example, for the software project it may be full tree of source codes files.

Thus at transition to other document these panels will automatically change.

In itself unDE environment should it will turn out as more as possible homogeneous. As any directory is a document, as a matter of fact unDE - one big editor of one big document under the name "/" (the file system root directory).

It means in particular that the directory (the list of documents) may be easily printed, as well as any document. You can place any text in a directory and customise its any mapping. In a file system you thus will create a text file. You can similarly place images and even video files with any parametres of mapping. I.e. the directory in unDE will display not simply icons of files of the fixed size with its names, but arbitrarily-formatted contents of documents.

Having put some documents nearby, it is possible simply to come nearer to them that they have occupied all area of document editing. From this point you can think that before you several windows of different applications with different documents.

All this is fully consistent with the ideas of Jef Raskin, who wrote in particular that files and directories should not be at all. Everything should be a single document, in which it is possible to create simply "table of content" for convenient moves to its parts. And the incremental search automatically passing to more top levels of search at failure of the local one should solve idea of a choice of concrete files. Logo