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[Done] Simplifying preferences dialog

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:34 am
by Wladimir Palant
The latest development build introduced a dedicated dialog for adding filters. Now that we have that, I would like to simplify the preferences dialog. Here are some thoughts:

1. The help text at the top isn't necessary, something like "The filters below determine what Adblock Plus should block" is sufficient. The warning that Adblock Plus is disabled isn't necessary either. Both of these should go to the new filter composer.

2. The dropdown list in the filter editor can go, it is not very useful in comparison to blockable items list. This should make the filter editor simpler, even switching to the default tree cell editor is a possibility (only after support for Firefox 2 is dropped however).

3. So far the preferences dialog would try to apply changes to the webpage it was opened from. This shouldn't be necessary now, it is enough if the filter composer dialog does it.

Any comments? Am I planning to slaughter somebody's holy cow?

The development build supports both adding new filters via filter composer and via preferences dialog (you have to change a hidden preference). Do you think this is necessary?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:24 pm
by Ares2
Wladimir Palant wrote:1. & 2.

I'm fine with removing these things. I don't think they were needed/used very often (especially 2.).

Wladimir Palant wrote:3. So far the preferences dialog would try to apply changes to the webpage it was opened from. This shouldn't be necessary now, it is enough if the filter composer dialog does it.


Just after adding a new rule or also when I disable a rule and hit apply then? (ex: Go to a page where an element is hidden - open blockable items to see what rule is active - right click - edit filter in effect - disable filter - hit apply to see what the rule has hidden - maybe reactivate it and apply again)

Wladimir Palant wrote:The development build supports both adding new filters via filter composer and via preferences dialog (you have to change a hidden preference). Do you think this is necessary?

If you are used to create the rules manually, the filter composer is somehow useless, but it doesn't really hurt anyone either and for the standard user, it is surely easier now to understand the filters(yntax). I'm already getting used to it so I don't think I'm going to use the option.


Maybe this should be in a separate topic. Suggestion:

The standard option when blocking something is the second one - the full path of the element but not the element itself. I think the standard should be the first one - the full adress of the element - because if a user doesn't bother about the options and just click "Adblock Image" and then OK, he will probably block things he doesn't want to.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:42 pm
by rick752
Removing those are no problem here as far as I can see.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:52 pm
by Wladimir Palant
Ares2 wrote:Just after adding a new rule or also when I disable a rule and hit apply then?

Both.
(ex: Go to a page where an element is hidden - open blockable items to see what rule is active - right click - edit filter in effect - disable filter - hit apply to see what the rule has hidden - maybe reactivate it and apply again)

Element hiding is a separate story - in Firefox 3 changes apply immediately and I don't have to do anything for that.

The standard option when blocking something is the second one - the full path of the element but not the element itself. I think the standard should be the first one - the full adress of the element - because if a user doesn't bother about the options and just click "Adblock Image" and then OK, he will probably block things he doesn't want to.

On the other hand, users regularly complain that images "come back" when you reload the page. You are right that most users usually just click OK, and that limits the usefulness of Adblock Plus for them a lot. I think that the second option is a sane default - it should usually do what the user wants and it will rarely cause false positives (unlike the built-in "Block images from .." feature that tends to block way more than the user intended).

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:22 pm
by Ares2
Wladimir Palant wrote:Element hiding is a separate story - in Firefox 3 changes apply immediately and I don't have to do anything for that.

As long as I can do this, I'm OK with 3.

Wladimir Palant wrote:On the other hand, users regularly complain that images "come back" when you reload the page. You are right that most users usually just click OK, and that limits the usefulness of Adblock Plus for them a lot. I think that the second option is a sane default - it should usually do what the user wants and it will rarely cause false positives

OK, after some testing, I now agree with you. :D There are really more situations where the second option is helpful.

Another question: Is the collapse switch still working the same in Firefox 3 (not affected when removing this)?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:44 pm
by Hubird
I'm fine with all the suggestions. I have never used "The dropdown list in the filter editor" to block items the whole time I have been using ABP.

When you finally release this new version to the masses what is the likely hood of some of the other UI suggestions making it into the new build ?

EG:

Easier copy filter in effect

http://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2498


Extended Tooltips as mentioned in

http://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1705

And how about the abilty to export the blockable items list. This way it would be much easier for new user to report false positives to the list authors (Not really a UI suggestion but I though I would mention it).

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:14 pm
by Wladimir Palant
@Ares2: I didn't do anything about the collapse option yet (and won't do as long as bug 424970 is an issue). Firefox will now collapse some blocked elements by default however, regardless of what Adblock Plus says.

@Hubird: I am working on incorporating the other UI suggestions as well. They are in "Future development" for a reason.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:32 pm
by Ares2
Wladimir Palant wrote:@Ares2: I didn't do anything about the collapse option yet (and won't do as long as bug 424970 is an issue).


That's what I meant (OT: Should I write "if" instead of "when" in this case?).

Wladimir Palant wrote:Firefox will now collapse some blocked elements by default however, regardless of what Adblock Plus says.


So when the bug is fixed, the option won't have any effect?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:44 pm
by Wladimir Palant
@Ares2: Yes, the "collapse" option will have very little effect (there are still cases not handled by Firefox regardless of bug 424970 but those are rare).

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:45 am
by Wladimir Palant
I moved the warning that Adblock Plus is disabled. Will also move the help text as soon as I decide where to put it in the composer.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:30 am
by Hubird
Some composer suggestions:

(1) Allow the size of the composer to be adjusted, this way when using the advanced view the composer window can be stretched so that there is no need to scroll to see all the options.


(2) Put a "Always on top" tick box. At the moment the composer is always on top of other windows which I find can be a little frustrating at times.


(3) Not sure how useful this would be but how about select all / Select none for the "Options" in the advanced view (or perhaps just "reset").


Now for some nitpicking:

When in the advanced view in the composer if you scroll the options scroll bar to the very bottom you can still see part of the option above, this in my opinion looks a bit unprofessional.

Screen shot:

http://www.geocities.com/hubird/composer.gif

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:06 am
by Wladimir Palant
@Hubird:

1) Isn't that already possible with the current development build? I fixed that bug yesterday.

2) It is only on top of the window it has been opened for, similarly to detached sidebar - just to make sure it doesn't get lost (which tends to happen if this isn't done). Also, I cannot change "on top" once the window is opened.

Nit: Not sure I can do anything about that. It is the same if you scroll a webpage, sometimes you will see only a half of the line at the top.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:02 pm
by Hubird
I was still using the previous development build. The current development build can be resized which takes care of (1) and the "Nit" (The nit was only relevant when the window could not be resized).

I guess (2) is fair enough.

Re: Opinions requested: Simplifying preferences dialog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:33 pm
by Adblock Plus Fan
Joining the I don't care club for the first 3 points.

Wladimir Palant wrote:The development build supports both adding new filters via filter composer and via preferences dialog (you have to change a hidden preference). Do you think this is necessary?
In a way, yes.

Currently we have 3 options to add filters from preference window. If you are looking to simplify the preference window I'd say 2 of those 3 options can go.

The first one:
Image
I have never ever used it, and I don't think most people do either.


The second one:
Image
Admittedly I used to use this feature all the time prior to the filter composer, but in fact I think you can remove this thing entirely. And by this I mean this whole feature:
Image
As long as...


...this:
Image
remains at the bottom left corner of the preferences window. Users will still have access to filter creation from preference window if you link this button to the Filter composer window.

The reason is simply because the filter composer window will be doing a superior job of helping users notice the advanced filter options. This reason alone is worth it in my opinion.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:14 pm
by Wladimir Palant
@Fan: Sorry, my question was probably unclear. The "Add filter" button in Preferences will stay, not a question. The question is what should happen if user right-clicks an image and selects "Adblock Image". 0.7.5.5 will open preferences with filter editor running. Current development build however will start filter composer - at least by default, with a hidden pref you can revert the behavior to the way it was in 0.7.5.5. Question is, is this hidden pref necessary or is everybody ok with using the filter composer? Filter composer is experimental at this stage of course but from the feedback it seems that nobody has real issues with that user interface.