GF4’s Design Philosophy

There are some definite guiding principles that underline the design of GF4. In general, common user actions should be made as similar and simple as possible. So for example, operations that need input for parameters from the user (such as a scale factor) always use the same dialogs, and each operation remembers the values that were used the last time.

The program should try to remove aggravations for the user. So there are no modal error message boxes. Instead, important messages flash gently at the bottom of the window, then fade away so the user needs to do nothing to get rid of them. Since dialog boxes that flash out of existence can be annoying, GF4 dialog boxes fade away gently (system dialogs like the file save dialog do whatever the underlying system wants to do).

As another example of convenience for the user, GF4’s parameter input dialogs accept Python numerical expressions so that the user may not have to calculate a value separately.

There can be conflicts between the principles, or between the principles and ease of programming. GF4 tries for simplicity in programming too, but user ease and consistency are given priority. Many potentially interesting features have never been implemented because they would complicate the user interface.