Plastic SCM 3.0 GUI concepts

Friday, April 02, 2010 0 Comments



We are already warming up for the release of Plastic SCM 3.0 with new interesting features and incorporating user feedback. As part of this effort, we are studying how to better arrange the layout of the main GUI screen, a sample of which you can find in this picture:

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Our attention is currently focused on these main areas:Better usage of screen real state, specially the top area, where much blank space is used. While this space was left unused on purpose on the 2.0 design to balance the layout, some users have suggested putting that into use.
  • The workspace status area needs to accommodate longer branch and repository names, so more space should be given to those. Also, there is no need to have so big fonts for the current workspace name and path.
  • As a complement to the current branch and repository of the workspace in the workspace status area, it’d be nice to have the information of the task that this branch is related to (from the integration with the task management system in place, for instance, Jira or Bugzilla).
So we have prepared some mockups to solve these specific issues. The first simply makes the Plastic logo on the top smaller. We gain an horizontal band of about 20 pixels window-wide.
But the biggest change is in the layout of the workspace status bar, where there is more space for larger repository and branch names:

The second sample goes a bit further and uses the empty area on the top to hold the workspace tabs. It also moves the buttons to display repositories, workspaces and preferences to the bottom of the screen. Still not sure about this last one:

Neither of these will be the final look of the Plastic GUI 3 since more features with impact on the GUI will be included, but we are very interested in knowing your opinion about them. Feel free to comment!

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