Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Discussions about everything to do with SDRuno
octave9
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:54 pm

Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby octave9 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:56 pm

It takes a while to get over how good it looks and notice the odd design choices made and what they imply, and to see the messiness of some dialogs. Most significant is that a lot of wasted effort has been put into logical grouping of buttons within a fixed size frame, but with each one a different fixed size there's always going to be wasted space around one or more, which could have been put to good use within the layouts.

With some buttons in a single row or single column group and some in a double column group within the same dialog, but nothing to distinguish one group from another, it takes longer than usual to remember where things are. I think it would be better if everything about notch filters, for instance, was in the same place. I doubt I'd want to use a notch without immediately wanting to adjust its place and size. They work very well though, thanks.

I like the colours, but maybe more could be used without overdoing it. Maybe just making some groups of buttons a different colour would be enough to help users immediately see the difference between the left to right demodulation type group and the 2x2 FM Mode group, say.

It's good to have some buttons in the title bar and in the bar where 'status' information often goes, but why space them out so much on the Main SP? Makes for too much mouse mileage. Users expect some of them to be in a certain position though, so hard to get that right. Would be good if display setting sliders could go in those bars.

May be my PC settings, but I'm seeing an extra grey background in the title bars of the smaller dialogs, which overlaps the 0-00 in the smallest two and is partly behind the RSYN1 button on 'RX Cont'. The 'S' meter is drawn partly over the title bar and there's an artefact within the background colour on the right. Maybe it's because of those nicely drawn, but unnecessary, band buttons. I'd forego their good looks in favour of what could be done with the space saved if they were just another set of white on greeny grey background buttons (or a slight variation on that theme).

I like context menus. They could be used for buttons. Left click toggles off/on and right click pops up a dialog, right where the pointer is, with all the settings associated with that switch.

Hoping I don't sound too complaining. I've got a bit grumpy in my old age and I've suffered software since z80/6502 days. I really like SDRUno. It's what I'll be using, so I try to help.

I mentioned elsewhere that I'd like an even bigger Main SP window. 2560x1440 and greater are becoming common and with monitors so cheap I imagine many will be wanting a full screen waterfall/pan on one monitor, with all the controls on another. Similarly; it would help me find the button if the smaller dialogs were scalable. Just the ability to make all the control dialogs 110% - 200% their current size would help me immensely. Individual scalability would be even better (maybe).

The QS1R SDRMax software I helped with worked differently iirc, in that the 'dial' was always at the centre of waterfall/pan window and tuning could be achieved by dragging the panadapter display left or right. Tuning increments depended on the vertical position of the drag, with small incs/decs nearest the waterfall area. A speedy drag and release was like spinning a good tuning knob on an old radio. The developer I worked with was even able to achieve left click and drag of the scale bar between pan and waterfall to slide the whole region left or right, and right click and drag on it to zoom in or out! It also worked well on Linux (and Mac I believe, but I've never owned one of those). I put a lot of time and money into that effort, for nothing really. I'll be trying to help with complaints and suggestions here, but you can take or leave them. Thanks for reading anyway.

There would be a nice picture here showing the defects mentioned, but if 433,704 bytes is too big, I... enquire as to how small they need to be.

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octave9
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:54 pm

Re: Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby octave9 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:56 pm

Managed to attach a .jpg which is smaller than a similar .png, but got the 'Two Poll options' message when I tried to preview it while editing the post above.

SDRUno-dialogs-72.jpg
SDRUno-dialogs-72.jpg (197.4 KiB) Viewed 1485 times
They're huge compared to how I see them.

Capital B typed in as part of a new (Workspace) layout name opens a memory bank dialog.

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13dka
Posts: 136
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby 13dka » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:58 pm

I think you used UI or font scaling to compensate for the tiny display of fonts on your high resolution, that's why some UI elements fall apart.

This is not helping you in any way, sorry but what you see is what most buyers of the latest "Retina" "UHD" and whatnot high-DPI fads are facing - an industry single-handedly inventing a new sales pitch, ignoring that most software was never conceived for that, and some never will because this was breaking with well-established OS display techniques pretty badly and unexpectedly. Software authors seem to be quite reluctant adapting to it, not only because it can be yet another major PITA to do that but probably also because it's not easy to swallow how this problem came into existence in first place. Not to mention how hi-DPI on regular display sizes just won't fly well with old eyes and my opinion that this development is just as superfluous as my opinion about it. :)

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octave9
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:54 pm

Re: Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby octave9 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:49 pm

They have to do something to maintain sales levels. Bigger numbers always sell well. Megapixels...

I don't recall adjusting anything which could have changed the dpi and I usually try to avoid doing so because of what it causes in some applications. Screenshots captured were at 109 dpi iirc, but I did reduce them to 72 to reduce the byte size a bit. They weren't resized as that spoils the image quality I find.

I do know what you mean though. I'd have written a much better SDR software than anything currently available, if I could only see the text in Qt Creator on my HiRes monitor. :mrgreen:

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octave9
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:54 pm

Re: Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby octave9 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:40 pm

You were spot on though. I had 'Make text and other items larger or smaller' set to Medium (125%). Changed to Smaller (100%) and everything is fine with the dialogs and I'm pretty sure the text and everything is the same size as it was with the previous setting in Uno. Happy to cope with everything else being even smaller than it was, for now.

I expect it'll come up again though, so I hope it can be worked around.

Thanks again :)

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PG3
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:04 am

Re: Some thoughts on SDRUno.

Postby PG3 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:20 am

Speaking about the ergonomics of the filter group of controls, it would be nice if when you <shift>-left-click or <shift>-right-click in the SP2 window to set filter 1 or 2 if that filter would turn on without having to move the mouse to the RX window to enable it.

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