Should I create a new topic for this?
Anyway, this is a fast mockup, it’s really nothing major. It would probably require less work than the current system where you have an editor etc. Also here is a fast reasoning behind the idea (nothing in depth) just to get some quick feedback.
The thinking behind this is to show all modules by default and remove the option to hide and show modules. Currently we hide modules because we don’t use all of them and since we have only 3 module groups those modules that we don’t use really get in the users way.
Problems if we show all modules on the current system:
- user has to scroll a lot
- not used modules are obstructing users view (that’s why we hide them) and creating the mess b/c they are mixed with active modules in groups.
Even if the user hides the some modules, he still has too much of them in the groups for any particular image. And while he might not use all the modules in any one image, he generally uses them all when editing day to day.
Problems persist even if we hide some modules:
- having too many not active modules mixed with active modules on any particular image
- non active modules obstructing the access to the active ones
- active modules making it hard to find a particular unactive module.
- obviously not having quick access to the hidden module
- Module discovery is greatly reduced (we all know users like to stick with defaults)
From the other apps we can see that they don’t hide the features. Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, Gimp, Krita afaik don’t hide any of their features. They do ofc have preferences but also a lot more features but they try to not hide any of it.
Since everybody would love to have node editor for Darktable but we are all also scared to actually do that radical change because that would potentially be the end of new users for darktable, let’s think how we can improve.
What do node editors usually have?
- a menu of modules sorted in groups (many groups)
- a node editor viewport where we place and connect nodes
- assume in this case a node values editor where you edit settings of a particular node
So let’s create just that but instead of a node editor, a node/module list like it is now.
So this is how it would work. All the current groups would be just a place for 2 tabs, “active modules tab” and “all modules tab”. Inside the “all modules tab” there would be “module groups” with modules in them. Those couldn’t be edited and you couldn’t change their order in the “all modules tab” also you couldn’t see duplicate modules there, just a number of duplicates.
All editing would be performed in the “active modules tab”.
This would solve a problem where we would have all modules shown but any particular module would be easily discovered and found because there would be more module groups.
Right now to find a module you are searching it in the constantly changing module groups because they show duplicates and they show editing sliders, masks, everything so you will never be able to find your module by feel and quickly.
This would solve that, those module groups would not be changing as you edit, you wouldn’t see editing sliders, masks etc there. Just lists of modules.
And yes, I know a search bar exists and you can get to anything that way. Instead of defending myself against that argument that I’m sure someone will cling on to, I’ll just ask; then why do we even have any non active modules shown right now? So that’s answers that.
Anyway here is a mockup, anyway scales are a bit off, don’t worry about the icon design those are just meaningful placeholders etc but you’ll get the gist:
Another feature one might want to add is a context menu in the image viewport. I’ve notices right mouse click right now does nothing on the image anyway.