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UI advise for my cron app.

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  • User profile image
    staceyw

    I have written a scheduler based on cron in .Net.  Naturally, there are others, but this was an app I wanted to do for some time.  I have the console version working with crontab-like input file.  I am working on the GUI version and want some input on the UI.  Does this seem reasonable?  Would you do something different?
    Here is a short descrition of fields:

    * Name - the unique job name.
    * Command/Arg - The command and arguments for the job.
    * Start - Datetime job is eligible to run - not necessarily the date the job will first run.
    * End - End datetime.  Job will not be scheduled again after this date. 
    * End after - Run job maximum of this many times. EndDate ignored.
    * Minutes - The minutes to schedule the job. 0-59
    * Hours - The hours to schedule the job. 0-59
    * DOM - The days in the month to schedule the job.  1-32. 32 for LDOM regardless of month.
    * Days of Week - The day(s) of the week to run.
    * Months - The month(s) to run.



    This is a bit different then scheduling with something like TaskScheduler, but think in some ways it is more straight forward.  Thoughts?  TIA
    --wjs

  • User profile image
    jamie

    i wanted to help out - but i think its way over my head

    so long as the people using it will understand the terminology it looks like an all in one solution (pane)

    best of luck Smiley

  • User profile image
    Larsenal

    Consider a way of selecting and deselecting all the checkboxes for a particular group at once.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    Larsenal wrote:
    Consider a way of selecting and deselecting all the checkboxes for a particular group at once.

    Thanks for the input.  That would be a helpful addition.

  • User profile image
    ben2004uk

    Consider looking at the Vista UX Guidelines as that doesn't follow it at all....

    too many options all at once.  Read the UX and it will guide you Wink

  • User profile image
    giggles

    2 things, cron has no tty, also $DISPLAY and other env is not set. cron usually has no access to the display server. Somebody that regularly uses crond could have unexpected results using your GUI.

  • User profile image
    melsam [MS]

    Is this a dialog or normal window? If dialog, it should have a Cancel button and no minimize/maximize buttons.

    "Day Of Month" should be sentance case.

    Label controls are not properly aligned.

    You cannot have a group box within a group box.

    Too many controls. consider using a checklistbox instead of so many check boxes.

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    You've laid things out very logically but in a way which simplifies things for the programmer not the user. There are too many choices and free text boxes on screen to make it easy for the user.

    Consider having the user select from Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly and then change the UI for the rest of the dialog accordingly.

    Consider allowing selection of "Every n days/weeks/months" or
    "First Monday of the month", "Second Tuesday", "First weekday" or "Last Friday" etc.

    Using 32 as meaning the last day of the month is a little obscure. Have a separate selection for this.

    Check the Recurrence dialog in Outlook for more ideas.

    SimonJ

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    giggles wrote:
    2 things, cron has no tty, also $DISPLAY and other env is not set. cron usually has no access to the display server. Somebody that regularly uses crond could have unexpected results using your GUI.


    This is my own cron implementation, so tty and $display do not apply.  Thanks.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    SimonJ wrote:
    You've laid things out very logically but in a way which simplifies things for the programmer not the user. There are too many choices and free text boxes on screen to make it easy for the user.

    Consider having the user select from Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly and then change the UI for the rest of the dialog accordingly.

    Consider allowing selection of "Every n days/weeks/months" or
    "First Monday of the month", "Second Tuesday", "First weekday" or "Last Friday" etc.

    Using 32 as meaning the last day of the month is a little obscure. Have a separate selection for this.

    Check the Recurrence dialog in Outlook for more ideas.

    SimonJ


    Thanks.  That is heart of it.  IMO, TaskScheduler may have a proper layout from a UI text book perspective, but is confusing.  I was hoping to go for a single snapshot of the whole job on one screen if possible.  Moreover, the schedule of cron is a lot different from TS so I can't really do it the same way in many cases.  Oddly, things like Every n weeks, is hard/impossible for normal cron, but other things are easier (i.e. specify the exact minutes and days that don't have a N+ pattern).  I'll keep working on it.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    ben2004uk wrote:
    Consider looking at the Vista UX Guidelines as that doesn't follow it at all....

    too many options all at once.  Read the UX and it will guide you


    Hmm.  It seems the UX guidelines are not available any more.  Anyone have a working link?

  • User profile image
    Manip



  • User profile image
    keeron

    Manip wrote:
     <snip the screenshots>


    Nice! Did you just whip that in XAML ? Big Smile (That looks like Avalon on XP)

    - Keeron

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    Manip wrote:
    



    Which scheduler is that?

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    <Snip Manip>

    Here is the other issue.  Cron is not based on time offsets like scheduler.  So I need to deal with a different metaphor as well in the UI.  If I made it the same, you would loose some of the benifits of cron.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Instead of checkboxes
    [ ] January
    [ ] February
    ...

    How about double-listboxes with [ Add >> ] and [ << Remove ] buttons?

    +--------------+                    +---------------+
    | January      |                    | March         |
    | February     |   [   Add >>   ]   | May           |
    | April        |                    | ...           |
    | June         |   [ << Remove  ]   |               |
    | ...          |                    |               |
    +--------------+                    +---------------+

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