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Renovating User Settings

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on May 15, 2005 at 14:36 UTC ( #457236=pmdevtopic: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Its been a long term objective for a few of us in pmdev to renovate User Settings. The node is too big with too much clutter which makes it hard to use and fairly annoying to work with. Some of this work is already done and some of it is partially done, with all of it up for reconsideration pretty much, at least in my opinion. Currently we have the following different pages involved in user settings in some way or another (its a copy of this list of user_superdoc's at the time of posting)

1072 User Settings - viewcode
14444 Signature Settings - viewcode
17003 Display Settings - viewcode
25185 Nodelet Settings - viewcode
50763 Theme Settings - viewcode
192270 Timezone Settings - viewcode
366609 Personal Nodelet Settings - viewcode
450961 Node Display Settings - viewcode

The general plan is to redistribute User Settings across these other nodes, possibly renaming some of them if we feel its necessary. Node Display Settings and Signature Settings are the one ive put the most work into so far, but even there im not convinced im grouping things correctly. Display Settings is an earlier attempt that as far as I know is unused, and i was stupidly unaware of when I created Node Display Settings. Theme Settings seems to me to overlap with the idea of Node Display Settings and Display Settings. Timezone Settings, Personal Nodelet Settings, and Nodelet Settings all seem stable to me, although i think some of User Settings could be migrated to Nodelet Settings.

Anyway, the point here is that its not clear (to me at least) how we should group the settings as pages. A kick the conversation off kind of proposal might be:

Signature Settings
All the stuff related to how the users nodes look when they are intially created. Maybe should be renamed to be more general but i have no idea what.
Section Settings
All the stuff related to sections. Things like how many per section, FP stuff, count styles etc.
Display Settings
All the stuff related to how the user sees the site in terms of style and presentation. The CSS and theme stuff goes here as do HTML filtering and tag parsing rules (more or less what Node Display Settings is)
Nodelet Settings
Pretty well everything related to nodelets, with Personal Nodelet Settings and a hypothetical Free Nodelet Settings excluded as special standalone cases.
User Settings
Generic user settings that dont nicely fall into the other buckets. I imagine that the pmdev related stuff would show up here and maybe a few of the other special settings like node filtering and stuff like that.

Anyway, thats just to start the discussion off... :-)


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Renovating User Settings
by eibwen (Friar) on May 15, 2005 at 18:01 UTC

    While I appreciate all the hard work that has obviously gone into this effort, I must point out something with regard to the current user settings: it's concise!

    Granted the nodelet pages are already on separate pages, however their seperation is fairly logical given their length, but some of the proposed pages are fairly short, eg Signature Settings, which has a mere two settings -- both of which would be expected in User Settings.

    On the other hand, the current User Settings could stand for some reorganization, but I wouldn't advocate refractoring the content into new pages. I like to have access to all my settings in one place. However, as long as there's an option to use the old page, I commend your efforts and intent.

    UPDATE: My principal concern is usability, while maintaining a clean, concise interface. I'm confident in pmdev's ability to implement these changes (and subsequent to this realization removed the statement regarding my preference for the existing page); however I'm curious what others would propose -- both for revising the existing User Settings in place, and for creating new settings pages.

Re: Renovating User Settings
by jonadab (Parson) on May 16, 2005 at 11:37 UTC
    Honestly, I think I would prefer to have all the settings on one big page. It's different for a local app, because switching from one settings pane to another is instant, but for a website, that's not the case, and it's annoying, when you're looking for a certain setting, to have to wait for pageload after pageload only to find out it's not on that page either. There isn't really any way to make the divisions so logical that folks can easily remember which page each setting is on, so by splitting the prefs into categories and putting each category on a different page, people are going to end up just going through them one at a time. That's my analysis.
Re: Renovating User Settings
by ysth (Canon) on May 15, 2005 at 20:53 UTC
    Perhaps "Node Creation Settings" instead of Signature Settings?
Re: Renovating User Settings
by ihb (Deacon) on May 16, 2005 at 12:59 UTC

    I like the idea of splitting up the big page into smaller and cleaner pages. If both can co-exist I'm definately in favour of it.

    By doing this split you can also easier document the features on the particular Settings page without creating a mess. You could also create an index that lists page by page with the features you find in it, with links taking you directly to the setting. That at least I would find easier than scrolling a big page. Those who don't can use the old big page, if that can co-exist.

    I think creating a (possibly index) frontpage for the settings is a good thing. It makes it easier to get an overview, find a feature easily, and allows you to easier reorganize without confusing us users too much. It's also a natural place to advertise new settings.

    I think the old settings system unnecessarily messy to navigate, and really welcome this effort to make it easier.

    Just my thoughts,

    PS. It's quite likely I'm just plain ignorant about some features and/or documents regarding this.

    See perltoc if you don't know which perldoc to read!

      User Settings Settings, anyone?
        Big idea, I want this one :)

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