New settings menu

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PilzAdam
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New settings menu

by PilzAdam » Sat Oct 17, 2015 20:20

Hello everyone!

The latest dev version Minetest contains a new settings menu:
Image

This new menu contains all possible minetest.conf. The view is grouped for better navigation. Settings are displayed as a human-readable text (with the option to change them to the names used in minetest.conf) and detailed descriptions ans tips are shown in the edit dialog. The edit dialog changes based on the type of settings; for example the video backend now shows a dropdown list of all possible values.

While I tried my best to come up with a good structure for the categories, there is still much room for improvement. Also the descriptions and the names of the individual settings need to be improved and extended.

You can help here. The relevant file is builtin/settingtypes.txt (this file is automatically read by the menu, so changes should be visible to you after restarting Minetest). If you have suggestions for the structure or better descriptions, then please create a pull request at GitHub or post in this thread.

Also while developing this we had discussions about adding a more aggregated view as default, and moving this new view behind a "Advanced" button. This may help users that are overwhelmed by the number of settings here.

What is your opinion on this? What settings would be displayed in this aggregated view? Or is the category structure in this view already enough to help with the problem?

We also need help with translating all the new setting names and comments. This is really a lot of work. You can help at our weblate web interface.
Image

Thanks in advance for your feedback and suggestions.
Last edited by PilzAdam on Sun Oct 25, 2015 14:35, edited 3 times in total.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by kaadmy » Sat Oct 17, 2015 20:25

Finally!
The config is nice, but gets tiring after a while, this will help immensely!

+ Off-topic


Edit: Spelling

Edit 2: It's a bit annoying having the config tree collapse when you switch tabs or change formspecs in the menu, but I don't think that can be helped with MT's current formspec setup.
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Re: New settings menu

by Fixerol » Sat Oct 17, 2015 22:44

PilzAdam wrote:Also while developing this we had discussions about adding a more aggregated view as default, and moving this new view behind a "Advanced" button..


Look what settings are usual and what are advanced. Mark advanced settings like "advanced". Hide them by default in trees and add a checkbox with "Advanced settings" turned OFF by default, turning it ON will populate trees with hidden advanced settings. :)

Update: or leave settings page as in 0.4.13 but add a button on it with "Advanced settings" with this big tree you made.
Last edited by Fixerol on Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:44, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by Dartmouth » Sun Oct 18, 2015 09:27

Fixerol wrote:
PilzAdam wrote:Also while developing this we had discussions about adding a more aggregated view as default, and moving this new view behind a "Advanced" button..


Look what settings are usual and what are advanced. Mark advanced settings like "advanced". Hide them by default in trees and add a checkbox with "Advanced settings" turned OFF by default, turning it ON will populate trees with hidden advanced settings. :)

Yes, I agree with this. New users looking to change a single setting might be a bit intimidated by lots of advanced options that are not commonly used, +1 for some sort of advanced options menu.

I really like this though, it's a big improvement to the UI.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by CWz » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:29

I do like the new settings tab but i found that still need the old one. so I simply added the old one as a separate tab for now
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Re: New settings menu

by Dragonop » Sun Oct 18, 2015 16:08

Maybe doing as CWz did would be better than another checkbox that hides the "advanced" settings.

Edit: Just checked it out... nvm, it's fine, it's perfect.
Last edited by Dragonop on Sun Oct 18, 2015 16:40, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by Evergreen » Sun Oct 18, 2015 16:26

I have seen a lot of open source games that use that advanced settings approach. I think that just providing a check box that shows advanced would be sufficient.
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Re: New settings menu

by Minetestforfun » Sun Oct 18, 2015 17:27

Evergreen wrote:I have seen a lot of open source games that use that advanced settings approach. I think that just providing a check box that shows advanced would be sufficient.


I agreed.

For this new setting panel, it's really cool and useful ! :)
 

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Re: New settings menu

by Dartmouth » Sun Oct 18, 2015 17:54

Evergreen wrote:I have seen a lot of open source games that use that advanced settings approach. I think that just providing a check box that shows advanced would be sufficient.

As long as it's implemented nicely (works immediately when toggling) that would easily do the job. This would need a way to differentiate between simple and advanced options in the builtin/settingtypes.txt file though I guess.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by zak1975 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:36

Will the text be available in other languages so that players can read the setting options in their foreign language?

Will there be some help text that explains what will happen if you change the settings?
In minetest.conf there are comments that tell me what they are doing.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by PilzAdam » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:57

zak1975 wrote:Will the text be available in other languages so that players can read the setting options in their foreign language?

Will there be some help text that explains what will happen if you change the settings?
In minetest.conf there are comments that tell me what they are doing.

The edit dialog for a setting contains a description, which is usually a few lines long. They are (mostly) more detailed and user-oriented than the old minetest.conf.example comments.

But since expanding the descriptions of the setting is a lot of work, I'd like to repeat my request for help from the community. There is currently a pull request by me waiting to be merged, where I and VannessaE already improved a lot of descriptions (the settingtypes.txt file for this can be found here). I'd happily accept any contributions to this.

The setting names, descriptions and category names (so basically everything you see in the GUI) are all translated, so they are available in the same languages as the rest of Minetest.
 

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Re: New settings menu

by cHyper » Mon Oct 19, 2015 18:01

which dev versions are supported by the new menu system?
 

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Re: New settings menu

by kaadmy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 18:24

cHyper wrote:which dev versions are supported by the new menu system?

Since yesterday, I think.
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Re: New settings menu

by trev » Mon Oct 19, 2015 18:26

This is awesome! Some users seem to want just this menu, but I like the idea of having two like CWz demonstrated.
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Re: New settings menu

by kaadmy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 23:43

trev wrote:[...]
but I like the idea of having two like CWz demonstrated.

Same here, the advanced settings are really nice, but it's bit cumbersome to use as a default menu.
Maybe have a separate "Advanced settings" tab?
Also, more options in the default settings tab(Not advanced settings) would be options to change field of view, view bobbing, etc.
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Re: New settings menu

by LazyJ » Wed Oct 21, 2015 22:30

I like CWz's idea of having the old settings menu returned along side the new, list version.

I'm already becoming frustrated by the new list version when searching through the long list for a small handful of scattered settings to toggle when changing texture packs (filters for low res vs high res texture packs and shaders when switching between texture packs that to and those that don't don't have normalmaps).

Another problem arises when trying to explain to new comers to Minetest, who are using underpowered machines, what settings to toggle off to experiment and find out which visual settings work best for the computer they are using at the moment. Before it was, "Go to the Settings tab and turn off all the eye candy. Then try them, one-by-one, to see what works smooth and what doesn't." Now it is a long conversation talking them through various levels of a long list.

So I'm in favor of bringing back the old Settings menu because it grouped together all the settings that are more often changed.

Taking that thought a little farther, it would be nice if the texture specific settings (like the various filters and the shader options generate normalmaps, bumpmapping, and parralax occlusion) were either duplicated or moved to the Texture Pack tab.
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Re: New settings menu

by Clouds » Wed Oct 21, 2015 23:42

I have updated to the latest dev just a few min ago and for some reason I do not get the new settings set up..
 

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Re: New settings menu

by PilzAdam » Sat Oct 24, 2015 19:48

The translation files have been updated to contain all the new setting names and descriptions for them. This is really a lot: fully translated languages went down to only 30%, so the number of strings to translate has tripled!

We need help to translate all the languages supported by Minetest. We have a web interface for doing this properly.

The idea of an additional aggregated settings tab seems to be quite popular. What settings would you like to see there? (please provide a full list with the technical names if you make suggestions)
 

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Re: New settings menu

by kaadmy » Sat Oct 24, 2015 20:47

For the simpler/user-friendly settings tab, I would like:
  • Keybindings
  • Sound volume
  • Field of view
  • View bobbing(view_bobbing_amount)
  • Fall bobbing(fall_bobbing_amount)
  • Shaders(Same as before)
  • New style water(Looks a bit ugly, but works without shaders and faster than shaders)(new_style_water)
  • Finite water(liquid_finite)

And some things that aren't in the engine yet but would be nice to have.
  • Particle multiplier
  • Dynamic field of view depending on player speed
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Re: New settings menu

by Wuzzy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 17:28

Great work so far. This was desperately needed, as Minetest grows more and more complex. But what is more important is to have easily-accessible documentation and categorization of the settings. I never was happy with minetest.conf.example, this file was, frankly, a huge mess to me.
Today I have translated most of the new strings into German

I agree that there should still be a simplified screen where only the most important settings and those settings players are likely to change oftenare included.
For instance, the sound volume should totally go into the “simple” screen. But not stuff like “random input”. ;-)
The simple screen would be helpful for advanced users as well, since you don't want to wade through the settings hierachy every time you want to change a single, frequently-used setting.

In general, I am OK with the hiearchy-based approached, it works pretty fell to handle a large number of settings.

After playing around with this for some time, here are some of my suggestions:
  • Hide ALL development-related settings for release builds by default. This includes all debugging stuff and also obscure settings like random input. Maybe you could add a setting to force-show them.
  • Also hide settings which tend to be overwritten at lot, by simply using the main menu or by playing, e.g. fixed_map_seed, enable_damage, fast_move. Hide them unless using the debug build. Again, add a hidden setting to overwrite this behaviour
  • Apply automatic word wrap in descriptions make life easier for translators
  • Use sliders for numbers which have to be in an upper and lower bound (i.e. sound volume). But also keep the possibility to enter the number directly
  • Different color or text style for settings which are changed from their default value. Inspired by Mozilla Firefox' about:config
  • Use gray color for unused settings (e.g. all settings which depend on enable_shaders=true but it is set to false). Gray color takes precendence over the suggestion above

Complaints/questions:
  • I am a bit surprised to see “enable_build_where_you_stand” in the client settings. Why? Sounds like all clients with this enabled get a free advantage on server. :-/ Or is this just a mistake in the settings categorization?
  • The file selection tool is broken, if I abort it, the main menu gets messed up
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Re: New settings menu

by Fixerol » Wed Oct 28, 2015 23:00

OK, I've actually tried it and it is super geeky (not user-friendly), it is not good as default settings, you should bring back old one and add one button "Advanced" in it leading to this advanced tree. It is nowhere easy to use for an average player, no way, that is too much for default (even for kids) :D

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Re: New settings menu

by Gael de Sailly » Sat Oct 31, 2015 13:15

This settings tab is great for me, I've made Valleys Mapgen compatible with it (settingtypes.txt).

But yes, we should keep the "old" interface with a button to switch between the both dialogs.

(sorry, I'm not sure that my English is good…)

PilzAdam: I think we should add exactely the settings tab that was here just before the new one (plus the button "Advanced settings"), so between the releases 0.4.13 and 0.4.14, this wouldn't be changed too much, for players that are used to use the old tab and only play stable releases.
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Re: New settings menu

by Minetestforfun » Sun Nov 01, 2015 16:37

+1 for an advanced setting button for the new detailed setting menu, and keep the old setting menu
 

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