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Solitaire Collection Feature Request: Global Preferences
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Love the icon bar!

It would be great if certain preferences could be set globally, instead of for each game. I got tired of having to turn off sloppy card placement, etc. for every style.
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I went back and forth on this issue for a long time. Originally I just had global options, but many people wanted to be able to change options for each game.

I have no objection to providing this, but I need to come up with a UI that can do it without being confusing.

I'm thinking about letting you get to the preferences screen from the game selection screen, and either making those settings override the ones you set per game, or use those as the defaults... but I think it will be confusing.
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How about a section in the Prefs labeled "Default Preferences"? You could still make it possible to override these for a specific game style, but for each style you would also have "Default" listed among the options (and that would be the default setting, of course). I think that would be pretty clear.
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The problem is that any game you have already played will have it's preferences saved, and because of the way they are saved I can't tell if you changed a value or not.
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was one of the requestors of local options, and I think it's still the way to go. But, I wonder if there's a way to have a "global/local" switch for each preference. That kind of sounds untenable, but if it could be implemented somehow....

How about, after you make a change to a preference in a game, a selection list comes up with "Global" and "Local" as options?

Regards,
Tom
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The problem is that any game you have already played will have it's preferences saved, and because of the way they are saved I can't tell if you changed a value or not.
I think if you implement this it will have to entail a complete revamping of the prefs, so people will have to reset their options, unfortunately. It can't be backwards compatible.
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Old 07/04/2010, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have another possible solution.... I just thought of this, so there may be a few kinks to work out....

What if I add a menu item in the preferences screen that says "Copy Preferences"... when you select that it shows another dialog. At the top of the dialog is a list selector with all of the games as options (and the current game selected by default) and then a list of games with a checkbox next to each...

So you select the source, and then check each game you want to copy it to. Then hit go, and the preferences get applied to all of the checked games.

Maybe that is too confusing.... and I know you're going to want to change just one or two options, which would make it much more complex.


.... I'm going to have to keep thinking about this. I know I can come up with something nicer.
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Old 07/04/2010, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That one may take a lot of thought to implement elegantly.... maybe sort out some features that would make sense for a global preference (like sloppy cards), and then other options on a game preference level (like auto-play).
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Old 07/06/2010, 12:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is it easier of you give up on the preference options being backward-compatible? Because I don't think that's a big deal.

Have a place to set global default preferences, on or off for each item. Have another place to set local preferences, on, off, or default for each item. For new games (anyone who downloads a fresh copy, or any game that hasn't been played on an existiing copy) the initial preference for each item is "default", but you can change that on a game-by-game basis.
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Old 07/06/2010, 12:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It may be a little easier, but it is still going to be complex. Each item in preferences gets an extra option... so simple on/off switches become 3 way etc....

I'd like to keep the dialog as simple as I can...
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Old 07/06/2010, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You can't make a 3-way switch? Maybe on at one end, off at the other, and "default" in the middle? It would be really nice to set global preferences. There are a bunch of things I do every time I start a new game, like turn off the timer.
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Old 07/06/2010, 12:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can make a 3 way switch, I'd just prefer not to if I can avoid it. I think it is more confusing, and I'd have to create my own control because Palm doesn't have a widget for a 3 way switch.

I'm not saying I won't do it, I'm just saying I'd like to think it through a bit more first.

It seems to me that the biggest use case is that someone wants to turn a feature off for ALL games. For example, you want to turn off the timer for all the games. That is rather easy. If I show a preferences dialog in the gamelist screen and it just lets you turn off specific features, then those features would be hidden in the preferences for the individual games.

So for a feature to be on it would have to be on in both the global settings and the game settings.

Now that is assuming that the use case is turning off features that a user dislikes. The other big one I see is setting the background. For that the global preferences dialog would show no value when you open the dialog, and then let you select something, and overwrite the setting on each individual game with that. You could then change the background individual games after doing that.
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Old 07/06/2010, 01:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It seems to me that the biggest use case is that someone wants to turn a feature off for ALL games. For example, you want to turn off the timer for all the games. That is rather easy. If I show a preferences dialog in the gamelist screen and it just lets you turn off specific features, then those features would be hidden in the preferences for the individual games.

So for a feature to be on it would have to be on in both the global settings and the game settings.
Hmmm, I'm not sure how this works, and it feels confusing. For instance, I would like to turn off "sloppy card placement" for almost all the games, but sort of like it for a couple of them. So would I have to individually turn it off for everything except those couple? If I turned if off globally then would it be hard to figure out how to turn it on for those couple?

In general I prefer 3-way light switches (as in, real light switches that I can toggle in more than one place) over switches that have to be on in both places. I moved into a house with a switch like that - it took us days to figure out what was going on and how to reliably turn on the light in the hall. I'm pretty sure I like them better in game settings, too. It's just confusing when stuff disappears.

If you don't like the visibly 3-way switch (which is an interface I'd found useful in other settings) you could just have the global one change every game that hasn't been touched. That's a little more confusing, because maybe I don't remember that I took a quick peek at pyramids and now I wonder why it has sloppy card placement when I thought I'd turned that off, but at least when I change it again it stays where I want it. But I think it's less confusing than having settings go away, especially as it's not clear to me that the default choices would be "always off" or "different for each game".
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Old 07/06/2010, 01:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Is it easier of you give up on the preference options being backward-compatible? Because I don't think that's a big deal.

Have a place to set global default preferences, on or off for each item. Have another place to set local preferences, on, off, or default for each item. For new games (anyone who downloads a fresh copy, or any game that hasn't been played on an existiing copy) the initial preference for each item is "default", but you can change that on a game-by-game basis.
That's exactly what I was saying above. The typical way I've seen this is that each pref would have a drop-down menu, with the options "Default/Off/On", or "Default/A/B/C/..." if there are more than 2 options. The initial setting, unless the user has changed it for a particular game, would obviously be the global default. A three-way switch would be easier to use if there are only 2 options but might be too much of a hassle to code.
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Old 07/06/2010, 02:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'll play around with the 3 way switch. I'm going to have to think about this some more, but if I can make the switch behave nicely then I'll probably do that.
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Old 07/06/2010, 03:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I like the drop-down list idea that DrGrace mentioned; like the "Deal" selector for choosing between random, game #, etc.

Regards,
Tom
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Old 07/06/2010, 03:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah a dropdown is going to be the easiest solution
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