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Simplified Header Statistics with Icons
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Description

Just an idea...

This patch greatly simplifies the statistics information shown in the header of the Info Editor.

The sections are replaced with icons and the organization of it is changed to make it much easier to quickly see the important information.

The attached image, "sample.png", shows exactly what it looks like before and after this patch is applied. The first two parts of it show the current behavior in Object and Edit mode. Then there are three images showing the proposed change while in Object mode, Edit mode while nothing is selected, and Edit mode while some vertices are selected.

To properly use this patch you would also have to replace "blender_icons.png" with the version attached as it includes a new icon for triangle.

Details

Type
Patch

Event Timeline

"StatisticsIcons2.diff" is an updated version of the patch based on feedback from the BlenderAritsts thread here:
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?275390-Simplified-Header-Statistics-Display

It is now broken into more logical groups, with a separate section for memory stats. Icons are more subdued and the active object icon changes when edited. Lots of other changes.

"StatisticsIcons.png" is an image showing what it looks like now in various modes.

The current version of trunk requires that you update "blender_icons32.png" with the version attached so you can see the updated icons.

"StatisticsIcons3.diff" is another improvement.

It displays the memory usage in all modes.
It alters the alpha of the icons so they are subdued, but still match each other.
Fixed an alignment issue so they move around less between modes.

It is also a much shorter and cleaner implementation, with more code sharing, better comments, etc.

"StatisticsIcons4.diff" improves a few more things.

It now shows more relevant information no matter what mode you are in. So doesn't show faces count while in Weight Paint mode, for example, but now does show number of vertices and faces while editing text objects.

Internally it now has two Booleans: "showText" and "showIcon" that allow it to show the summary with icons, text, both, or none. That attached file "sample6.png" shows an example of all four combinations.

"StatisticsIcon5.diff" is an update to work with trunk after revision 53338.

It now shows triangle count in Object Mode. Deals with hidden objects as well now.

"StatisticsString.diff" is not like the others. The other patches were a complete rewrite of the statistics area with little regions so that it would work with icons.

This version simply changes the existing statistics string to incorporate some of the lessons learned here. So it looks much like the current string, so less to complain about. Unlike the current string it shows mem usage all the time, tris in almost every mode, you can get vertex/face/etc counts for mesh objects without having to enter edit mode. The spacing is much easier on the eyes. Lot of changes but without the line getting longer than we currently have.

"StatisticsStringOnly.png" is a comparison between the current behavior and what you see with the patch. It is best to try it in action though...

Definite improvement. Looks quite a bit clearer.

Looks good, @Harley Acheson (harley), stats_string in info_stats.c has been updated, could you update the patch based on changes here? (See: SCENE_STATS_FMT_INT)

@Jonathan Williamson (carter2422), what do you think? (probably good to double check with @Ton Roosendaal (ton) too)

Probably best to follow the evolution of this task. It started off as showing only icons, instead of the labels, as viewed in "StatisticsIcons.png". There is a later patch, StatisticsIcons4.diff, that has the ability to show icons, text, both, or none as can be seen in "sample6.png". Worried that the icon display was a concern I made a simplified patch, StatisticsString.diff, that *only* makes changes to the text string as can be viewed in "StatisticsStringOnly.png".

So right now I'm not certain what parts are liked or not. Whether the icon display is acceptable, text-only preferred, or allowing user configuration. As this thread started these are just ideas and I'm assuming that some, all, or none of it will be liked.

I prefer the version with only icons. I feel their meaning is clear enough (as they're reiterated all throughout Blender's interface), and the fact that it saves space allows for more open spacing which makes for clear at-a-glance reading.

What's the use of the UI team if these things happen? Have they weighed in on this at all?

I was hoping we could discuss this in the ui maling list the next Bcon1. I think this is an improvement over the current stats. The icons are clear and it's quicker to read this way.

Please consider re-opening so the team can take a look at it.

I'd change one thing: use the object_data icon when in object mode, and the mesh_data icon when in the other modes.

Yikes. So this patch sits here for two years and then is closed because of a mailing-list comment by Ton.

This particular task asks questions and poses a number of solutions - it isn't a yes/no thing. Ideally this should have had input from the UI team so that preferences could have been voiced, changes made, moving toward a single version that everyone liked.

Ton's note states that he prefers the text display and dislikes icons for this. However this task, as I mentioned a few comments earlier, includes a patch "StatisticsString.diff" that changes only the text string without adding icons as can be seen in "StatisticsStringOnly.png". By closing this task does this mean that those changes were looked at, but found to not be improvements or was it not viewed at all? I'm guessing the latter since Ton's comment was written a year before that patch was added to this task.

This was discussed a bit a while ago, but I agree with @Harley Acheson (harley) that it deserves reopening. Regardless of which (if any) versions are chosen, it is worth revisiting to try and improve the current situation; which frankly is horrendous.

At this point I think it'd be worth updating the patches and ensuring they're working (I haven't yet had the time to test them).

Regardless of the outlook on icons in the stats, the StatisticsStringOnly.png is a dramatic improvement.

"Just closed because of a remark by me..."

Check the icon-stats discussion and note that Harley accepted the outcome of the discussion in january 2013 and said he made a new patch. I don't think anyone had a problem with that. Adding the new patch to the old icons patch issue just is probably the only reason why it got stuck so long (or rejected).

There are good rational and sensible reasons to limit the use of icons in UIs. Using icons as text shortening feature is "fun" but you will regret this sooner or later, by creating a UI that's even more cluttered and unusable than now. Icons better stay UI elements which you can use. Metaphors - you know.

So - the text patch is really all fine.

BTW: and I would prefer people to work on real issues, like making an actual usable statistics viewer/editor/spreadsheet/panel - something other 3d programs have too.
Or make a 64-128 pixel tool-icon set, to use on horizontal toolbar shelves.
Or solve our horrible complex driver-adding UI
Lots of these issues are all in our wiki, on the todo list...

I agree with @Ton Roosendaal (ton) about the use of icons - they are usually clickable, and are visually intense - great for toolbars, not so good everywhere else.

On the mockup here I just placed the scene statistics in the viewport's corner. That frees the topbar for other things (clutters the viewport on the other hand):

To get the best of both worlds I would consider leaving always visible only the most important statistics (tricount/polycount) on the viewport, and placing the rest inside a full blown statistics editor type or a auto-closing popup.

Or make a 64-128 pixel tool-icon set, to use on horizontal toolbar shelves.

I started to do that some time ago here https://developer.blender.org/T38246 , but I'd like some input from the module owners if the quality is satisfactory before I'll go further.

(Great to see you here @Ton Roosendaal (ton))

Julian Eisel (Severin) reopened this task as Open.Oct 8 2014, 11:21 AM

Reopened, as the reasons why this patch was rejected were tackled in a new patch (which looks fine to me UI-wise). @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) closed this a bit rashly, I guess.
We could set this as a goal for 2.73, but I'll best mail the Bf-interface list about this.
I offer myself for reviewing this, too.

Sergey Sharybin (sergey) closed this task as Archived.Feb 26 2015, 10:58 AM

This is more a controversial topic which is quite tricky to keep everyone happy. Before going to implementation side i'd suggest going through the design discussion making sure all the maintainers are happy.

For until the agreement on that level is reached there's no actual point expecting the patch to be reviewed.