19 October 2004

Cascades(Nvu) Review - II

Reading the recent "Nvu Wishlist" by B.Smedberg, I finally thought of gathering up the few ideas I have had about the CSS editor, during the few hours I tested Nvu 0.50. Carrying on from the CaScadeS UI review, here are a few suggestions (feature requests/improvements) that would make CaScadeS more user friendly and an easier to use tool for a beginner.
  • Right-click menu in the left pane for the listed style sheets. The menu could contain choices like: disable, delete, unlink stylesheets and/or view in a text editor.
  • (OT) Add a menu to change the style sheet being used without the need of firing up CSS editor.
  • Better way to save the changes done by CSS editor. Presently, one can only save the changes if he saves the document immediately after closing the CSS editor. Whereas, if any other change is made between closing the css editor and saving document, all style changes are lost.
  • Comments. All the features like "Up Button", "Down Button", and "Comments" are basically providing better way to organize your style sheet. I'm sure experienced users can appreciate the importance of a well organized and commented stylesheet. I understand that the css editor is aimed to make style sheet generation easy for beginners as there is no actual text editing involved. But providing the feature for commeting is a must have.
  • CSS editor should stop using absolute paths for style sheet file name and other style definitions like background-color as it breaks the web page viewing almost every time when it is published.
  • When CSS editor is started, it should focus on either the only style sheet linked to the webpage(internal or external) or it should focus on last used style sheet or the one which is enabled. Right now, the focus is on none. Also, when a users clicks on "Refresh" focus is lost again.
With all the effort needed to get accustomed to using the CSS editor with Nvu, these changes (and more as they keep popping in my head now and then) will definitely help in making Nvu a web-authoring system for newbees.

The (unofficial) manual for CaScades can be found here. I was referring to it yesterday, and due to its lack of structure and flow, I'm planning to update it soon. Suggestions/critiques are invited to make it a better reference.

1 comment:

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