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#1 2011-02-12 10:54:52

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,379
Website

Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

I have decided to make a nice graphical fronted for pacman for two reasons:
- to play around with gtk3
- to understand why people seem to think libalpm is not very suitable for graphical frontends

Problem is, I really suck at designing graphical applications.   Here is a picture of where I have got so far:

baka-thumb.png

Did I mention I suck at designing interfaces...   Well, I probably can do better than that!  tongue

So here is where you can help.  I want some basic mock-ups of what people would like a graphical frontend for pacman to look like.  And I mean very basic mock-ups - I just want ideas.   I will probably pick and choose from the posted mock-ups to make the "final" interface.

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#2 2011-02-12 10:56:10

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Allan wrote:

Here is a picture of where I have got so far:

http://allanmcrae.com/images/baka-thumb.png

Looks just fine to me?


ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

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#3 2011-02-12 10:58:29

flamelab
Member
From: Athens, Hellas (Greece)
Registered: 2007-12-26
Posts: 2,160

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

A Synaptic-like UI would be the best, for me at least.

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#4 2011-02-12 10:58:50

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Just about the functionality one needs in a pacman frontend. It already seems to have more features than regular pacman big_smile.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#5 2011-02-12 11:03:07

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,797

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

From the title of the thread I immediately thought 'troll'.

Then I saw the username and I thought 'yep, its a troll alright' =p

Sounds interesting. I don't have time right now (in between stuff) to make a mockup, but here's a quick list of things which I think should be seen right off the bat:-

1. Search box (live search may be a bit much, probably with a search button)
2. List of current search results (package name + version, maybe + repo)
3. Either a dedicated box or a shelf-in/out region to show details on a selected package
4. Buttons for 'install', 'uninstall'
5. Checkboxes for 'ignore dependencies' and 'force'
6. One big button for 'update all' (Syu)

All other stuff (like different root, mirrorlist etc.) should be in a 'preferences' window. The list of current search results should also show difference between package versions on the repo and locally (if it exists).


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#6 2011-02-12 11:09:29

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,379
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

ngoonee wrote:

From the title of the thread I immediately thought 'troll'.

Then I saw the username and I thought 'yep, its a troll alright' =p

And I bet the program name did nothing to remove those suspicions! tongue

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#7 2011-02-12 11:22:29

Heller_Barde
Member
Registered: 2008-04-01
Posts: 245

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

i agree almost 100% with ngoonee, except that buttons are probably not necessary, since there wouldnt be many buttons and to waste a whole toolbar for a few buttons would be a shame. Keyboard shortcuts would be preferred by most here, I think.

Search box
Result box
Details box (hideable)

And when you choose to install the selected things, there could be a window popping up for stuff like "ignore deps" and "force" and all that good stuff.

cheers,
Barde

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#8 2011-02-12 12:20:58

lucke
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2004-11-30
Posts: 4,018

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

I'd embed a terminal emulator just beneath that menu bar.

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#9 2011-02-12 13:28:24

na12
Member
From: /home/serbia
Registered: 2008-12-23
Posts: 749

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

flamelab wrote:

A Synaptic-like UI would be the best, for me at least.

+1

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#10 2011-02-12 13:58:48

Pierre
Developer
From: Bonn
Registered: 2004-07-05
Posts: 1,950
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Among those UIs for package managers I have seen Synaptic is quite the best. It might be a little too bloated though and some features are not provided by pacman.

If you really want a working result it might be worth to have look at packagekit and make the backend working with libalpm. But of course this does not matter at all if your only goal is teaching yourself gtk3. :-)

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#11 2011-02-12 14:07:55

oupsemma
Member
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 70

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Sulfur, used in Sabayon, is also quite a nice package manager.

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#12 2011-02-12 15:00:52

DonVla
Member
From: Bonn, Germany
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 997

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

oupsemma wrote:

Sulfur, used in Sabayon, is also quite a nice package manager.

Yes, it looks really nice.

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#13 2011-02-12 15:44:20

irtigor
Member
Registered: 2011-01-21
Posts: 44

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Mock-up
90a552119236341.jpg

Muon Suite: http://jontheechidna.files.wordpress.co … emove1.png

Last edited by irtigor (2011-02-12 15:45:12)

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#14 2011-02-12 15:52:21

pablokal
Member
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-03-07
Posts: 96
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

It is essential that the terminal feedback during installation is preserved in the frontend.
It should be a nice presentation of already specified extra features and incorporated the important terminal feedback.
A hybrid kind of app like I propose would break the sharp boundary between a terminal and a frontend app.

Synaptic like app wouldn't be an alternative for me to pacman in terminal


GNu/Linux: Nu nog schoner: http://linuxnogschoner.blogspot.com/

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#15 2011-02-12 16:04:50

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,424

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

pablokal wrote:

It is essential that the terminal feedback during installation is preserved in the frontend.
It should be a nice presentation of already specified extra features and incorporated the important terminal feedback.
A hybrid kind of app like I propose would break the sharp boundary between a terminal and a frontend app.

Synaptic like app wouldn't be an alternative for me to pacman in terminal

Something like http://wiki.sabayon.org/images/2/20/Sulfur_confirm.png ?

ngoonee wrote:

From the title of the thread I immediately thought 'troll'.

Then I saw the username and I thought 'yep, its a troll alright' =p

+1
First thought: a troll. Second one: hell freezing over, Allan run out of things to break ;P


Would it be possible to have checkboxes in the preferences to show only certain details, something similar to 'pacman -Qi [package] | grep -E '(foo|bar|baz)' ?

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#16 2011-02-12 16:52:42

oupsemma
Member
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 70

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

pablokal wrote:

It is essential that the terminal feedback during installation is preserved in the frontend.

Sulfur has this feature.

For example, installing nautilus open in terminal:
desktophg.th.png

screenshotamu.th.png

screenshot1x.th.png


Ther are some nice backup features:
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5265/screenshot4iy.png

MOD EDIT: - Use image posting guidelines -- Inxsible
And moreover, Sulfur can be used either in normal mode; or in Advanced Mode, with lots of interesting package management features

Last edited by Inxsible (2011-02-12 17:27:49)

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#17 2011-02-12 20:35:36

thayer
Fellow
From: Vancouver, BC
Registered: 2007-05-20
Posts: 1,560
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Looks like some good suggestions already...I whipped up a few notes as well.


thayer williams ~ cinderwick.ca

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#18 2011-02-13 12:42:26

fogobogo
Member
Registered: 2008-08-24
Posts: 83

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

here is my shot at it.
with annotations. not all that thought through (as in: I'm sure I forgot some details) but i think its a decent design for a shoot from the hip.
   
http://sudokode.net/p/347014.png
http://sudokode.net/p/891074.png
http://sudokode.net/p/182286.png
http://sudokode.net/p/903816.png

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#19 2011-02-13 14:35:01

Sara
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2009-07-09
Posts: 212
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

fogobogo wrote:

here is my shot at it.
with annotations. not all that thought through (as in: I'm sure I forgot some details) but i think its a decent design for a shoot from the hip.
   
http://sudokode.net/p/347014.png
http://sudokode.net/p/891074.png
http://sudokode.net/p/182286.png
http://sudokode.net/p/903816.png

This one looks pretty good. Very simple yet aesthetic UI, and no clutter.

Last edited by Sara (2011-02-13 14:36:11)


Registed Linux User 483618

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#20 2011-02-13 16:48:38

fogobogo
Member
Registered: 2008-08-24
Posts: 83

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

Sara wrote:

This one looks pretty good. Very simple yet aesthetic UI, and no clutter.

Thanks a lot!

I have to disagree with Pierre and  na12 that Synaptic is really a good UI. Just look at it...

http://www.nongnu.org/synaptic/images/0.53-main.png
or here a more recent one:
http://reformedmusings.files.wordpress. … lugins.png

The train of thought goes something like that for a new user:

what's that on the right? my mailbox? what does _that_ mean? no heading eh?
what's "status". or "section". "origin"? wat? huh?
properties? what properties? what _are_ properties?! for what?!
do I really need to read through the version numbers to find out whats newer?
ok. so compiz is "1:0.7.8-0ubuntu4.1" and the most recent is "1:0.7.8-0ubuntu4.1". oh that's gonna be fun.
what is that anyway? oh the description doesnt fit in there. ok. *scroll* *scroll* *scroll*

I could go on about "Mark for removal" and "Mark for complete removal" but I remember well that synaptics was a very confusing experience back then. apt-get was a lot more enjoyable in that regard. It didnt want to know "status", "section" or "origin" (frankly I still dont know what it is good for) and you could get stuff done.

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#21 2011-02-13 16:56:29

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

The section, status, origin are all just filters for the package list. Maybe you're searching for a program (currently unknown to you) to install but you don't want to just look at the entire list.

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#22 2011-02-13 17:02:03

fogobogo
Member
Registered: 2008-08-24
Posts: 83

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

anonymous_user wrote:

The section, status, origin are all just filters for the package list. Maybe you're searching for a program (currently unknown to you) to install but you don't want to just look at the entire list.

Ah I see. Not quite obivous though in my opinion. It's also pretty hard to get users that don't fade out the Help menu from their conciousness.

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#23 2011-02-13 17:51:15

toad
Member
From: if only I knew
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,775
Website

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

fogobogo wrote:

I have to disagree with Pierre and  na12 that Synaptic is really a good UI.

Agreed, synaptic stinks.

When I first installed Arch I longed for decent filters for pacman search output - sulfur seems to score well on that front. And it looks nice using qt although it is a bit cluttered. If one put all of pacman's flags as buttons in there you'd end up with something similar, ott afaic.

Good dependency info is inherent with pacman, so nothing special needed. Showing CLI output should suffice.

There was a great package manager in kde3, was it called adept? I liked that but it is too long ago and I can't remember a thing (he says and takes another swig).


never trust a toad...
::Grateful ArchDonor::
::Grateful Wikipedia Donor::

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#24 2011-02-13 18:22:54

fogobogo
Member
Registered: 2008-08-24
Posts: 83

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

toad wrote:
fogobogo wrote:

I have to disagree with Pierre and  na12 that Synaptic is really a good UI.

Agreed, synaptic stinks.

When I first installed Arch I longed for decent filters for pacman search output - sulfur seems to score well on that front. And it looks nice using qt although it is a bit cluttered. If one put all of pacman's flags as buttons in there you'd end up with something similar, ott afaic.

Good dependency info is inherent with pacman, so nothing special needed. Showing CLI output should suffice.

There was a great package manager in kde3, was it called adept? I liked that but it is too long ago and I can't remember a thing (he says and takes another swig).

oh a good bunch of people use grep to filter and recently someone made that query tool (pacinfo I think) that has some nifty options.

It just dawned me but I'd assume most people want to either install, update or remove a package with a package manager and Synaptic does not have a single button that would be named like that or indicate its meant for that. In that regard Synaptic is more of a package explorer rather than a frontend for package management.

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#25 2011-02-13 18:41:12

MindTooth
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2008-11-11
Posts: 331

Re: Help me design GUI frontend for pacman

All I would recommend is wireframing the design. Like the mockups by fogobogo wink

Great tool: https://gomockingbird.com/

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