SpringLobby battlelist improvements

SpringLobby battlelist improvements

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ThinkSome
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SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 25 Feb 2018, 19:52

Writing here instead of on Github in the hopes of reaching a wider audience and because there are two bugs open for this on Github. As you all know, SpringLobby right now shows duplicate information in the battlelist and some of it is displayed poorly (both imperfect column order and space wasted in players & spectators columns).

My proposals:
  1. ☑ Players and spectators columns get their column header replaced with images (sword and eye)
  2. ☑ rename "Description" to "Battle Name"
  3. ☑ S,C,R a top of the first three columns is removed as it is pretty much obvious about what those three columns represent
  4. Players, Spectators, S and C columns are made fixed-width (minimum possible) and not resizeable
  5. The icon for a password-protected battle is imo too small (someone care to make a new icon?)
  6. Max is thrown out of battlelist (it is already printed under Players: $Players/$Max" in battle infos below
  7. ☑ Engine is thrown out of battlelist and into battle infos below (it is mostly not needed as test rooms already write test in description)
  8. ☑ Host is thrown out of battlelist and into battle infos below
  9. ☑ Running column is hidden by default until someone fixes uberserver to report this.
  10. ☑ the column called R (minimum rank) is removed and instead a note is added to battle infos
  11. row is grayed out when $player does not satisfy rank requirements
  12. The contents of rows under the column named "Game" are replaced by one of (the latter two are much easier to do and thus preferred):
    1. icons of the games in question (and the column is moved before Battle Name)
    2. short game name (S44, EvoRTS, BA, TechA, XTA, ... )
    3. long game name, but without version
  13. Filter/Activated/..../Host new../joine buttons are moved under minimap block, making nickview larger. As long as the player has a >=1366px horiz screen, it should work. This would also make the filter screen open above minimap and nickview (in the current case it would make the buttons jump up, which I guess would be undesirable).
References:
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/663
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/761
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/600 bigger playerlist in replays menu (and maybe battlelist)
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/585 do not "hide bots" in battlelist (it is useful for !notify)
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/391 feature request: height draggable 'Battle infos'
https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/91 when switching to battle list pane, the view is set to the far right of the pane

Image to get a rough idea:
Image

Thoughts?
Last edited by ThinkSome on 02 Apr 2018, 23:52, edited 6 times in total.
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abma
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by abma » 25 Feb 2018, 19:59

you know about right-click column / hide this column?
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 25 Feb 2018, 21:02

abma wrote:you know about right-click column / hide this column?
I do. But it is unnecessary bloat for newbies. We cannot expect them to spent 30 minutes configuring SL before they are ready to play. The interface should be clean by default and up to experienced players to make it as bloated as they wish.
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 25 Feb 2018, 23:16

some thoughts

not sure if removing the host name is a good idea. It's generally short and allows people to identify their rooms more clearly (it's unique, the battle name,etc. are not).

there should be an option to sort by games ASC, players DESC.

besides adding icons for games, rows for different games could have different background (even if it's simple alternating lighter/darker variants of the existing background)

recently promoted games getting some row flickering or other effect so it's easier for people track.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 26 Feb 2018, 00:34

raaar wrote:some thoughts

not sure if removing the host name is a good idea. It's generally short and allows people to identify their rooms more clearly (it's unique, the battle name,etc. are not).

there should be an option to sort by games ASC, players DESC.

besides adding icons for games, rows for different games could have different background (even if it's simple alternating lighter/darker variants of the existing background)

recently promoted games getting some row flickering or other effect so it's easier for people track.
There is still the option of making Host (and Engine, Max) hidden by default (right click->show all columns would show them), but you can already join a particular host's game by right clicking "join same battle" on said host in chat nick list. And host's name would be written in battle infos when selecting a row.

Multi-column sort would require some more wrangling inside the code and is currently not a high priority given how few battles there are simultaneously. On this topic, I was thinking of hiding most empty rooms by default (only show one empty, so a player can join it, if he/she wants to play with friends or alone).

And I was also thinking about making players sort work by promoting those that are earliest to fill to the top. The problem with this is that team size can be freely set without rehosting and I'm not quite sure if this information is easily available to the lobby.

Right now backgrounds are a problem as .SetBackground() is unsupported with wxwidget's GTK backend (which is what I guess most GNU/Linux use, including mine). I'm in touch with wxwidgets folks about this, but it does not look good :(. This is precisely why my list of proposals does not include anything background related.
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 28 Feb 2018, 17:04

How about using background images instead of colors? Or replacing those specific UI elements for something else like the tabs or buttons that allows changing the background and can be tweaked to look similar.

Another option could be adding header/footer rows between groups of hosts for each game.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 28 Feb 2018, 20:22

Background images yes, but across the entire SL UI, not just battlelist. I do not understand what you mean with the second sentence.

I do not see much point in headers/footers, too much work that is better to be invested in game bundles and lobby customisation.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 02 Mar 2018, 16:21

Another idea: Filter/Activated/..../Host new../joine buttons are moved under minimap block, making nickview larger. As long as the player has a >=1366px horiz screen, it should work. This would also make the filter screen open above minimap and nickview (in the current case it would make the buttons jump up, which I guess would be undesirable).
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 03 Mar 2018, 17:26

I still have 1280x1024. I kind of dislike that thick footer row, although it does provide some useful information.

The header/footer rows for each game could provide aggregate information like the total number of players in them and be styled differently as a way to highlight the different games.

Another thing to consider is a view that shows both a "squashed" battle list on the left side and the battle room on the right side, so people can keep an eye on the battle list while they're idling in a battle room without having to switch tabs.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 03 Mar 2018, 17:52

I don't think it is a good idea to optimise for 1280x1024. That thick row can be hidden by un-pressing "Battle infos".

Yes, but if you want to highlight different games (supposedly to make yours stick out) then why not go all the way (current technical challenges aside) by shipping a customised SpringLobby that only shows whitelisted games?

Split view is already possible, but forget about it on 1280x1024.
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 03 Mar 2018, 17:56

Another option would be nested tables, where you have one or three rows for each game (considering header + row +footer) and the content row would have a scrollable sub-table with the room list for that game. This is to prevent games from occupying too much space as the number of rooms increases.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 03 Mar 2018, 20:33

Scrollable sub-tables sound difficult to do, what is possible however, is this (from wxWidgets dataview sample):
2018-03-03-203038_1152x199_scrot.png
(23.22 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Here clicking on various columns sorts within the tree, it does not move items around the tree.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 10 Mar 2018, 13:13

Would having obvious download buttons be beneficial? i.e.: download button between Map: and map name in battle infos and the same for engine & game. Should these be instead or in addition to context menu buttons? Hmm, it would not look good, as the button is either huge or text is shrunk to unrecognisable levels. And there is already download on minimap for the map at least.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 10 Mar 2018, 15:53

I've managed to get the buttons to play well.
2018-03-10-155149_1435x877_scrot.png
(223.41 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Should this be included in SL?
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 10 Mar 2018, 16:43

They look usable, but what problem are they trying to solve exactly?

It might trick new users into just downloading games without getting the necessary engine version "because they already have them".
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 10 Mar 2018, 16:54

These are meant as a replacement for context menu map/game/engine dl and notify buttons, to make their use more intuitive, and to maybe slow the avalanche of "how to download XYZ" in #newbies. I agree that this might result in not having the correct engine version. However, the buttons could be changed from "Download" (download directly) to "Join to download" which would all do the same thing, join the room in question (and then get a dialog asking them to download the triplet).

The PM and notify buttons are there due to https://github.com/springlobby/springlobby/issues/585
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 10 Mar 2018, 17:20

why not "merge" the buttons into a single download button, but still show information about game, map, engine.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 10 Mar 2018, 18:28

Replacing them with "Join to download" would be much simpler. I could also add red text "Need download" instead of these buttons and then a red "Download content" button in the row of buttons below, but I'd rather if these people just joined the room instead (that is, red "Join to download" text or button).

The notify button is problematic as only SPADS implements this functionality, thus having it grayed out if the hoster does not have bot flag would be reasonable.

I don't know what fabrice would need the PM button for as I also have a lot of hosts and have no need for this functionality. Can anyone fill me in on the various reasons why having a "PM hoster" button would be useful? I can think of only one: if the game is passworded, you can PM to ask for the password.
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raaar
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by raaar » 10 Mar 2018, 21:44

joining the room is nice because it exposes people to the greeting message which provides further information about the games.
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ThinkSome
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Re: SpringLobby battlelist improvements

Post by ThinkSome » 10 Mar 2018, 22:10

Nobody reads that :D
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