Making a fancy main window like our competitor :)

Matthew Vanecek
Sat, 11 Nov 2000 07:19:05 -0600

Robert Graham Merkel wrote:
> For those of you who haven't used Quicken lately, apparently it now
> has a main window that displays a configurable set of reports, graphs and
> other financial information (including downloaded stock quotes).  It's
> a very nice feature and probably worth trying to do something similar.
> The question is: how?
> I've had a look at GnomeDock, and to me it seems it's really designed
> for toolbars and menus rather than resizable display widgets.
> The best way of going about it I can come up with so far is to use a
> descending sequence of GTKHPaned and GtkVapaned widgets to divide the
> main window up.  To configure what appears in each subwindow, there is
> a small toolbar at the top with a list of things to display (ie
> "financial summary" or "net worth graph" and the like)  and a configure button
> that when selected gives the appropriate options for that display.
> To give you an idea what I mean, imagine the paned widget in the
> current gnome file manager applied recursively to an area, or kind of
> like a framed web page.
> Finally, to allow the layout itself to be customized, each toolbar
> also contains the options "split horizontally", "split vertically",
> and "join".
> Obviously, you'd want to provide a selection of default layouts, and
> let the user save their customized layout.
> What do you all think?  Is this an abuse of Gtk*Paned?  Will it look
> like a dog's breakfast?  Is it going to be too hard to configure?
> Is there a better solution already out there?

A couple of questions that must be answered about something like that. 
Do you want it simply because Quicken has it, or because it looks cool? 
Those in charge would really have to look very hard at whether such a
feature truly enhances productivity.  Personally, I don't mind copying
the concept of something else, with my own twists added.  It does,
however, need to make sense, both from a complexity standpoint, and from
a useability standpoint.

IOW, don't copy simply because the 'competitor' has it; rather, glean
good ideas from what's available, and come up with new innovative
ideas.  I think the GNUCash team is doing a good job at that.

(I've never actually used Quicken or seen it, so please consider these
as serious concerns/questions, and not simply flamebait).
Matthew Vanecek
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