Implementation of Bigger sliders with markings



Just to make it clear to everyone, the whole red area is where you can click with your mouse. No need to hit the triangle, no need to hit the line.



Agreed, it’s a shame that darktable’s bauhaus widgets are not widely adopted. :cry:

(Tobias) #23

Just to make it clear to everyone, the whole red area is where you can click with your mouse. No need to hit the triangle, no need to hit the line.

Perhaps there should be some kind of hint to make this more obvious. (I have no clue how.)

(Christian Kanzian) #24

Maybe this should be add to the manual?

Reducing the interface to this sliders is a bit akward. After several years using darktable and then trying LR or C1 leads to the same experience: “Why is program X so compliated - in darktable it is so easy?”

E.g. it took me quite some time to figure out how to export an image from C1. Man is a creature of habits!


I have to admit, i haven’t noticed that before. I’d either try to hit the triangle or go straight to the right click method.

(Gord) #26

It appears that the manual needs to be fixed then:

" Sliders¶

Sliders offer five different ways of interaction, depending on the level of control you need.

1. Triangular marker

Left-click the slider's triangular marker and drag it to the left or right."



It might be good to consider the definition of the slider at Wikipedia, or other definitions of the slider UI element as well, like this or maybe here. Eg. Wikipedia says:

“user may set a value by moving an indicator”

So as a fact we can agree that the Bauhaus sliders used in dt behaves differently than slider elements in other well-known softwares, and that is the basis of misunderstanding and be fair some frustration of new users. On the other hand Bauhaus sliders do provide superior functionality in other aspects.

Question is can we find a common ground: ie enhance the Bauhaus slider to be more friendly with “naive” / inexperienced users, while keeping the existing benefits/functionality?

(Roman Lebedev) #28

It’s not about being friendly with

it’s about being powerful-enough to be feature-ful for the knowledged users, who did RTFM.

That being said, fixing would be awesome.


Indeed. I fixed it in git and eventually it will be put online as well.

I seriously don’t see where our sliders are posing any problem. Even not knowing that you don’t have to hit the triangle I would expect people to figure that out on their own after 5 minutes of using them. And being able to click into a slider to set its value instead of dragging the marker to that position is common among basically all slider implementations I know and not unique for ours.

(João Almeida) #30

I’m no UX expert, so this should be taken with a huge pinch of salt, but each person may have its own path specially if using different supports or pointing devices. I actually find the slider handlers very small, that’s not a problem to me because my way of using DT’s sliders is always based on the mouse wheel, but I very rarely use the click directly on the bar neither the keyboard shortcuts mentioned above.

(Jilles Van Gurp) #31

I’ve been using Darktable for a few years on macs, which while not ideal kind of works. I love Darktable for all the wonderful things it can do but the UX is not always great. So, the criticism on the UX of the sliders is valid. I think the out of the box UI dpi is plain wrong for most modern hdpi screens out there. And since we’re talking serious photography here, I can’t imagine low resolution screens are very common among serious users these days. Manually changing dpi in the configuration of course works. But then maybe since the rest of the UI seems aware of the hdpi nature of the screen, maybe it should adapt automatically or be at least easier to edit via the UI.

Arguably the primary UX any kind of scroll bar would be to drag the marker around. That’s very hard and so inaccurate in Darktable that there is almost no point to doing that. And while I’m a fan of the right click to get to the fine grained editing mode, getting there is quite hard when your click target is a tiny triangle. I mis-click quite often in Darktable. Also, It took me quite long to discover this feature even existed; which given how essential it is to using Darktable is a bit of a problem for new users.

Also, I’m not actually using a mouse these days but a trackpad. This actually works quite well but things like scroll wheels and right clicks become two finger clicks and two finger drags (or pinches). Mostly this just works but I’ve been struggling with small click targets and overly sensitive scrolling. I’m guessing the experience of using this on any kind of touch screen is probably quite horrible right now. These too are becoming more common.

Regarding updating the documentation I would just state that good UX shouldn’t need documentation. Darktable documentation is pretty awesome of course but it is always better to just address the underlying problems.

(Glenn Butcher) #32

I did the same sort of thing with my blackwhitepoint sliders in rawproc. Also, hover in the scroll area and rolling the mouse wheel works.

And, did the same thing in my curve tool. If you select a control point, you can “drag” it from anywhere in the curve grid. That one was more about attempting to accommodate a touch display on a tablet, but the results in that use are mixed…

(Mica) #33

I think the main problem with larger sliders is that there is already not enough vertical space. There are too many modules and not enough vertical.

HiDPI support on Linux has only recently been made decent and on windows it is still a shit show.

I’m not convinced you vab have good UX with a trackpad. I don’t believe gestures are good design.

Improving the sliders usability for every type of input is much harder than making the slider larger.


Please share a screen shot so we can see what parts are not scaled properly.

As stated earlier in this thread, there is no need to drag the marker. Just click into the general slider area which will move the marker to that position, keep the mouse clicked and move it. The slider will follow.

You can right-click anywhere in the slider area. The triangle has no meaning whatsoever wrt. interacting with the widget. It is just a visual indicator of the current value.

(Roel) #35

Happy DT user here, but still I would like to chime in, and comment on this remark early in the thread:

Now, I know the tricks on how to manipulate these wonderfully versatile sliders: I know that I can click anywhere, I can scroll, I can right click (really useful!), I can also do stuff with the keyboard, etc. But, even though I consider myself very able around software, it has taken me some trial-and-error in the past to figure this out. And judging from the comments in this thread, I’m not the only one.
Apparently, when (some) people see a slider with a little triangle, they have been conditioned to try to click and move it. Apparently, the looks of the slider doesn’t match with (some) of the user’s expectations. That is, imho, not something to dismiss lightly from a UX design perspective, nor can it be argued that (new) users simply have to read the manual.

So I would definitely be in support of a reconsideration of the looks of the current sliders. Maybe a bigger triangle is not the best option, but there are surely other ways to make the basic usage more intuitive as @Rui_M_Leal showed with his comparison in the first post.

Edit: to clarify, I only try to argue that the initial behavior of a slider is click-and-drag, and that this is hard because of the small triangle.


Isn’t that how sliders work in general? I just checked in some other programs (Blender, Inkscape and GIMP to be precise) and they behave the same: a click into the slider will set the mark to that position, subsequent drags will move it.

(Roel) #37

Oh absolutely! But the impression I get from the reactions here is not that the slider is dysfunctional, but simply hard to use in the most obvious way of click-and-drag. That is what I also meant to say with “the looks of the slider doesn’t match with the expectation”: people seem to expect that they have to click on the triangle in order to move it to a different position. And for that, the triangle is rather small.

The fact that click-and-drag is not the only implemented behavior of the slider is wonderful, but not so obvious. But the existence (and perhaps superiority) of the other behaviors are the main counter argument to the suggestion to change the triangle size. And that seems very counter-UX to me.

(Jilles Van Gurp) #38

I think the example with the original post above is clear enough. Those triangles are comparatively tiny; that’s the problem. Especially tricky when they are positioned close together like in the parametric mask editor. Always struggling there to get the right marker.

My experience with right click is a bit different. Unless I exactly right click the triangle, I get a some pop up menu. For screenshots, see above. Also the UI tends to lag a lot so the dragging is a bit of a PITA when it takes some time for the application state to catch up.