New color schemes

I like the new color schemes. Vibrant Ink in particular is one of my
favorite TextMate themes. A few caveats, however:

  • Since bundled schemes are read only, it would be nicer to have them

use a font that's available on all platforms. Monaco isn't easily
available on non-mac computers.

  • Expanding that idea, it would be nice if font settings were completely

separated from color schemes. Most of the time I don't want to change
color scheme, but changing fonts is almost a given. I want to change
font in one place, and have it applied to all color schemes.

  • I'd willingly shed blood for a simplified, mostly language agnostic

theme editor. You know, instead of configuring color schemes for a dozen
different languages, having more general categories (keyword,
method/function, etc) that are used for all relevant languages.

  • Importing TextMate themes would be great. Pie in the sky, I know, but

a man can dream.

-- Marcus

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I prefer the Sunburst theme in TextMate. That washed out grey version of black in Vibrant Ink hurts my eyes.

I might just go and configure up Sunburst as best I can for RubyMine and contribute it back to the main distribution if there's a place for such things. As Marcus says, though, I'd much prefer something which could import Sunburst from TextMate for me automatically.

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Paul,

We have feature request about importing TextMate color schemes and you can vote for it - http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/RUBY-2363. We are not sure that such feature is more critical that improving the intelligence of type inference, autocompletion, rspec support, etc. Thus we are going to implement such ability not in the nearest future, and more like before 1.0 release.  And if you port Sunburst theme to RubyMine we will bundle it with pleasure.

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Simplifying the UI of Rubymine is an important idea for the Ruby crowd. I sit in a freenode ruby channel for a community of developers each workday, and a few of them have expressed negative viewpoints about Rubymine simply because of how it looks. I used to use IDEA when I programmed in Java, so I switched easily. A lot of the developers still use VI or TM (and think using a debugger is mainly unnecessary). Whether right or wrong, the community has certain preconceptions about staying away from enterprise tools. Making it looks as much like a general text editor, and simplifying all the advanced functionality, would probably be a good move with getting them.

Another thing is that most of them use Macs (Textmate is only available on Apples) - if the keyboard shortcuts could default to something for OS X automatically it would probably be a big advantage for a first impression.

Regards,
Nicholas F

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Hello Nicholas,

Simplifying the UI of Rubymine is an important idea for the Ruby
crowd. I sit in a freenode ruby channel for a community of developers
each workday, and a few of them have expressed negative viewpoints
about Rubymine simply because of how it looks. I used to use IDEA when
I programmed in Java, so I

switched easily. A lot of the developers still use VI or TM (and think
using a debugger is mainly unnecessary). Whether right or wrong, the
community has certain preconceptions about staying away from
enterprise tools. Making it looks as much like a general text editor,
and simplifying all the advanced functionality, would probably be
a good move with getting them.


Could you please give an example of an advanced RubyMine feature that could
be simplified (rather than removed)?

We do simplify what we can (for example, RubyMine has a much simpler project
configuration dialog and a simpler inspection configuration), but we're not
sure if turning off features by default until RubyMine looks exactly like
TextMate is really a good way forward. (We can do so, of course, because
it's far easier to turn off features once you have all the intelligence compared
to adding intelligence to a dumb text editor.)

Another thing is that most of them use Macs (Textmate is only
available on Apples) - if the keyboard shortcuts could default to
something for OS X automatically it would probably be a big advantage
for a first impression.


There is a dialog shown on the first startup that lets you choose the TextMate
scheme if that's what you prefer.

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Development Lead
JetBrains, Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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There is a dialog shown on the first startup that lets you choose the TextMate
scheme if that's what you prefer.



 


I don't envy you the task of developing for multiple platforms, but this is an example of a feature that could be simplified.

Don't ask questions on first startup. Just do the right thing for each platform. On the Mac, use Mac key bindings. Since they can be changed through the preferences, that should be sufficient.

Other suggestions for clearing up the UI:

File navigation browser should start in the user's home directory instead of /.

Hidden files should not be shown by default in the navigation browser.

Why do the buttons around the edge of the window begin with numeral? 1: Project, etc? I'm not sure that the buttons aren't redundant, but I am sure that I don't need the numerals.


Slightly related:

Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but it seems like RubyMine has to parse all of my gems, my vendor plugins and my project every time I open a project. Couldn't the gems be parsed once and cached? Can't the other files be cached. This takes a long time and I can't do anything else while this is happening. It makes RubyMine much less useful for making a few quick changes to a project.

Also, the window that shows the progress of loading all these files loses the check box once the files are loaded. It should just close.

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Dmitry,

Sure, a lot of this is just opinion and UI instinct, as I haven't polled the users who had this reaction.

* Icons
TextMate has no icons, everything is done with a key-combo or using the application menus - while Rubymine couldn't reach such simplicity (it has more functionality - debugger, etc.), it could get close.

Remove all icons in the top level of the UI (sorry, not aware of the correct term for it) - open file, save, synchronize, undo, redo, copy, cut, paste, etc. (users just do this with keyboard combo.s, anyhow). The only thing you'd need to leave in would be the run and debug menu items, along with the configuration, and this could even be moved from a top level position.

The icons in the top bar of the project view could also be removed.

* Keymappings

It feels a bit wrong to use Textmate keymappings on another IDE. It'd be far easier if there were standing Mac mappings which worked out of the box and represented all Rubymine functionality.


The 'Todo', 'Web Preview' and 'Changes' menus at the bottom probably aren't used by many of the ruby users (just a guess, perhaps wrong).

Thanks for listening to the feedback.

Regards,
Nicholas F.

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How exactly removing a single row of shortcuts for frequently accessed functionality is simpler than forcing first time users to remember arcane keyboard combos? I understand where you're trying to get, but I really don't think removing the toolbar is going to make things simpler. Sure, power users appreciate the possibility of turning it off (View -> Toolbar), but for first time users, it's a great boon.

That being said, things like save, undo/redo, cut/copy/paste are so basic that shouldn't be in the toolbar. Here's what I'd put/leave in the toolbar:

  • Open
  • Synchronize
  • Show Bookmarks
  • Find/Replace
  • Analyze Code
  • Run/Debug
  • VCS operations
  • Split Window Operations (Vertically/Horizontally, Unsplit)
  • Settings


Some of these aren't really "frequently accessed", like Analyze Code -- they are, however, hidden gems that deserve to be drawn attention to.

What else could be simplified? The settings panel, of course. I understed why this has been recently changed for IDEA, but given the reduced scope of RubyMine, the old System Settings like panel would be much, much better. Also, some of the configuration panels could be greatly simplified. Fonts and Colors would be my first take, but depending on how far you would be willing to go, panels like Appearance and Editor could be completely removed, or at least reduced to very few options.

More: get rid of the File Types thing. It's about time IDEA implements some kind of automatic file type detection. This is something I've been wanting for years. I hate to register an "extension" every *bleeping* time I try to open a dotfile or a file without an extension.

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Hi Marcus,

How exactly removing a single row of shortcuts for frequently accessed functionality is simpler than forcing first time users to remember arcane keyboard combos?

Well, I think you meant to ask "how does removing a single row of icon shortcuts make things simpler if first-time users are forced to learn arcane key combos?" The answer is it doesn't, and that's not my perception of the situation or how I made the answer.

The idea is to simplify the UI, not the functionality, for a community which favours simplified UIs and hidden functionality - TextMate and vi. The Rails core team uses TM, as is often said, and that helps somewhat to form the community expectations of what a good Rails IDE should offer. If you start up Textmate and Rubymine and stare at the two I think you'll see the idea.

Also, a lot of those icons are just redundant for any reasonable user. Of the first 10 icons in the top row, only one has anything approaching the "arcane" - synchronize. Command + s, etc., isn't exactly unexpected in an IDE.

Given the predominance of TextMate in the Rails community, the approach was based on predicting what Rails crowds at large are comfortable with, not what people who are already sold on RubyMine or IDEA (like me) want to see in the UI for their own preference.

Regards,
Nicholas

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I was composing a long reply, but then I realized it was all moot, and boils down to different opinions we're all entitled to have. You made your point, I made mine, now let's just hope JetBrains can do something better than either of us could think of.

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Great reply. One of the best things about the Ruby community is how friendly it is. To echo your point, I really get bored by long arguments in forums about topics which none of the participants have much grasp on, anyway! I'm not a UI expert, but I often run into this rejection by the Ruby crowd of anything more powerful than a text editor. OOC, have you seen it yourself? Which IDE or editor were you using before RubyMine?

Cheers,
Nicholas

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OOC, have you seen it yourself? Which IDE or editor were you using before RubyMine?


Yes. The Ruby community has this idea that Ruby is so easy to work with, it doesn't need an IDE. Poor guys, they don't know what they're missing.

I'm a veteran Java developer recently  (~18 months) converted to Ruby, and even then I've been using it only for personal projects, so I'm probably not representative of the larger community. I've tried many editors before RubyMine, including RadRails, TextMate and NetBeans, and good old vi. RadRails looks good, but I have a deep hatred for how most eclipse editors are inconsistent between them. NetBeans is actually very nice, but fugly on a Mac. TextMate is really good for editing text, but I can't live without a decent debugger, and code completion certainly doesn't hurt.

Whoever says Ruby doesn't need a visual debugger is limiting himself as a programmer -- this is the most important point any IDE should focus on. I can't say RubyMine code completion helped me much in it's current state; navigation shortcuts have helped me, specially considering I'm a long time IDEA user, but I could live without them; the debugger, however, is what realy makes my productivity jump.

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Hi,

Yes, I definitely agree with this - it's hard to find an excellent IDE, most of them are average, but when you do it really lifts your performance and output as a programmer.

I really enjoyed using IDEA as a Java programmer, but when I switched over to Ruby for all of my projects in 2006 I couldn't find a decent IDE. I'd trial them every year or so - Komodo, Eclipse, RadRails, etc. - but ended up using Textmate with the console debugger quite effectively (Textmate *is* a great editor). I'm still trying to remember how to use IDEA ala Rubymine effectively now, but it's already doing great things for me.

Cheers,
N.

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