Feature Request: Different Views

Subscribe to Feature Request: Different Views 7 post(s), 4 voice(s)

Avatar afleance 44 post(s)


I like that we can see the thumbnails when we mouse over a row in the auction list table.
What I would like is to have some different views available:
1) current view
2) current view plus the thumbnail embedded as a column with user defined size of the thumbnail.
(this will cause the row height to be very tall, so it might not look good)
3) a thumbnail view which displays all the auctions as pictures (if available otherwise a placeholder image)
along with a caption containing only time left and bid price. The size of the thumbnails should be configurable;
JBidwatcher should scale up/down the original image as necessary.

I found that JBidWatcher’s ability to import all the auctions based on a search URL very handy, and for certain
types of auctions, e.g. collectibles / jewelry, it would be nice to import a bunch of auctions into jbidwatcher
and then view everything as a thumbnail.

BTW – I am a software developer in SiliconValley with about 12 years of experience in Java, esp. multi-threaded
Java Swing applications. I used to work for Sun Microsystems when Java was just starting out. I may be able to
help make these improvements, although I’m already pretty busy with work and another side project I’m working on —
just like I’m sure you’re very busy with your real work. Email me if you get a chance.


Avatar afleance 44 post(s)


Browsing the backlog of feature requests on sourceforge, I see two people have already requested a thumbnail column be added to the view.
One person even attached a patch to add the feature.

[ 1764998 ] Thumbnail column in table views

[ 1568800 ] Thumbnail Column

Avatar nekrad 25 post(s)

Yes, an thumb column (instead of mouseover) would be really good. Maybe a larger pic appearing when mouse over the thumb.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

Yeah, one of my goals for improvement is the UI; when I first put the program together, having the graphic hidden as a ‘tooltip’ made sense, since most items didn’t have thumbnails (because eBay hosted them and IIRC charged for it). Now, with eBay allowing people to have thumbnails even when they aren’t hosting the images on eBay, it’s no longer the occasional items that have thumbnails, it’s pretty much all of them.

Anyhow, I’ve got a version which includes thumbnails (between the time I started writing this note last night and this morning I more or less glommed the core points from the patch, and added my own ‘special’ (i.e. ugly) touch).

The big problem with putting the thumbnail in the display is that the rest of the line has HUGE whitespace around it now. I handle that the only way I could come up with, by putting a more complex background behind the lines. Take a look here:

Let me know what you think. There are still details to be hashed out, and selection looks a little weird, but the core effect looks decent, at least imo. I haven’t tried to see what it looks like on a Mac yet, that’ll be next.

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

Avatar Laurence Pas... 59 post(s)

I have to say I really don’t like that complex background. Continuous variable shading simply makes it harder to pick out details. There may be more empty space because the row heights are larger but I don’t see the need to fill it with anything. The usual two-tone, alternating row banding works just as effectively and you get used to the extra space after a while. Indeed the extra whitespace is no worse than eBay’s search listings and reverting to a non-thumbnail list looks very cramped. At the end of the day, I think it’s more to do with user perception at the time of transition rather than being a real problem.

Avatar afleance 44 post(s)

I also don’t like the background.
I think we should just make JBidWatcher auction listing look like Ebay’s List View as much as possible. Ebay’s List View has plain background with a separator line between listings.
Mousing over the thumbnail should show the larger image.

I also would like to have something like Ebay’s Picture View which is item #3 in my first post. Ebay’s Picture View isn’t that great because it only shows two pictures per row. I think we could improve on that. Possibly, just by showing less text, that would allow more thumbnails to be shown per row. I use another program J River Media Center 12 which has a great thumbnail view for movies and pictures. It lets you customize the label text to whatever fields you want. Using the same paradigm in JBidWatcher, a user should be able to say they only want to see Time Remaining and Price for the label.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)


Ah well, it was a fun piece of code to write, at least. (It’s actually mildly hard to do graphic backgrounds like that.) Take a look at the ng screenshot page now, and you’ll see what it looks like without the gradient background (and with one of the tooltip-style thumbnails popping up).

I also realized I’d fubar’ed the height/width for the previous screenshot, so it was being crunched a little in the browser. Anyhow, both screenshots are up there.

You’ll also notice there’s a ‘…’ above the scrollbar. That’s not very clear, but it’s a button you can click there to configure the columns for the current tab. (It’s ‘…’ because I don’t have a decent super-miniature icon to indicate configurable…) This is in addition to the usual ‘right click on the tab name’, and hopefully an even more obvious ‘Tab’ menu eventually.

This version is also storing its information in a database, which makes startup (that version has 1460 auctions loaded, most of them completed) MUCH faster.

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!