Poll: I'm not use/not understand feature in IDEA

Hello,

Since last EAP build enabled plugin deactivation feature and moved Commander to a plugin i'm just deactivate it. And, thanks JetBrains for such user friendly addition.

So now the pull:
Did you know things in IntelliJ IDEA are useless, misunderstanding, strange or something else? Better, if you will describe why, by your opinion, this feature must be pluggable or dropped at all etc.

Thank you!

51 comments

As for me (imho):

  • TODO -- Never use it. It just waste parser time.

  • Structure -- Never use it. Even for XML. Must be option to close it.

  • Migration -- Never use it. Maybe it must be something like Eclipse Refactorings Scripts?

  • Compiler/Ant/Maven -- I guess, It must be one Build settings for project/module where are Compiler (javac must be part of JDK settings), or ANT, or Maven, or something else build tool.


Thanks!

0
  • Structure -- Never use it. Even for XML. Must be option to close it.

-1

i use it quite often to jump to methods/attributes inside the current class or its superclass(es).

what i'm not using is the commander. i have no idea what it does.

another feature is structural search and replace. i'd use it, but it's pretty magical. like the custom debugger view in eclipse, you get a textarea and have no idea what you can type in there, what it will do etc.
there should be some kind of wizard to build queries and a manager to save/use them like it's possible with macros.

Message was edited by:
HamsterofDeath

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Structure copy present in ProjectView. I'm never close project view, and can turn Structure inlined in ProjectView instead of separate tool window.

You can turn off Commander now! :)

SSR -- is one of best features in IntelliJ IDEA. I'm used it many times and it safe huge of my time. Maxim Mosienko has wrote article "How to use it". Maybe you find it usefull.

Thank you!

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Well, there's a lot fewer of them recently. Overall understandability is way up since 5.0, and useless features have mostly grown into usefulness. Stuff I don't really use due to understandability

1)Structural Search and Replace. I've used it twice and was able to cudgel it into getting the answers I needed, but the learning curve is still too harsh

2)The old dependency table windows. These are just too sparse and clunky for what they do. For me, these have been completely superceded by the new DSM and CodeDependency.

3)Favorites needs a lot more features before it becomes as valuable as it could be, and consequently almost all of my uses of it have been replaced by change lists.

4)I rarely use the structure or heirarchy views, but like them when I do.

I don't think any of these should necessarily be made into plugins, but could certainly see the argument.

--Dave Griffith

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Wow. I can't imagine coding without heavy use of the TODO window. That's the last non-core thing I would ever disable.

--Dave Griffith

0

Hi Dave,

You did not use tracker? ;)

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I think most of the answers in this thread will tend to carry a certain degree of personal attitude. Often, if someone thinks that some feature is useless, that actually means that he/she doesn't use it properly (or doesn't know how to). Other people may find the same feature essential.

For example, most of the time I am using Ctrl+F12 popup instead of the Structure View, but it does not render Structure View useless. Some other people may prefer Structure View, or (like yourself) turn Show Structure in Project View on.

What I really like in IDEA is that everyone can configure it to his/her own taste and development patterns.

0

I use the Structure and do not use the structure in the Project view.
Please don't remove it.

0

another feature is structural search and replace. i'd
...
there should be some kind of wizard to build queries
and a manager to save/use them like it's possible
with macros.


I wanted to create such a request for quite a while now - here it finally is:
IDEA-13313
Everybody, please add your votes.

Concerning the original topic of this thread:
I don't really care if some feature is a core plugin or part of Idea itself.
Please just implement every feature so that it takes negligible resources (mem, startup time) if I don't use it.

0

Hello Alexey,

Do not use:
-Structure: (almost) never use it. I use Ctrl-F12/Ctrl-U/gutter marks instead.
-Commander: prefer shell or xplorer2 on windows
-SSR: use it from time to time. One weak aspect is that query is a synthesis
of text and (dialog) configuration. I think, in practical sense it would
be good if query/transformation was pure text. Then at least you could send/share
it over email/newsgroup etc, without including the 10 options you need to
configure in the dialogs.
-External tools/Path variables/Customizations: do not use it
-TODOs: rarely use it. Usually there's JIRA or a list of "architecture TODOs"
-Application servers: easier to run maven:jetty (does not need exploded dir)
-Macros
-"Editor Popup Menu": does anyone use this?
-Ant support: usually build outside IDE
-Maven support: have not used it, might start using it now that m2 support
is built-in

Do not undestand:
-The various dependency analysis tools. Usually my projects are not too big
(<2k classes).
(is there some good reading material on the subject that others can recommend?
Dave?)
-Errors: IDE vs. Project profiles: does Project override IDE profile? What's
with different IDE profiles? It's not clear how this hierarchy exactly works.
-Labels on local history. What's the use?
-Navigation Bar: do not use it. No specific reason, just never tried. What
are the good things about it?
-Column Mode: never tried.

Features that I do use (buth others don't):
-Scopes: mostly simple file based like:
"file:.jsp||file:.jspx||file:.tag||file:.tagx"
-Type Hierarchy: use it often ("what kind of implementations are there of
this interface?")
-Favorites: to index related things together that I need to look at later.
Sometimes I think that a comment feature would be nice here

-tt


0

3)Favorites needs a lot more features before it
becomes as valuable as it could be, and consequently
almost all of my uses of it have been replaced by
change lists.


Agreed. Would be great if improvements could be made in Favorites that intelligently integrate it with Changelists. To start, it would be good if you could add unchanged files to a to-be-Changed list then sprinkle in more of the Favorites functionality into Changelists.

Jon

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Ant support: usually build outside IDE

Wow. I can't imagine not being able to trigger an Ant build from within IDEA, particularly since I can bind ant tasks to keystrokes.

+
-The various dependency analysis tools. Usually my projects are not too big
(<2k classes).
(is there some good reading material on the subject that others can recommend?
Dave?)+

The best book on dependency analysis is "Large Scale C++ Software Design", by Lakos
( http://www.amazon.com/Large-Scale-Software-Design-John-Lakos/dp/0201633620/ref=sr_1_1/102-7386398-7611300?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182187759&sr=8-1 )
It's big and somewhat C++-centric, but the principles still apply. Rob Martin has distilled some of this into more bite-sized units, available in his Agile book (IIRC).

-Labels on local history. What's the use?

Before changes lists, these were extremely valuable if I needed to do a big manual refactoring while off-line. With change lists and the ability to shelve changes, there's not a huge point to them.

"Editor Popup Menu": does anyone use this?

Nope. Anything I use on there is long since had keystrokes commited to memory, or I go to the main menu instead.

0

But maybe Ctrl+F12 should show just inlined Structure View? Is not it?
One little move, but you will remove two windows and make Ctrl+F12 work for XML, etc.

I guess, this topic can render some ideas :)

0

I can't remove anything from IntelliJ IDEA, don't worry :)

0

That's assuming you have a VCS configured for a project of course.
Change lists aren't available otherwise.

There are uses other than what you describe too - especially if you are
doing a large task that can take days or even weeks, and you need to
store meaningful checkpoints during development; I find I usually use it
just before attempting an ambitious change that may or may not work out ok.

But I should be preaching to the converted here though... I'm surprised
things like this aren't obvious!

N.

Dave Griffith wrote:

-Labels on local history. What's the use?

Before changes lists, these were extremely valuable if I needed to do a big manual refactoring while off-line. With change lists and the ability to shelve changes, there's not a huge point to them.

0

1)Structural Search and Replace. I've used it twice
and was able to cudgel it into getting the answers I
needed, but the learning curve is still too harsh


It have only one strange thing - binding variable expressions. But in article all explained and clear. Imho, best one feature.

3)Favorites needs a lot more features before it
becomes as valuable as it could be, and consequently
almost all of my uses of it have been replaced by
change lists.


Yes. Totaly agree. I'm forget about Favorites at all before it completely gone with new Changes addition. Very conflicted views.

4)I rarely use the structure or heirarchy views, but
like them when I do.


Ok, hieararchy view is toggble, but structure view is always on screen... Is it good to replace Ctrl+F12 dialog by Structure View popup, or Structure View toolwindow, but look like Hierarchy View (with close button)? ;)

I don't think any of these should necessarily be made
into plugins, but could certainly see the argument.


Only one argument - separate and turn off (temporary) :)

0

I would second the "Migration" feature and SRR. The main reason is that
I do not understand them (I cannot see a use case for Migration and
every time I try to use SRR, it ends up in 30 mins tweaking of the
constraints).

Perhaps JB could monitor this thread and use it as a guide for which
features need more documentation?

Regarding the Favorites view - I don't use it because I have to choose
between it and the regular project/packages view, which I find much more
useful. In the old days, I usually had it open on my second monitor and
used it as a quick way to jump between a couple of frequently used
classes. I would love to be able to display it as a separate "bin" in
the "Project" view (similar to the way the structure panel can be toggled)

0

+That's assuming you have a VCS configured for a project of course. +

Indeed. I also have insurance on my house, seat belts in my car, and fire extinguishers in my kitchen (which are also great for pounding scallopini). I'm not averse to taking some risks, but running without version control is just asking for heartache.

--Dave Griffith

0

Ah of course but that's what LVCS is for though... with IDEA you're
always running with a VCS ;)

N.

Dave Griffith wrote:

+That's assuming you have a VCS configured for a project of course.
+

Indeed. I also have insurance on my house, seat belts in my car, and
fire extinguishers in my kitchen (which are also great for pounding
scallopini). My not averse to taking some risks, but running without
version control is just asking for heartache.

--Dave Griffith

0

I think it'd good having the Ant and Maven task windows combined to a
single "Build" window, with each top level node item being either a
pom.xml or build.xml entry and run accordingly...

Alexey Efimov wrote on 18/06/07 19:10:

  • Compiler/Ant/Maven -- I guess, It must be one Build settings for

project/module where are Compiler (javac must be part of JDK
settings), or ANT, or Maven, or something else build tool.



0

I don't have VCS configured in IDEA, but use one externally.

0

Tom wrote on 19/06/07 17:25:

I don't have VCS configured in IDEA, but use one externally.


Man that must be painful when refactoring...

Although - it'd be interesting to know WHY... unsupported VCS maybe?
Like darcs or mercurial?

Mark

0

The migration feature can be useful sometimes (on the paper, keep reading).
Let's say, your team (teamA) is responsible for component A (like 2000 classes) and TeamB is responsible for component B (500 classes) which is needed your component (A uses B).
Now team B decides to deprecate like 200 classes because they either renamed the class or they moved their package. Instead of changing the import manually in each of your own classes, you can describe a 'migration map' in which you can say : "org.foo.CategoryIdDTO->" "org.foo.CategoryId", "org.bar."-> "org.bar.model." and so on. You can describe like 50 entries of this kind if you want. The only issue with this feature is that... it doesn't work well if you make more that one mapping, because IntelliJ makes the wrong changes in the wrong files... Never filed a Jira issue for that, but it happened two me twice, with 5.0 and 6.0 (never tried it again as it messed up many thousands of my files, had to undo checkout all of them)...

A nice idea, but badly implemented.

Gilles

0



Do not undestand:

-Column Mode: never tried.


Wow! That one is a tremendous time saver especially when editing text files (like properties files etc.) What bothered me about this feature in the beginning was that I could never remember the keyboard shortcut :)

Regards,
Jens

0

what i'm not using is the commander. i have no idea
what it does.


+1 yup, never figured out what Commander was useful for.

another feature is structural search and replace.


Yes, needs to be much easier/quicker to use. I have used it, and appreciate it can be incredibly useful, but it mostly takes so long to get it to do what I want (so many failed attempts) that I rarely even try.

Scopes - I can see that they could be useful, but I've hardly used them.

0

-"Editor Popup Menu": does anyone use this?


Yes, quite often.

0

Hello Dave,

>> -"Editor Popup Menu": does anyone use this?
>>

Yes, quite often.


Out of curiosity, why?
It seems most command on that menu have their own dedicated shortcuts.

-tt


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Some people just hate to use keyboard :)

Out of curiosity, why? It seems most command on that menu have their own
dedicated shortcuts.

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Still the quickest way to invoke "Compare with Clipboard" is typing two keys:
<windows-context-menu-key> B
(Of course I could also assign a shortcut to the action in the settings, but I am running out of available shortcuts and I do not use the command that very often.)

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