December 12, 2006

Ninja Splitters

Helix ALM
UI doesn't have to be visible to be useful. Problem: A largish dialog with multiple lists, each with a sizable amount of data. Sometimes all of the data in a particular list isn't visible and the user wants it to be. The dialog in question is the redesigned Attach to Defect dialog in Surround SCM v5.0. Our standard of having the dialogs resizable still wasn't flexible enough for some of our users. In this dialog, sometimes you really just want to see all of the information about the defects that you're going to attach to. All that information is in the upper-left list. Iteration #2 (numbers not to scale) of the dialog added some splitters around the buttons in the middle, offering a way to resize individual pieces of the dialog. Wow, was that ugly. Why not just make the splitters not visible then? They'll still function, you'll still see the cursor change on a mouseover, and you can still resize the sections. It will "feel" like you're grabbing the edge of the group box and using that to resize the area. That's what's in the current release. "Haha, yeah, ninja splitters." "Yeah, you have to call it that." "Call what?" "The class. CSCMNinjaSplitter. Do it." "But-" "Do it." "Okay."