Re: Amaya user interface

> Dear developers of Amaya.
> First I want to compliment you for the dedicated work you are doing. The
> idea of Amaya is excellent and it shows complicated math formulas very well.
> Unfortunately, the user interface of Amaya is terrible (version 6.1 for
> Windows). Many keys, menus and other user interface elements behave
> differently from what a Windows user expects. This is not user friendly.
> Neither is it hancicap-friendly because many functions are only accessible
> by using a mouse. Furthermore, the editing interface is full of errors that
> produce wrong or weird results or make you loose your data.

Amaya is a structured editor and includes functions that as no equivalent
in other Microsoft applications. We'd like to improve the current user 
interface, but we need more concrete suggestions for that.
Could send us a list of shortcuts you're missing and scenarios that produce 
wrong or weird results.

> The only reliable way to make a consistent user interface that works the
> way users expect, is to use the standard interface elements that come with
> the operating system or shell as much as possible. You have to concede that
> a user-friendly program must contain user-interface modules that are
> operating-system specific and thus non-portable.
> I think that MathML is an excellent and much needed language. You guys at
> W3C are doing a wonderful job developing standards like this, and it
> deserves the widest possible use. It is therefore too sad that the use of
> this standard is hampered by a poor editing tool. 
> I would very much like to use MathML in my web publications, and I have
> tried hard to make Amaya work for this purpose, but it is simply too
> painful to use because of the many errors and oddities. I have downloaded
> the latest version (6.1) and I don't see many improvements in the user
> interface of the editor over previous versions. I have only tried the
> Windows versions.

MathML requires to be familiar with the structure editing. Do you experiment
the F2 function and transformations?

> Many important operators and constructs in the MathML language are only
> available by hand-coding. I think, therefore, that the pick-and-choose
> templates should be expanded and subdivided into logical categories. Among
> the operators that I miss are the important invisible operators
> ⁡ ⁢ and ⁣. A user-friendly
> implementation of invisible codes imply a violation of the WYSIWYG
> principle, but this principle is not sacred and not always as user-friendly
> as its reputation says.

There is a MathML palette, but I agree it's too limited.
But you know you can generate ⁡ with Ctrl m Ctrl a and 
⁢ with Ctrl m Ctrl i.

> I believe that the popularity of MathML and other standards depends on the
> availability of user-friendly authoring and reading tools, preferably with
> open source. I am therefore taking the liberty of suggesting that you
> redesign the user interface of Amaya using standard interface elements as
> much as possible, and that you make usability tests of the product.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions, we'll try to improve our code 
as much as possible.

Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 10:12:35 UTC