Have Other User Intefaces Been Considered ?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Over the past 15 (or thereabouts) years there have been several radios (both receivers and ham transceivers) which have used (or at least allowed) computer based (PC) user interfaces (UI).

This started with analog radios which, although they had a 'real buttons-and-knobs front panel', on the backside they had an interface that you could plug into with a computer if you wanted to. Then we had some analog radios that didn't have the buttons-and-knobs front panel (the Kachina and Ten-Tec Pegasus come-to-mind) but instead required that you interface with them through a PC UI. Then we had radios which began to use digital signal processing (DSP) and some of those off-loaded at least some of the processing to the PC and had a 'thick' inteface UI (the FLEX-5000 for one). Now we have radios which are (almost) entirely 'digital' - having co-located dedicated processing hardware (e.g. the FLEX-6000s) with a thin-EtherNet client UI used to take the place of the buttons-and-knobs that many of us grew up with (eons ago ....).

For the most part, ever since we began to move away from the physical buttons-and-knobs front panel, the PC UIs have taken their cue, on how they should look, from the previous physical front panel interfacing radios .... until the FLEX-6000 radios.

I confess .... I'm having trouble with the buttons-and-sliders on the right side of my SmartSDR UI screen .... with most of the real-estate being taken over by the panadaptor/spectrum analyzer  display (I like the word Panadaptor ..... reminds me of when I was a kid - given a 1950s era Radio Products Panadaptor - got it working with my Lafayette HE-10 shortwave receiver - learning to adjust the IF amp's frequency response gave me an appreciation of critical-coupling and bandpass tuning).

I do not want to start a fuss. I'd just like to know if there are others who look at the Perseus UI (and similar) and think 'Ah ....'  then the thought .... How hard would it be to use the API to build something similar for the FLEX-6000 ?

(Now I'll be quiet .... don't want to cause-a-stir .... just wanted to ask.)

- Paul, WB5AGF
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Paul, WB5AGF

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Posted 4 years ago

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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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This thread was not originally about skeuomorph GUI, it was about adding hardware controls.

I think we all agree that skeuomorph GUI is not ideal. Physical knobs are not ideal, but they can be an enhancement especially if you can define their behavior. They can also make the radio more portable when you are running a station with limited resources.
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DrTeeth

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I just wish the current interface would follow Windows conventions. That would be a good start.
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Gary, what Windows convention are you talking about? I recall the Windows Style Guide from ages ago in the MFC timeframe. I believe at this point there are subsets for RIA, specifically in this case WPF. It appears SSDR pretty much seems to follow that. Further, it appears to follow a BorderPane, and the left panel is retractable. The top as your traditional menu items and the bottom has, I've forgotten as it is not in front of me. The right has a VerticalBox which contain the dialog boxes. Unfortunately it is not scrollable as on a laptop one loses the bottom most dialogs.
What exactly did you mean by Windows conventions?
Walt
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DrTeeth

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Oy, the number of times I have been called Gary in my life, LOLZ.

I am talking about, when a slider is active, right and left arrows move it left and right not page down/up. Also, when a slider is active, more often than not by the cursor just being over it, the mouse wheel moves it; etc. There are more of that ilk.  The mouse wheel one drives me nuts as I use it a lot, but find myself detuning my radio in SSDR
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Oh jeese, I'm sorry.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I've always used the hover (or whatever verb is in vogue) to trigger help text, not change focus to a different control. Look at it this way, of the mouse were nudged and it parked over a different control thereby shifting focus and you were in a contest, that would probably be more upsetting than requiring more positive control, vis-a-vis, changing focus. Just to editorialize for a moment. I think one of the problems with opening a problem is one might find respondents knowing less about it that the author does. For instance, in this case what I was going to suggest is opening a specific problem thread but direct it specifically to Eric, with the question "shouldn't this work like ...." where he can respond "you're correct, it's a bug" or 'no, the stds say..". It would be nice if one could do that without getting pages of people pontificating and/or changing the topic etc. I've seen this happen to me, I've seen it happen to lots of others and, yes, it is very frustrating. All that said, you could open a question or a problem and right up front, be very specific, "THIS IS DIRECTED TO [ERIC|STEVE|TIM|etc] NO ONE ELSE NEED RESPOND". and, if you are fortunate the intended FRS person may see it without all sorts of noise around it. I mean I understand the whole 'social media' thing but as an employee, you couldn't pay me enough to wade through cesspools like this BB. I've never seen a company use a social media to report problems or ask questions, they instead use Jira or Bugzilla or Mantis or facsimile. I realize they deliberately choose this. I did look to see if there was an updated Microsoft or WPF style guide and didn't see anything like that. I do remember when they had one though. So run it by Eric.
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Lee, Elmer

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Here is a little primer for DDUTIL macros used in the Flex Control

73  W9OY
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Ross - K9COX

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I like the steering wheel of a Formula I race car (does it all) or perhaps the HUD on a modern fighter.