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Graphical User Interface Points

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Has any person's opinion changed since these comments were posted?
Javini Javono

Originally posted by Andrew Monkhouse:
Hi Dave & everyone else,

There has been at least one person who failed because of lack of menus / tool bars (amongst other things). I strongly recommend people read that thread - there are some very good comments in there.
As Jim said, setting up menus and toolbars is very easy to do. I would strongly recommend you use them.
Regards, Andrew

Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
Howdy -- this one is a little tricky, but the core idea for the assessment is that you follow standard practices whenever possible, and that these standards do not have to be explicitly mentioned in the requirements. So that's why the menu bar and file menu are important and expected, for example, even though not specifically asked for in the requirements.
In general, standard GUI principles they're looking for include:
* Having a menu bar and file menu
* Having a logical and resizeable layout, without clutter, and with logical (non-arbitrary) groupings of components
* Using text entry fields where appropriate and pull-downs where appropriate. While there is no set rule for exactly what is and is not appropriate, in general -- any place where there is a high chance for error or where the user has to remember to type something in an exact way, use a pull-down (unless the choices are HUGE, invoking fuzzy logic again as to what 'huge' means, of course
And by the same token, do not use a pull-down when the choices are easier to enter and the number of choices is huge (so, for example, do not use a pull-down to enter a number between 0 and 100, or the days of a year, but the days of a month is probably acceptable).
* Use dialogs where appropriate, but not where inappropriate -- again, this can be somewhat subjective, but the idea is to use dialogs for 'urgent' notifications, but you're just as likely to get graded down for using too MANY dialogs for normal operations that are *not* considered 'urgent'.
I guess my tips would be to follow standard GUI conventions, and you should be pretty safe. Assuming you've followed the other requirements in the assignment, then following GUI standards is all the assessor is looking for. They aren't looking for something special.
It's the same issue with using design patterns and well-known solutions -- the assessors are VERY interested in you 'not reinventing the wheel'. You will be graded down, for example, for not using a well-known standard where one exists, EVEN IF YOUR SOLUTION IS "BETTER" (faster, more efficient, etc.).
Again, think: team player instead of brilliant individual programmer.
Not to beat a dead horse here, but perhaps the biggest problem we see with exam candidates is that they do TOO good a job --- coming up with solutions that solve more than the specification asks for, modifying the spec to make it 'better', using their own non-standard (even if better) techniques, etc.
There are no extra points given for doing something special, clever, novel, especially cool, more performant, if it isn't justified by the requirements and ESPECIALLY if it involves deviating from a common (or at least *known*) solution.
Think team player, not individual 'star', and you should be in good shape!
Of course, that goes against all my cowboy/cowgirl values, but that's the nature of the exam
cheers and good luck,

Originally posted by Ken Krebs:
I passed with 389/400 and perfect on the gui and did not have a menu or associated toolbar. This covered in my design notes.
Good luck on your submission.

Bharat Ruparel
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Member # 53932

Hello All,
I have seen many people in distress here and the Certificate Results forum. I was in the same boat for the last two days. I had taken my written exam on 7th November and had uploaded my assignment before that. I didn't get my results before the Cert Manager database was updated. On 10th December Evening when the new database came online, I eagerly checked my results, and was really disappointed to see a failed grade! I was also puzzled by the lack of comments (or rather no comments) under the Comments section. I have been in a persistent and forceful exchange, mostly from my side, with Sun, and just now I discovered that I have been given a passing grade. Be aware that this is under the "Old" Cert Manager though. Those of you, who have seen a Failed grade, check your grade here! The new Cert Manager Database is screwed up to say the least. I suspect that they have set the default grade for an "incomplete" exam to Failed and have caused a lot of us a lot of unnecessary grief!
Anyway, here are the results!
Grade: P
Score: 367
Comment: This report shows the total number of points awarded for each section. The maximum number of points is 400, to pass you need a score of 320. Section Summary: Section Max Actual Points Points General Con: 100 94 Documentation: 70 60 OOD: 30 28 GUI: 40 25 Locking: 80 80 Data Store: 40 40 Network Server: 40 40 Total: 400 367
I want to thank all of you for helping me out tremendously! I want to specifically acknowledge the immense amount of help and encouragement from Andrew, Max, Jim, Mark, Phil, Vlad, Tony, and Arun. I have also benifitted from the postings of people who took this exam before me. If I am forgetting somebody, blame it to my head, not my heart.
I think that the score is fair. I was totally focused on the locking, data store, and the Server side of the assignment since that is what I was more interested in and wanted to learn more. Andrew kept advising me to pay an equal amount of attention to the GUI side and not "blindly" copy Max's design. I ended up not following to his advice on this front and paid the price. On the written test, there was a question on the TableModel which I couldn't answer clearly. Had I spent more time learning that, I could have. I was running out of steam by the time I got to the documentation, and ended-up doing a bad job. I think my score reflects that.
I have a feeling that at least some of us who are in the same boat as I was for the past two days are going to be pleasantly surprised. Have heart and keep your chins up!
Warm Regards.
Bharat Ruparel

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Hi Javini,
As from Ken's message, I feel that his accessor may not really care about whether the GUI contains a menu, however, from the accessor that gave 0 marks on GUI part becos it does not contain a menu, I think GUI is very objective, becos a layout (or a GUI component) looks good for one person, while it may look bad in another person.
Thus, as long as we cater for the most generic layout design, it is already good enough.
P.S. My GUI also does not contain any menu, hoping that I wont score 0 in GUI part.
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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