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Dev: Collapsible Menus

Adventures In Blender shows a new feature that Scott Petrovic is currently working on: Collapsible menus. What do you think? You can grab the source files here if you'd like to try it for yourself.

17 Comments

  1. AdventuresInBlender on

    I (Terry Wallwork), didn't develop this feature, I just demonstrated it. It is also in trunk already. Anyone wanting to use it can do so by getting the most recent trunk build.

    • Jaroslav Novotny on

      It is very different and much better.
      1. you cannot hit it by miss-click (this annoys me a lot) and saves/cleans space.
      2. when the menu is collapsed you have access to it

      • Alberto Velazquez on

        You have reason, we have saved 15pixels, really necesary...

        I never have made a miss-click in three years. I don't know why. Maybe for the same reason that I don't make miss-clicks in the rest of buttons of blender, windows, chrome,...

        • Campbell Barton on

          When showing someone blender for the first time, they managed to click on this by accident and hide there file menu (was the first thing they did!) - maybe a red-herring of course, but think this is better even though its less discoverable.

  2. I'm mostly glad that the little "magnify" icon isn't taking up that space anymore, as I never use it. I'm guessing that depending on the user, the magnify icon is either not used at all or used pretty frequently, as the screen size is pretty consistent, so for those who use it often, the collapsed mode might be best.

  3. I want to avoid sounding negative here, but I'm sincerely curious as to what this feature achieves. Most of the time, I'd want to have the menu names showing, since it's faster to just go to their name directly rather than (more) flipping through a list of menu options. Just for my own case, that particular header menu's rarely, if ever, in my way. When I do want them collapsed, there's already the "minus sign" collapse button if you want them out of the way.

    I do see the benefit of at least being able to access those menu options while the header menu is collapse, but I just can't help but think, even as streamlined as I like my workflow, it take the exact same amount of mouse clicks to click on the collapsible menu icon as it does the "minus sign" collapse button icon. It just seems like you'll be spending more time than you'll be saving it.

    It doesn't seem like it'll really save much time, because it still takes more time to flip through collapsed menu items than it does just pointing to the current layout of the menu option and using muscle memory to access options. And just speaking for myself, I usually don't have an issue space for with header menu icons.

    If anything, what I'd rather see eventually is an option similar to how ZBrush allows you to just customize your own UI, by "unlocking" the icons and allowing you to place menus and icons how you please (while leaving the rest hidden safely in menus). This would be a much larger development, but it'd do wonders towards resolving anybody's UI issues, and would probably immediately take Blender's UI from being that awkward kid to that easy-going cool guy.

    Honestly, I'd love nothing more than to be able to just rip menus and icons off of their bars and just place them right in my 3D Viewport workspace, where they stay "stickered" on top of the viewport as I work with modeling as normal. Then we could perhaps have a "restore all custom UI" button to places things back again, a "hide custom UI" to quickly hide custom icons on your Viewport (and maybe assign the Numpad * as a hotkey), and a "save custom UI" feature to say layouts for next time.

    In any case, it's good to see someone complete something they started (or near the completion, at least). I don't mean to be a downer or critic--I'm just finicky when it comes to messing with what I've developed by muscle memory.. Who knows? Maybe it'll turn into something more noticeably useful for myself.

    • If anything, what I'd rather see eventually is an option similar to how ZBrush allows you to just customize your own UI, by "unlocking" the icons and allowing you to place menus and icons how you please (while leaving the rest hidden safely in menus). Then you can either lock that new customized UI in place, or just leave it "adjustable" with working with it unlocked.

      This would be a much larger development, but it'd do wonders towards resolving anybody's UI issues, and would probably immediately take Blender's UI from being that awkward kid to that easy-going cool guy.

      Honestly, I'd love nothing more than to be able to just rip menus and icons off of their bars and just place them right in my 3D Viewport workspace, where they stay "stickered" on top of the viewport as I work with modeling as normal.

      Just click-and-drag icons and menus just as you need them anywhere, including the 3D Viewport. Then we could perhaps have a "restore all custom UI" button to places things back again, a "hide custom UI" to quickly hide custom icons on your Viewport (and maybe assign the Numpad * as a hotkey), and a "save custom UI" feature to say layouts for next time.

      It'd be a major undertaking, but this seems like it may just help kill several birds with one stone: UI, icon clutter, items lost in menus, etc.

    • The benefit for people who don't need to collapse the menu is that there's one less icon cluttering it up and taking up space. The benefit for people who need to save that space is that it doesn't move anything in the header when you open the menus(consistent UI + always saving space). The benefit for newbies is one less icon that likely will only be used accidentally(it's a rather non-standard UI feature & looks like it might magnify something in the 3D viewport).

      The only drawbacks I see are for people who need to collapse the menu, as it requires an extra click EVERY time you open the menus and toggling it on/off requires more steps. I'm guessing the drawbacks will only affect a small percentage, and since it seems like a feature currently more likely to be used by more experienced users, they might use keyboard shortcuts more often anyway.
      For people who never collapse the menu, there are no drawbacks, as it's just removing an icon we never use.

  4. Vincent Holzborn on

    I don`t want to blame develop work, I really love the fast and steady growing development of Blender. I am no developer - I cant even think like a programmer, so you have my respect.
    But nevertheless I will say my opinion:
    I think this leads in the wrong direction. Sure, the menu is much too overloaded and it is anoying that you have to scroll to get to important features.
    But I wish to have a Layer Editor, where I can Name my Layers, that is one of the most important features Blender is missing since the beginning and this would save the same space!
    Another thing could be the Move, Rotate and Scale buttons, that should be in an own window-part, maybe on the left side from top to bottom and not individually on each window - or if you really need to have individually editable transform tools for each window (I never needed) this could hidden in a way like this tool.
    I think that would improve the workflow much more.
    But, like I said, this is just my opinion.

    • "But I wish to have a Layer Editor, where I can Name my Layers...."
      +1 to that! It's such an obviously missing feature, and it would make things so much easier.

      • "But I wish to have a Layer Editor, where I can Name my Layers...." +2

        Why don't we just have a Layers view in the outliner? We don't need to
        get rid of the fast layers in the header. The used ones should just
        show up in the outliner as well and the boxes in the header should
        extend if more layers were added in the outliner. And we could name the layers in the outliner just like we can with objects and other stuff.

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