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Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

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Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

John P. Rouillard
Hi all:

I am sure you all have seen the feedback banner with a green or red
background when you make changes to an issue, user etc. It details
which properties were updated.

Some properties can be set to quiet by the roundup tracker
designer. This prevents changes to them from showing up in change
notes (sent via email), from being displayed in the history section of
the web interface and prevents the change from being listed in the
feedback banner.

If all the changes are to quiet properties you see a message like:

  issue24 - nothing changed

  user2 - nothing changed

Does anybody think these types of messages are useful?

They are actually misleading. Things were changed. They just aren't
being shown to the user because the tracker designer said they
shouldn't be shown.

I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
though the form had been submitted with no changes.

Does anybody have any thoughts?

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Re: Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

Thomas Arendsen Hein
* John P. Rouillard <[hidden email]> [20170421 03:22]:

> If all the changes are to quiet properties you see a message like:
>
>   issue24 - nothing changed
>
>   user2 - nothing changed
>
> Does anybody think these types of messages are useful?
>
> They are actually misleading. Things were changed. They just aren't
> being shown to the user because the tracker designer said they
> shouldn't be shown.
>
> I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
> notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
> properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
> though the form had been submitted with no changes.
>
> Does anybody have any thoughts?

What about "issue 1234 updated ok" or something similar, i.e. just
not displaying which properties have been saved, but confirming that
something happened?

Regards,
Thomas

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Re: Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

Ralf Schlatterbeck-3
In reply to this post by John P. Rouillard
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:21:07PM -0400, John P. Rouillard wrote:
>
> I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
> notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
> properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
> though the form had been submitted with no changes.

Fine for me.

Ralf
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Open Source Consulting                  www:   http://www.runtux.com
Reichergasse 131, A-3411 Weidling       email: [hidden email]

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Re: Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

John P. Rouillard
In reply to this post by Thomas Arendsen Hein
Hi Thomas:

In message <[hidden email]>,
Thomas Arendsen Hein writes:

>* John P. Rouillard <[hidden email]> [20170421 03:22]:
>> If all the changes are to quiet properties you see a message like:
>>
>>   issue24 - nothing changed
>>   user2 - nothing changed
>>
>> Does anybody think these types of messages are useful?
>>
>> They are actually misleading. Things were changed. They just aren't
>> being shown to the user because the tracker designer said they
>> shouldn't be shown.
>>
>> I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
>> notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
>> properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
>> though the form had been submitted with no changes.
>
>What about "issue 1234 updated ok" or something similar, i.e. just
>not displaying which properties have been saved, but confirming that
>something happened?

Sorry, I think I need to provide a little more explanation. Here is
the use case I am fighting.

In my tracker web interface the user can collapse panels by clicking
on an [x] at the top right of the panel. That hides the fields in the
panel leaving just the panel's title bar. Clicking on a [+] in the
title bar expands the panel again.

The current collapsed panel names are saved in a hidden field in the
form. When the user submits the form to make a change, this hidden
field updates a quiet property in the user's object. The property is
quiet because the mechanism should be hidden and the details (updating
issue_collapsed_fieldsets and even updating the user's object) will
just confuse the user.

With the current code I get:

   user2 - nothing changed
   issue23 - some property updated

To the user, they have no idea that anything in their user entry is
being changed. They are directly manipulating the form to
expand/collapse panes. The updating of the "issue_collapsed_fieldsets"
property is magic as far as they are concerned.  This bit of magic
(which you have been concerned about in the past IIRC) was chosen
rather than the following primary alternatives:

  * Edit the collapsed fields from the user.item.html form. This
    doesn't let the user interact with the issue.item form. They can't
    see the effect of their choices until they load an issue.item
    page.

  * Have a separate page used for direct manipulation of a dummy form
    that sets the user's preferences. Considered a fair amount of work
    for little benefit.

  * Manipulating the panels from the issue.item form and adding a
    submit button "save layout". However the "save layout" is
    basically a second form that clutters the interface and confuses
    the user.

  * Manipulating the panels from the issue.item form and adding a
    checkbox "save layout". There was confusion about the purpose of
    the checkbox. It was considered distracting. It was shifting focus
    from editing the issue.

  * Manipulating the panels from the issue.item form using JavaScript
    but not saving the state. So after submitting the form, all panels
    were once again expanded.

  * Manipulating the panels from the issue.item form using JavaScript
    and storing it in a cookie. The people I asked really thought it
    should be a user preference that was available on every display,
    tablet, desktop, conference room computer, internet toaster
    etc. etc.

So even your "issue 1234 updated ok" or more correctly "user 3 updated
ok" is kind of jarring since the user is just manipulating the
interface directly and not making a explicit decision to modify their
user record.

Does this clarify my use case and give you some other ideas?

--
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John Rouillard
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Re: Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

Georg Lehner
In reply to this post by John P. Rouillard
On 04/20/2017 07:21 PM, John P. Rouillard wrote:
...
> Some properties can be set to quiet by the roundup tracker
> designer. This prevents changes to them from showing up in change
> notes (sent via email), from being displayed in the history section of
> the web interface and prevents the change from being listed in the
> feedback banner.
...
>
> I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
> notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
> properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
> though the form had been submitted with no changes.
>
> Does anybody have any thoughts?
...

Hello,

IMO your proposal improves consistency of behavior with respect to the
'quiet' attribute of a property. The documentation should reflect the
semantic of 'quiet' clearly. My attempt to summarize:

  When a 'quiet' property is modified, Roundup does not trigger any user
  visible side effect.

Your reply to Thomas Arendsen Hein exposes the use case for 'quiet': UX
related properties, which should appear in the documentation too.

Regards,

   Georg

P.S.: great stuff, good to know it exists :)


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Re: Does anybody think feedback saying "nothing changed" is useful?

John P. Rouillard
Hi George:

In message <[hidden email]>,
Georg Lehner writes:

>On 04/20/2017 07:21 PM, John P. Rouillard wrote:
>...
>> Some properties can be set to quiet by the roundup tracker
>> designer. This prevents changes to them from showing up in change
>> notes (sent via email), from being displayed in the history section of
>> the web interface and prevents the change from being listed in the
>> feedback banner.
>...
>> I am planning on changing to code to eliminate the "nothing changed"
>> notification. As a result when a user submits a form where all the
>> properties are quiet, the form is redisplayed with no banner. Just as
>> though the form had been submitted with no changes.
>>
>> Does anybody have any thoughts?
>...
>IMO your proposal improves consistency of behavior with respect to the
>'quiet' attribute of a property. The documentation should reflect the
>semantic of 'quiet' clearly. My attempt to summarize:
>
>  When a 'quiet' property is modified, Roundup does not trigger any user
>  visible side effect.
>
>Your reply to Thomas Arendsen Hein exposes the use case for 'quiet': UX
>related properties, which should appear in the documentation too.

The doc/design.doc says:

   quiet=False:
      if set to True, changes to the property will not be shown to the
      user. This can be used for administrative properties that are
      automatically updated when a user makes some other change. This
      reduces confusion by the user and clutter in the display.
      The property change will not be shown in:

        - the change confirmation message when a change is entered
          in the web interface
        - the property change section of the change note email
          ("nosy email")
        - the web history shown at the bottom of an item page

I also just added (checkin 15440504fb04) the following to
doc/customizing.txt based on the commit log for checkin 8901cc4ef0e0:

* All properties support the following attributes:
   
   - ``required``: see `design documentation`_. Adds the property to
     the list returned by calling get_required_props for the class.
   - ``default_value``: see `design documentation`_ Sets the default
     value is the property is not set.
   - ``quiet``: see `design documentation`_. Suppresses user visible
     to changes to this property. The property change is not reported:
   
      - in the change feedback/confirmation message in the web
        interface
      - the property change section of the nosy email
      - the web history at the bottom of an item's page
   
    This can be used to store state of the user interface (e.g. the
    names of elements that are collapsed or hidden from the
    user). Making properties that are updated as an indirect result of
    a user's change (e.g. updating a blockers property, counting
    number of times an issue was reopened or reassigned etc.) should
    not be displayed to the user as they can be confusing.

Does that meet your documentation expectations?

>P.S.: great stuff, good to know it exists :)

Note that quiet properties are only available in the development
mainline that is still to be released.

To use the mainline you should be running python 2.7.

--
                                -- rouilj
John Rouillard
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