Originally, the request came from two separate emails. I quote the first email below, hopefully it could give you better explanation on redllar’s intention.
v0.4.0 screenshotredllar wrote:… a new version (0.4.0) of the main JauntePE app that's meant to consolidate all of the various tool's capabilities into one gui. Back when I designed this, I was hoping it would work well for both the novice as well as the expert JPE user. But I've since been using VirtualBox a lot lately, and I really like the way they've organized things. So I'm thinking maybe I need to switch over to a gui like theirs. In any event, the goal was to make something so appealing that you, and others like you, would prefer to use it as opposed to doing things manually. The problem I had, and still have, is how to the make it so that just a few steps are required for those like you who don't want to go through the entire install sequence, as well as make it simple enough for novice users who need to be "held by the hand." And how it should all be organized.
The email continues...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------redllar wrote:... JauntePE gui (0.4.0) is just a shell right now, so please don't bother with the details. What I'm interested in right now is your answers to the following questions:
So, that's what I'm currently interested in doing with JauntePE. I want to turn it into a typical Windows app that is used to handle all of the things you can currently do with the separate tool apps, instead of the *nix-oriented toolset it currently is. I think that's what the typical Windows user would expect, would make more use of, and would greater appreciate. Do you agree? If not, please tell me why.
- Do you think incorporating all of the various JPE tools under one gui "umbrella" is worth pursuing, or would it be better to just leave things as is with one basic tool launcher app and all of the various tool apps as separate exes, and to spend time properly documenting each tool app?
- Do you think the 3-panel layout is worth pursuing, or have you come across another style that you think would be more suitable as a gui for incorporating all of the various JPE tools under one gui "umbrella"? For instance, I'm kind of leaning towards the layout that VirtualBox uses instead of the one I came up with. The only thing I don't like about it is how each main functional area is presented as a new popup window. I'd really like to have everything contained within one main window with as few popups as possible.
- Assuming the answer to question one is yes, and a really good gui design can be found and properly implemented and documented, I'd like to release the next version of JauntePE as just this one exe and without all of the current tool app exes.
- 3a) Do you think that would be a step forward or a step backward with regards to JPE's evolution?
- 3b) Do you think the separate tool app exes (and associated docs) should still be included in the next release?
- 3c) Do you think that a unifying gui app would then become the preferred method for portablizing apps via JPE, for both the novice and the expert JPE user? Or would the expert still prefer to manually tweak the settings? Basically what I'm asking here is if you think it would be advisable to rework the JPE release package so that the documentation and examples and tutorials are all geared towards starting with and using the one main app, as opposed to the jumbled and disjointed way in which they currently present things, often requiring the user to do things manually, such as what's doc'd in the "12 Steps" walk-through.
The second email came right after i gave my feedback on first email:
v0.5.0 screenshotredllar wrote:... I've attached a mockup exe of a new version (0.5.0) of the main window that's very similar to what VirtualBox uses. And I'd appreciate your thoughts on it when you have the time.
But first, it's a .Net app, so it might not run for you. The final version won't be a .Net app (hopefully.) I'm using .Net now for the mockups since it's much quicker to design the gui with, and it also has more control types available during design. Otherwise I'd have to write a bunch of code as with the 0.4.0 gui, and I don't want to do that again until we find something that looks like it's going to work well.
The email continues...
Again, hope everyone can join and share your opinion.redllar wrote:The main control on the right, within the Details tab area, is called a property grid. Right now it's populated with a bunch of meaningless development-time properties, but once I code it up, it'll be populated with the various JPE-related categories and settings such
as Installer, Registry Storage, File System Storage, etc., for the selected app in the left-hand list view. What's nice about a property
grid is any part of it can be made non-editable or editable, depending upon the user's preferences. So a "normal" mode of operation could be just like VirtualBox's, where only the category header label is selectable, and doing so would give you a typical settings popup box. And another "advanced" mode could allow the settings to be edited directly on grid itself, as you can do now in the mockup.
As far as all of the rest of it, I'm still undecided. I'm currently trying to come up with a list of all of JPE's tool's capabilities and settings, to see if I can find a small set of categories and sub-categories to organize them within that's more user friendly than the current set that I presented in the help docs and via JPE Builder and JPE Quickie.
For instance, for the app list view groupings, I currently have New, Installed, Portablized, Analyzed, and/or Optimized, and Packaged. So the app list groupings would represent the various stages that one could (optionally) go through to portablize an app.
And I guess the 4 tool bar buttons would be the ones most commonly used. Same with the menu items. I'm not sure about the non-Details tabs though. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how the tab bar should be used if it's not used to separate the various settings into basic categories. So the only thing I could think of was to use the tab bar as a way to should additional, non-settings-related info, such as
what you'd get from the "discovery" and "logging" JPE info.
Under the File menu, import could be a way to merge another portablized package's registry and/or file system into the currently selected one. I'm not sure what export could be used to do, so it may go away. The only "exporting" of any kind I can think of right now is the final step you can take with JPE Quickie to make a copy of the current "working" package to another drive and/or folder for actual use of the app(s) contained within.
As for the Package->New menu item, I was thinking that it could work somewhat like the way JPE Quickie works with config "templates," where you can select from a list of available package templates depending upon your needs. Some templates could be app-specific and some could be more generalized. I was really hoping that people would have made use of that feature in JPE Quickie, and to have already created a repository of sorts of such configs by now. Since that didn't happen, I would really like to make sure that users are aware
that such a feature exists in the next version, otherwise I don't see any reason to put it in again.
redllar wrote:Thank you so much for slogging through all of the above. I know it's a lot to have to go through. Hopefully it's worth the read though, as I do wish to get back into JPE development.