As the number of observation source plugins grows, so do the number of File menu items.
Many plugins are able to load data either from a file or a URL rather than a special dialog so can share a common file/URL chooser dialog.
I'd like to change the way observation source plugins appear in menu items in VStar such that only those that cannot share this common dialog appear in the File menu while others will be accessed via New Star from File... in the file menu, in this way, and I'd appreciate your thoughts:
This also has the advantage that such plugins will be accessible via the toolbar button corresponding to New Star from File...
I'm also wondering about removing the "New Star from " prefix in menu items as well.
I think we can be sure that sources of data will continue to grow and will do so faster and faster. So I think your are addressing something worthwhile. The only downside I see to your proposal is that users will have to be aware of the dual ways to load data. I suppose the other way to approach it is to use common file/URL chooser dialog for all observation source plugins and then have any plugin requiring additional input popup a second dialog. This has other downsides.
The dual way to launch plugins does seem to be something that documenation and training can easily compensate for.
Thanks Cliff. I've simplified it further such that for all obs source plugins that request a file or URL, the common chooser dialog is used and in the case of plugins like NSVS and SuperWASP that don't allow a URL to be specified, the URL request button is disabled.
I take your point about the two ways of doing something. Of course, even file/URL based pligins will still make use of a File menu item or toolbar button, so it all comes from there ultimately.
One additional thing I could do is to add a preference to enable the user to switch between the new proposed UI and the old one (File menu items only).