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Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - Printable Version

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Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - Michael - 08-24-2023

Hi Jim,

I just got the latest update on my Android and noticed that I have transparent circles in the corners and in the middle along the top and bottom of the reader pane.

I looked but didn't find out how to disable them. Don't even know what to look

I mocked up a screenshot with the effect. Hope you can help me out what I missed during the upgrade.

Thanks, Michael


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - jim_chapman - 08-24-2023

Hi Michael,

Those transparent circles should be appearing if you've got custom actions (like 'add bookmark' or 'something) associated with the action of tapping at the edge or corner of the page. The idea is just to remind you that tapping in those areas is meant to do something special. Maybe they're misbehaving, though. Could you send me a copy of your logfile (like this:http://www.turnipsoft.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=5 ) and I will take a look at what is happening.

Thanks,

Jim


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - Michael - 08-24-2023

Hi Jim,

thanks for the explanation!

Yes, I do have custom actions on those. I set them to previous/next page. I have now removed the next-page options and those circles are gone. And then tried to also remove the previous page options and okay, yes, the edges work reasonably well on default. Originally, I only had the top edge and the bottom edge configured for navigating back and forth. Not sure if the edge-option is new and why I didn't set the middle area of the screen, I just had those settings for the past ten or so years like that. For now, I'm good, though. Thanks!

I do think it would be great to have the option to disable those circles while still having the tap-gestures wired up. The reason is that I use almost all the screen space for showing the book's text and the circles run into the text. They also distract a bit. And if the edge default wouldn't work as well as it does, I would now be stuck.

Michael


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - jim_chapman - 08-25-2023

(08-24-2023, 02:57 PM)Michael Wrote: Hi Jim,

thanks for the explanation!

Yes, I do have custom actions on those. I set them to previous/next page. I have now removed the next-page options and those circles are gone. And then tried to also remove the previous page options and okay, yes, the edges work reasonably well on default. Originally, I only had the top edge and the bottom edge configured for navigating back and forth. Not sure if the edge-option is new and why I didn't set the middle area of the screen, I just had those settings for the past ten or so years like that. For now, I'm good, though. Thanks!

I do think it would be great to have the option to disable those circles while still having the tap-gestures wired up. The reason is that I use almost all the screen space for showing the book's text and the circles run into the text. They also distract a bit. And if the edge default wouldn't work as well as it does, I would now be stuck.

Michael

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the answer.  I agree it would be good to make it a user choice whether to show all the little circles and icons around the edge of the screen.  For some users they could be helpful, but for others they'll be a distraction and an intrusion.  I will add a new optional setting in the next app release (some time in the next foour weeks I would expect).

Jim


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - vousgarde - 08-25-2023

(08-25-2023, 07:03 AM)jim_chapman Wrote:
(08-24-2023, 02:57 PM)Michael Wrote: Hi Jim,

thanks for the explanation!

Yes, I do have custom actions on those. I set them to previous/next page. I have now removed the next-page options and those circles are gone. And then tried to also remove the previous page options and okay, yes, the edges work reasonably well on default. Originally, I only had the top edge and the bottom edge configured for navigating back and forth. Not sure if the edge-option is new and why I didn't set the middle area of the screen, I just had those settings for the past ten or so years like that. For now, I'm good, though. Thanks!

I do think it would be great to have the option to disable those circles while still having the tap-gestures wired up. The reason is that I use almost all the screen space for showing the book's text and the circles run into the text. They also distract a bit. And if the edge default wouldn't work as well as it does, I would now be stuck.

Michael

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the answer.  I agree it would be good to make it a user choice whether to show all the little circles and icons around the edge of the screen.  For some users they could be helpful, but for others they'll be a distraction and an intrusion.  I will add a new optional setting in the next app release (some time in the next foour weeks I would expect).

Jim

Hey Jim,

I just wanted to precise that exactly 0 (zero) users find this feature helpful in any way. How would I know? Because, remapping an action is a *voluntary* process, and I really hope you have enough faith in us to not think that we would be dull enough to forget the two or three inputs we *voluntary* remapped.

All that was achieved here was to bloat the reading interface with meaningless circles. Although I find this feature surprising in a bad way, this is not what I am the most confused about. The fact is, even now, I cannot comprehend how no one thought about also implementing a way to disable this behaviour.

And you want us to wait four weeks for that? I am sure this update brought some much-desired changes and I am in no way trying to stress you, but I really wanted you to have an insight on how this feature is perceived from this side. Hopefully I can tamper with the source files and get rid of this somehow...


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - jim_chapman - 08-25-2023

(08-25-2023, 09:19 AM)vousgarde Wrote: Hey Jim,

I just wanted to precise that exactly 0 (zero) users find this feature helpful in any way. How would I know? Because, remapping an action is a *voluntary* process, and I really hope you have enough faith in us to not think that we would be dull enough to forget the two or three inputs we *voluntary* remapped.

All that was achieved here was to bloat the reading interface with meaningless circles. Although I find this feature surprising in a bad way, this is not what I am the most confused about. The fact is, even now, I cannot comprehend how no one thought about also implementing a way to disable this behaviour.

And you want us to wait four weeks for that? I am sure this update brought some much-desired changes and I am in no way trying to stress you, but I really wanted you to have an insight on how this feature is perceived from this side. Hopefully I can tamper with the source files and get rid of this somehow...

I'm not sure why you think you can speak for every user of Freda.  Obviously you can speak for yourself, but I don't think you've done a general poll of everyone who uses the app  Smile

But the reasoning is simple: user interfaces are meant to be discoverable, and I've received criticism from various places (including Microsoft's UI mavens at times) to the effect that the Freda UI doesn't always make it obvious whether a particular UI gesture will do something, and if so what).  So this feature is intended to address that criticism.  As for why I didn't include a setting to optionally turn off UI-discoverability, the answer is just that Freda already has a confusingly large number of settings (another thing that is regularly criticised).  So I'll normally prefer not to add yet another setting, unless there's actually a clear demand for it.

Evidently there is demand for it, so I will be adding a setting to optionally remove all the UI-discoverability labels from the reading screen.  It's not a big coding change, and it may be possible to roll it out within a few days.  But I'm giving a pessimistic estimate because:
  • Sometimes it takes a while for Microsoft and Google to approve the release of app updates
  • Adding a new setting to Freda means messing with localisation files, the layout of the settings screen, and the logic for deciding when to refresh the book display.  None of these things is major but I have learned from bitter experience that such changes do sometimes bring regression bugs, so I need to allow some time for running automated and manual regression tests.
  • The release of Freda v5 has prompted quite a lot of support emails and posts, and I need to take time to respond to them (this one included)
  • I'm about to have a busy period in my personal life (leaving my job and moving from a house that has twenty years-worth of accumulated stuff in it)
  • I am a team of one, supporting and developing Freda as a personal spare-time project (and if you wish that Freda had a bigger team behind it, the answer is just that you would need to pay more for the app!)



RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - vousgarde - 08-25-2023

(08-25-2023, 09:52 AM)jim_chapman Wrote:
(08-25-2023, 09:19 AM)vousgarde Wrote: Hey Jim,

I just wanted to precise that exactly 0 (zero) users find this feature helpful in any way. How would I know? Because, remapping an action is a *voluntary* process, and I really hope you have enough faith in us to not think that we would be dull enough to forget the two or three inputs we *voluntary* remapped.

All that was achieved here was to bloat the reading interface with meaningless circles. Although I find this feature surprising in a bad way, this is not what I am the most confused about. The fact is, even now, I cannot comprehend how no one thought about also implementing a way to disable this behaviour.

And you want us to wait four weeks for that? I am sure this update brought some much-desired changes and I am in no way trying to stress you, but I really wanted you to have an insight on how this feature is perceived from this side. Hopefully I can tamper with the source files and get rid of this somehow...

I'm not sure why you think you can speak for every user of Freda.  Obviously you can speak for yourself, but I don't think you've done a general poll of everyone who uses the app  Smile

But the reasoning is simple: user interfaces are meant to be discoverable, and I've received criticism from various places (including Microsoft's UI mavens at times) to the effect that the Freda UI doesn't always make it obvious whether a particular UI gesture will do something, and if so what).  So this feature is intended to address that criticism.  As for why I didn't include a setting to optionally turn off UI-discoverability, the answer is just that Freda already has a confusingly large number of settings (another thing that is regularly criticised).  So I'll normally prefer not to add yet another setting, unless there's actually a clear demand for it.

Evidently there is demand for it, so I will be adding a setting to optionally remove all the UI-discoverability labels from the reading screen.  It's not a big coding change, and it may be possible to roll it out within a few days.  But I'm giving a pessimistic estimate because:
  • Sometimes it takes a while for Microsoft and Google to approve the release of app updates
  • Adding a new setting to Freda means messing with localisation files, the layout of the settings screen, and the logic for deciding when to refresh the book display.  None of these things is major but I have learned from bitter experience that such changes do sometimes bring regression bugs, so I need to allow some time for running automated and manual regression tests.
  • The release of Freda v5 has prompted quite a lot of support emails and posts, and I need to take time to respond to them (this one included)
  • I'm about to have a busy period in my personal life (leaving my job and moving from a house that has twenty years-worth of accumulated stuff in it)
  • I am a team of one, supporting and developing Freda as a personal spare-time project (and if you wish that Freda had a bigger team behind it, the answer is just that you would need to pay more for the app!)

It sure is nice to have an explicit UI, I will not deny that. That said, there are seven actions which use the exact same icon (a circle). Namely: step forward, step backward, next page, previous page, brightness+, brightness-, and toggle swipe action. Maybe this was not intended as those icons appear in the control menu.

Moreover, if people have been complaining about how convoluted the settings were, are some preferences not better hidden in an advanced options tab? Just my two cents, obviously. I would not understand how difficult it is to implement.

I totally understand why it is not possible to immediately update the app and I guess I will have to bide my time (it seems the svgs for the icons are already compiled in a dll after all). I apologise for my rudeness, I did not expect there to be only a single person backing up Freda as a hobby. You are of course free to do whatever you want with your app, especially if it is a side project.

Though I still wish there was a way to downgrade temporarily... Oh well, I will be waiting eagerly for the next fix.


RE: Version 5.0 - circles displayed along the top and bottom of the reader pane - Michael - 08-25-2023

(08-25-2023, 07:03 AM)jim_chapman Wrote: Thank you for the answer.  I agree it would be good to make it a user choice whether to show all the little circles and icons around the edge of the screen.  For some users they could be helpful, but for others they'll be a distraction and an intrusion.  I will add a new optional setting in the next app release (some time in the next foour weeks I would expect).
Thank you, Jim! Once again, I appriciate the dedicated support you offer!

Michael