Cucumber Problems. And some other thoughts about the newer versions.

Hi,

I just upgraded to 3.2.2 and am really disappointed with the Cucumber portion:

1) Some step-definition blocks are not being parsed correctly, so my edit window is constantly showing those red error blocks in the right-hand gutter. Those *used* to be really helpful because I could tell at a glance if something was wrong. Now they are useless because they are always there.

2) It takes a long time to parse feature descriptions. I can be working in a feature file for minutes (sometimes hours) and the regular-expression matcher fails to mark a LOT of parameters (i.e. words enclosed in quotes) in blue.

3) When I try to ctrl-click on a step-def in a feature file it sometimes tells me there is no matching step-definition - except there is, because when I run the tests they find their way to those very same step defs and the code gets executed.

4) The Spork server still doesn't work, despite *numerous* communications by myself and others about this issue. I am spending a ton of time refactoring cucumber tests and this would save me so much time it's not even funny. But weeks (if not months) later, this is still not working.

5) I have helper functions in my world.rb file. In 3.2.1 I was able to ctrl-click on methods in my step-defintion files, at which point I was taken to that method in world.rb. Now when I ctrl-click a step-def method, my IDE freezes for over a minute. (The "top" program in Ubuntu reports Java/Rubymine as taking 100% of the CPU time.) It never does take me to the method, instead, what usually happens is that my project window gets closed and some random file appears in the edit window.

6) The ToDo's aren't color-coded in the feature files.

7) Parameters in step-defintion code blocks are supposed to be color coded. This is helpful because you can see where the variables are being used withn the code block, and you are given a heads-up if you have variables that aren't being used - all of which is really helpful. The problem is that a bunch of my code blocks aren't color-coding the parameters and their usage inside the code blocks.

You know, I really appreciate what you must have to do in order to produce such a program. But you might want to consider backing off on some of your new and esoteric features and concentrate on getting the basics working. (The random-text-gets-selected problem which prevented any further typing until the IDE was restarted comes to mind. That was another basic and annoying problem.) In fact, you might want to consider even removing some features.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED: I have spent a fair amount of time on this post - which in itself sucks because I was on a coding roll and then I had to break off to seacrh the Forum and then create this post. Since I was on the topic of program complexity, I was going to ask if you had taken a look at how LONG each list of menu options is; I mean, there are so many choices it borders on being ridiculous. Anyway, the point is that I have not used the IDE for a pretty long time. So I just popped over to look at how long each menu was and I only got to look at the 'File' and 'Edit' ones before the IDE froze for about 15 seconds. I waited and then tried to look at some more menus... and it froze again. And once again after that!

Many developers don't like IDEs because they are too complicated. I can understand and respect that. Heck, the same can be said for any kind of program - the poster boy for this problem being Microsoft Word. When it first came out it was usable and people liked it. Now ask anyone who uses it on a regular basis how often they actually swear at it. We all know their answer will be "A lot." You can craft a newspaper or book or encyclopdia with Word - the problem is that most people don't want to, so they constantly have to fight all of these "features" in order to get the basics done.

Anyway, those of us who do like IDEs can start feeling the same way if the program's complexity starts getting out of control, causing basic operation and usability to suffer. (Can you say "Eclipse"?) And that includes the time we have to spend descrbing problems in forums and bug reports. In fact, part of me didn't even want to write this because I don't want the inevitable "Can you describe this more?" or "Can you provide us with some code examples?" or "Can you start a fresh new project and try to replicate the problem?" To be honest, I don't have time for all of that, and part of me gets upset because we shouldn't have to be spending so much of our time helping you debug this product.

Those are some of the problems I'm experiencing, along with 2-cents worth of thoughts thrown in. I hope that rather than take offense at my general comments, that you stop and think about them. I have a LOT of posts in this forum, and I know that if you peruse them you will find that I almost always congratulated you on your fine work and marveled at what a great product this is. (And I still feel that way. Really.) But look at the how the tone has changed from the ones at the beginning to those at the end: admiration - and don't get me wrong, there still is a LOT of that - is starting to give way to frustration. Please don't "shoot the messanger" for that.

Thanks,
Larry

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I just tried looking at some more menus and after viewing a couple the IDE froze again - same as mentioned in my previous post. When that happened before I went right back to the post I was writing, so I did not see this:

After the IDE unfreezes (around 15 seconds) I can click in an edit window and the line I click on is marked with the correct background color... however, there is no cursor indicator, so I can't tell where on the line I am. It took a couple of minutes for the cursor indicator to appear. The edit window did accept keyboard input during this time, but you really need to be able to see where you are going to type before you start typing.

Sigh,
Larry

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And now I just cut-and-pasted a method about 10 lines up in the same file. And in so doing lost all of the color-coding for that method.

This and my previous "no-cursor-indicator" post perfectly illustrate what I mean about getting the basics right. I know the RoR universe is changing at the speed of light and that you have to keep adding complex features (e.g. Rails 3.1, haml, sass, etc.) to keep up, but we gotta have basic functionality we can count on.

Thanks,
Larry

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Well, it looks like I could have saved myself a lot of time by waiting instead of submitting the above posts. I just downloaded and installed the new 3.2.2 build (107.446 on July 22) and all of the problems except the Spork server not working with cucumber seem to have disappeared.

Don't know what happened, but I'm glad you fixed it.

Thanks,
Larry

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Hi Larry,

Thanks for letting us know the problem is solved.
The problem reason was a corrupted IDE cache and the newer 446 build actually just rebuilds it to make such problems go away.

Really sorry about this confusion.

-Eugene

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