[ardour-dev] UI review: Mixer strip in editor window - UI inconsistencies

Marek Peteraj marpet at naex.sk
Sun May 30 04:58:03 PDT 2004

The mixer strip in the editor window currently shows up or hides if the
mixer strip button at the transport bar is pressed. The mixer strip
button acts as a central button for all tracks and buses. This poses a
problem since multiple track/bus selections are possible. If more
tracks/buses are selected, how will the user know which mixer strip will
show up and to which track it'll belong to? 

Also, track selection currently affects mixer strip change, i.e. mixer
strip follows track selection.

The only way to deal with this problem is to add a mixer strip button to
each track/bus header. 
Each button, when pressed, should release another mixer strip button
that is already pressed(only one at a time). The reason for this is
obvious, it's possible to display only one mixer strip at a time for all
tracks/buses in the editor window. These buttons should be state
indicating buttons such as r,m,s (switched on/off state).
Track selection shouldn't affect the currently displayed mixer strip.

The 'X' button in each track/bus header is a good candidate for a 'show
mixer strip' button.

Current problems with the 'X' button:
- it makes the 'show track' action a lot more non-obvious compared to
'hide track' -- clicking on 'X' hides it, but the only way to get it
back is to click in the track list, which can be hidden, but also
there's no visual clue which is easy to understand and which tells the
user how to make it visible in the track list(currently only a
orange/cyan color change, hard to remember which color means what) 
- it makes hiding obvious only if you know what it does. 'X' symbol
usually means 'cancel' 'discard' 'delete' 'remove' or 'close', i.e. an
(almost) irreversible operation. Hiding only hides the visual appearance
of a track. 
i) replace the 'X' button in each track/bus header with 'show mixer
strip' button 
ii) The 'show mixer strip' button should be a state indicating button
like r,m,s and pressing it for one track should turn it off for another
iii) track selection should not affect the currently visible/active
mixer strip 
iv) remove the central mixer strip button in the transport bar
v) showing/hiding functionality for tracks/buses should be centralised
in the track/bus list
vi) instead of color change a checkbox should appear right next to each
track/bus in the track list. 

The only problem that still remains is the way a mixer strip
shows/hides. Currently, clicking on the central button moves the central
button so it's not possible to click again to hide the mixer strip
without moving the mouse.
Such behaviour is confusing in general. Although i've proposed to remove
the central mixer strip button, the bottom part of the transport bar
still moves with the mixer strip. The mixer strip should appear
underneath the entire transport bar. Controls should never move.

see screenshot :)

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