CMLOG BROWSER IMPROVEMENTS WISH LIST
from Greg White July 2005
These ideas are from Greg to Viji when she was improving the java browser.
The suggestions, however may apply to the motif version too.
* Remove the File->Disconnect (and therefore also File->Connect) menu
item(s) altogether. Certainly one should not have to File->Disconnect
and answer "yes" to the Are You Sure dialog before being allowed to
select File->Exit. The existing functionality means one has to go
through 4 dialogs to exit, surely 2 is enough (File->Exit and "Are
you Sure"). Action: Remove File->Disconnect menu choice, and just go
through disconnect actions when user selects File->Exit.
* The "Save Screen" functionality should be renamed because it doesn't
just save the current screen, it saves a logical list of messages.
That list may all fit on the present screen or not. It's especially
confusing since the "cmlog_save_dialog" includes one sub-dialog of 2
boxes for "Save From" and "To", with a third (confusingly at the
bottom of the dialog box) saying "Save current page", but there is no
indication that these two sub-dialogs are mutually exclusive. Action:
1) Rename File->"Save Screen" to just "Save" (or maybe "Report"?), 2)
Improve UI of cmlog_save_dialog so it's clearer that one saves either
the current page, or all logical lines - maybe grey out "Save From"
and "To" when Save Current Page is checked. 3) Also move "Save
Current Page" up, so it's clear it goes with "Save From" and "To". 4)
Change dialog box header "cmlog_save_dialog" to just "Save".
* The full pathname of the file saved should be displayed. Unless the
user has specifically browsed to a file, they have no idea into which
directory their output went. Action: save file confirmation messages
should include full filename of file saved.
* A default full file pathname should be offered.
* Add functionality for clicking on a column to sort output by that
column as primary index. Secondary index will always be time.
Additionally, it may be nice to add ability to click on column
heading twice to reverse the order!
* Add functionality for optionally wrapping long entries, especially in
the Message column. Possibly also slightly color each row (like
iTunes) so one can easily distinguish rows? This will really help use
of cmlog for logging runtime exceptions from programs in the future -
very useful indeed.
* Should not have to turn off Update to make a Query (or alternatively
New->Query). Should really just be one menu selection, so Query
always brought up a query window. That is, File->Query would be
equivalent to "File->New, with update already toggled off in that
window, followed by, in the new window, File->Query.
QUERYING Bugs or Weirdnesses
* File->"Query" should be renamed "Search". No one except CS majors
know what query means.
* When I do a query, when I fill in the "Server searching message" box,
and then click "Ok", I get a popup window saying "Searching message
syntax error". This is because its expecting a query in the syntax of
Berkeley Db's query language - but that's not all clear to a user,
especially since the text on the dialog is "Server Searching
message", which makes it sound like it's searching at least the
"Message" field. Action: The simplest fix is to change the text to
something like "query string". Ideally the dialog entry would be
pre-filled with "Message has " in it. Additionally, if what the
user entered contains no query verbs assume that the user meant
* In the Help dialog window, which is supposed to help a user form a
query, a user can make a selection, but it doesn't have any effect
unless the tic the box also. Action: if they change an option the
"use this option" check-box should self-tick.
* The "Get all messages" check box is too far from the "Get all
messages" text, and it's unclear that the check box is associated
with getting all messages at all because the "Number of messages to
search" is below it. Action: make it clearer that "Get all Messages"
and "number of messages to search" is one-or-the-other. It's easy to
select a time in the future in the date/time selection system, it
doesn't complain. but the default From and To are both the "present
time". So if you then immediately click "ok" for the default query,
you get an error message "Specified time interval error". Action: the
default query should be valid, maybe all messages in the last hour. I
don't think it should be possible to make a date/time selection in
the future, and that should be checked right on the click up/down
arrow event. That would give the user feedback about which arrow goes
backward and which goes forward in time. Action: Change event
processing on date/time up/down arrow selections to ignore times in
* Allow connection to >1 cmlog server simultaneously.
Last modified: 07-Jul 2005 by Ron