Package manager design
Open, NormalPublic

Description

As the GSoC period comes to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to see where the UI stands.
I already got some design feedback from my prior progress video:

  • The Install/Documentation/Uninstall/Disable buttons should have the same height as a regular button
  • The position of these buttons should stay on the top-right when the add-on is expanded (to avoid jumping position of buttons)
  • Update to XX could perhaps just be called "Update". Number versions (and conventions) vary between add-ons, making the button different widths and making a bit of visual noise. We could display the version number available when expanded, and its changes (are we supporting changelog? That'd be awesome!).
  • The Enable button does the same as the checkbox in the regular add-ons list? Maybe we should just use the same familiar UI for that?
  • Refresh repositories should be triggered when adding a new repo maybe?

So, the current design of the package manager appears thusly:

As it is now, I already have a few concerns:

  • Not a lot of space for repository names, and no way for the user to resize that area (not counting resizing the window)
    • Perhaps the sidebar should be put in a region, so as to at least be user-resizeable?
  • Enable/disable checkbox make names of installed packages misalign with names of uninstalled packages.
    • This could be avoided by only showing uninstalled packages in "available", so that uninstalled and installed packages are never displayed in the same list. However, this has a side effect of removing any way to search all packages at once.
  • Not a lot of distinction between installed and uninstalled packages.
    • The checkbox only appears on installed packages, but isn't consistent; it can appear unchecked or checked.
    • The button text ("Install" vs "Uninstall") looks rather similar.

Any other observations and suggestions/recommendations?

Details

Type
Design

hi, this looks really good, simple and clear for users.

"Not a lot of space for repository names, and no way for the user to resize that area (not counting resizing the window)"
The 3 bars at the window bottom allow to expand the panel.
This works well with the categories in the template list box.
There's also a function to add arrows up/down like seen in the vertex group template list box. (when the item number exceeds the length the up/down buttons appear)

"Enable/disable checkbox make names of installed packages misalign with names of uninstalled packages. This could be avoided by only showing uninstalled packages in "available", so that uninstalled and installed packages are never displayed in the same list. However, this has a side effect of removing any way to search all packages at once. "
I think this is ok, there will be many many addons and room to move will be important.

"Not a lot of distinction between installed and uninstalled packages.
The checkbox only appears on installed packages, but isn't consistent; it can appear unchecked or checked. The button text ("Install" vs "Uninstall") looks rather similar."
I did notice the lack of icon use, icons could be used here also.
Thanks, looks good so far.

The 3 bars at the window bottom allow to expand the panel.
This works well with the categories in the template list box.
There's also a function to add arrows up/down like seen in the vertex group template list box. (when the item number exceeds the length the up/down buttons appear)

Ah, I mean horizontal space. You can see that the (rather long) name of the second repository (Official Addons (blendermonkey testing)) has been cut off.

I think this is ok, there will be many many addons and room to move will be important.

Not sure what you mean? (room to move what?)

I did notice the lack of icon use, icons could be used here also.

Good point. Maybe a green check (FILE_TICK) on installed packages?

For repositories horizontal space, it could be behind an extra tab, and then repositories could be in a list similar to addons with more space for description, URLs, searching, etc. Disadvantage is that it is more hidden in the UI.

AvailableInstalledUpdates      Repositories

Otherwise, it seems quite reasonable to make the left area wider.