On the new desktop interface

Jonathan Mok shared this idea 2 years ago
Declined

Just re-installed my computer and found that the current version of Geogebra has a new interface.


While I appreciate the efforts on bridging the experience across all devices, I would like to express that, I honestly think the old interface is much more convenient to work with for a desktop computer with a large screen, a mouse and a proper keyboard.


In the new interface, the main menu will be shown only when the user click the menu button on the top-right corner. The top-level items will be shown first, and the user needs to click on them to see the second-level items. If the user knows what to look for, it takes 3 clicks to access an item in the new interface (with a lot of mouse-moving), while it takes only 2 clicks in the old interface.


If the user doesn't know what to look for and needs to search the menu, he has to click on each of the top-level items to read the lower-level items. Moreover, the positions of the top-level items keep changing in the process and it takes a lot of aiming and clicking just to browse through the menu. In the old interface, the user simply has to move the mouse horizontally.


This new design of menu was invented for a small screen on which you want to maximize your working area and keep your menus as small as possible. The price for this design was a lot of clicking as mentioned above. For a large screen however, a horizontal menu bar on the top does not greatly reduce the working area, but has the advantage that it is always ready for access.


There are a few other interface designs that I think does not work very well with a mouse, but I don't want to make this a ten-thousand-word essay. The point that I want to express is, the current interface works great for a tablet with a touch screen, but does not work well with a keyboard and a mouse. I would greatly appreciate if there is an option to switch back to the old menu style in a future update (all of the old interface if possible).


I am sorry if this sounds like a complain. I have been using Geogebra for many years and I think it remains one of the best multi-purpose maths software, and I want to continue using it in the future. That's why I raise my concern.

Comments (8)

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GeoGebra Classic is still available, see https://blog.geogebra.org/2...

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Thank you both.


It is written in the blog post that "we will continue to support them with bug fix updates in the future as well" and in the download page that "the good old GeoGebra 5 desktop application with its classic user interface". If my understanding is correct, this means bug fixes but not new features will be implemented in Geogebra 5. In other words, the classic interface will not be available starting from Geogebra 6.


It seems that not many people have the same concern as I do, so I will find myself some workaround. Thank you again.

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In verità neppure io amo la versione 6, Jonathan. Non la uso. A volte mi capita di aprirla per errore e la richiudo immediatamente :-)

Non ci saranno nuove funzionalità nella vecchia versione? Che dire? Mi spiace molto. Non so quanti utenti di GeoGebra usino la 6 e se è davvero problema di pochi quello che hai fatto notare.

Un saluto a tutti e grazie.

Renata

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I agree with Jonathan and have the same concern that any improvements on GeoGebra will not be available with the version 5 desktop view.

Transforming GeoGebra into an app for smaller devices have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the failures of the handheld calculator is that it does not afford adequate space for seeing some important mathematics or viewing more than a small number of calculations at the same time.

Having finished products that can work on the smaller screens is valuable, but to restrict all work to the small screen template and constraints is like playing a sport in a field that is 1/10th the size. It is just not the same game and the more powerful players won't play in a field that is so constrained. Playing football (soccer) on a field that is just 10 yards long with full sized teams won't attract the same players to the game.

So.. I hope the developers will continue to add features to GeoGebra 5 and 6 or present version 6 with the version 5 desktop view as an alternative.

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Hi. Just found new geogebra 6 because an update had a problem with security key under fedora 26. So just tried and found this new interfase. And I just agree with Jonatan. For some time until now, people is adopting touch interfases for desktop, and that is not good, more clicks to do the same, hidden menus, etc. I like geogebra very much, even wrote a chapter for a book about the use of geogebra for teaching learning and researching, gave a small workshop on nonlinear dynamics using geogebra (this small workshop ended being a geogebra tutorial for differential equations solving), but this interfase is not good at all.


Regarding virtual keyboards, also, not the best I had seen. Too many taps/clicks to find/write something. The best keyboard I have seen is the one from MathStudio, very complete, easy to use, and with a sweep very easy to change views.


Must admit that navigation bar is great, don't remember if it is in the 5 version.

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I too agree with Jonathan. I really love GeoGebra, but do a lot of somewhat complex animations for presentations I give to students live. It has seemed to me for years that the developers tend to ignore somewhat the needs of power users. Scripting is very difficult in GGB because the OnUpdate and OnClick code is spread out all over the construction. It makes debugging difficult, even if all you do on these events is to call a Global JavaScript function. An the lack of a decent code editor is another major issue. When I any significant scripting I have to copy and paste the JavaScript back and forth from a text editor, and even then you don't have tab completion for the API.


I was excited some years ago when I learned about the Python interface in version 4. I started to learn Python, but before I got very far version 5 came out and Python was dropped.


I have now reached the point where I have restarted learning Python and I image at some point all my math visualizations will we done with Matplotlib etc. It is a shame though. When building a new visualization, the instant feedback you get in GeoGebra allows more rapid development of the ideas that will be part of the visualization.


I still think I will use GeoGebra for ad hoc visualizations during student interactions. I just wish I did not have to use multiple tools.

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While this seems like a necro-post, the interface issue is the same as it was 2 years ago.


In fact, with 2 years of attempting to use the new interface, I'm even more sure that we're not in the realm of opinion here - the 'modern' GeoGebra UI is definitely more hidden and cryptic than the staid desktop UI of v5.


It's great that v5 is still around, but clearly the GeoGebra devs would like to move forward with one UI, and they've chosen the multi-device UI as the interface.


I hope there's another way forward. Devs, thank you for your work with GeoGebra. Please use the v5 interface for a bit and see how much cleaner and simpler it was...

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