Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Question

I haven't made many major design changes to my UI in quite a while now. When I first started putting different addons together, I made fairly major, sweeping changes quite often. I would discover that a certain addon would interfere with my playing space too much, or it took too much computing time and robbed me of game performance, or it simply wasn't what I was looking for. After a lot of trial and error I finally ended up with the UI that's currently available.

I find that it meets my needs very well. However, I'm sure there are some improvements that could be made. So I'm wondering if any of you have downloaded my UI and made significant changes to make it more useful for you. If you have, I'd love to see a screenshot of what you've done and an explanation of why you decided to do it -- what need my UI didn't fill that your addition does.

The thing that has been bothering me the most about my UI recently is the hoops you have to jump through to configure the addons when you create a new character. Many of the addons handle configuration well by initializing with the default profile you've optimized on your other toons. But a few of them don't do this, and create a new profile for each new toon from their own defaults. The result? When you make a new toon, your stuff is all over the place. You have to configure the addons to use the default profiles. Is it a hassle? You bet.

So I'm looking into how to make this change. It would also considerably shorten the installation instructions for the UI. When writing them, I was fully aware that many people would read the first sentences and say "Well, forget this. I'll find a UI that's easier to install." I'd like to improve this, and I think fixing the profiles issue would be a good first step.

There is a problem though. In my original UI, I had modified a couple of addons myself, and this obviously causes issues for maintenance. It delayed the next release of the UI too, since I had to either modify the addons again in order to get any updates the authors had made or find another addon that restored the functionality but didn't require any modification by me.

So if I decide to fix the addons to do the defaults in an intelligent way, I will also have the added task of backporting the changes I make to any new releases of the addons when future patches hit. I'm not certain this is the way to go.

So again, please let me know what you think could be improved on the UI. And I hope some people are enjoying it.