Plugin manager (un)usability

Is anyone else bothered by the lack of usability features in the plugin manager (both new and old)?

It's very surprising to see since everywhere else is so polished, but the plugin manager is very unpleasant to work with. Here are some issues:

1) Not possible to mark plugin for deletion via delete key
2) No multiselection support, I can pick a bunch of plugins and delete them
3) No way of undoing an action
4) built-in plugins versions never change, nor is there a way to restore them after they've been deleted.
5) Removal of any built in plugins isn't persisted across upgrades

There's also some UI stuff:

1) scrollbars always showing up in description/changenotes makes it look cluttered (this might be personal taste, I'll concede)
2) The plugin legend at the bottom looks very cluttered (not installed key is truncated by the recently updated one, at least on windows LAF)
3) plugin window comes up in a non-optimal size that doesn't show the legend fully

3)

9 comments
Comment actions Permalink

Correct. Also no one click update for plugins. In general - the old version was better (for now)

0
Comment actions Permalink

Agreed. The new plugin manager is an eye-sore, and has worse usability
than the old one. I consider it a work in progress, even though there
haven't been any improvements there for a while. There are so many
issues about the plugin manager in JIRA already, I fear adding more.

Bas

0
Comment actions Permalink

Is anyone else bothered by the lack of usability features in the plugin manager (both new and old)?

Yes. The new one is even worse.
I suppose the main reason not to many people complain is that there AREN'T too many plug-ins for
IntelliJ, and this is even worse than the "un-usability" of the plug-in manager :(.

Ahmed.

0
Comment actions Permalink

A real annoyance to me is that it's pretty much impossible to find a
plug-in by name unless you've sorted on the name field--which makes it
much harder to locate something. I believe the default sorting of
entries should be first by status and secondarily by name. (It would be
nice to be able to specify a primary and secondary sort and have the
table always sorted last on name.) And the direction of the status sort
should be reversed. Currently if you click on this column header, the
sort places the installed plug-ins at the END of the list. You have to
click again to bring them to the top. I would expect that the first
question most people want answered is, Is there a new version of a
plug-in I've already installed? The current behavior makes it
unnecessarily difficult to satisfy this common use case.


Also, this dialog needsreally needsto remember its settings: its
size, the column widths, the sort settings, the placement of the
vertical splitter. The defaults are bad, so it would be nice if the
dialog remembered that I fixed them.

UPDATE: I just discovered playing around with the dialog that it does
support a primary and secondary sort, though not in the way I expected.
I expected to specify the secondary sort by some key-click combination
(SHIFT-click, CNTL-click, etc.). Instead, if (for example) you click
first on the name column and then on the status column (twice--see
above), all of your installed plug-ins are listed by name together at
the top. I wonder if this behavior is intentional or some sort of
serendipitous artifact. It feels counter-intuitive to me. The ordering
by name is my SECONDARY sort criterion. It feels wrong to have to do
that sort FIRST. And the effect of the first sort isn't preserved when
the dialog is closed and re-opened (although the last sort's is).


Hani Suleiman wrote:

Is anyone else bothered by the lack of usability features in the plugin manager (both new and old)?

It's very surprising to see since everywhere else is so polished, but the plugin manager is very unpleasant to work with. Here are some issues:

1) Not possible to mark plugin for deletion via delete key
2) No multiselection support, I can pick a bunch of plugins and delete them
3) No way of undoing an action
4) built-in plugins versions never change, nor is there a way to restore them after they've been deleted.
5) Removal of any built in plugins isn't persisted across upgrades

There's also some UI stuff:

1) scrollbars always showing up in description/changenotes makes it look cluttered (this might be personal taste, I'll concede)
2) The plugin legend at the bottom looks very cluttered (not installed key is truncated by the recently updated one, at least on windows LAF)
3) plugin window comes up in a non-optimal size that doesn't show the legend fully

3)

0
Comment actions Permalink

UPDATE: I just discovered playing around with the dialog that it does
support a primary and secondary sort, though not in the way I expected.
I expected to specify the secondary sort by some key-click combination
(SHIFT-click, CNTL-click, etc.). Instead, if (for example) you click
first on the name column and then on the status column (twice--see
above), all of your installed plug-ins are listed by name together at
the top. I wonder if this behavior is intentional or some sort of
serendipitous artifact. It feels counter-intuitive to me. The ordering
by name is my SECONDARY sort criterion. It feels wrong to have to do
that sort FIRST. And the effect of the first sort isn't preserved when
the dialog is closed and re-opened (although the last sort's is).



This is a standard Windows idiom - all table sorts are stable, which
means that if you sort on name, and after that sort on status, the items
will be sorted by status, but all items with the same status will keep
their relative order (which in this case is sorted by name).

Dimitar

0
Comment actions Permalink

The new plugin manager UI must be the worst dialog in the Idea - its practically impossible to figure out what I have installed since there are so many stripes on the display - why have the core plugins listed in there - most people are probably not going to remove them anyway. The rest is just a mess.

I totally agree with the delete key functionality. I think the legend/coloring could be easily replaced by a simple icon on the row next to the plugin name.

While the old one wasnt great, it was at least usable.

Nick

0
Comment actions Permalink

Yup, I agree with all that, plus the cursor never shows the drag icon for adjusting the splitpane or the table headers (I ended up sorting the columns several times while trying to get the headers spaced so I could read them).

0
Comment actions Permalink

+1, this is very annoying for me.

5) Removal of any built in plugins isn't persisted
across upgrades


Francesco

0
Comment actions Permalink

There's a trick you can do to workaround this problem. Just create files in plugins folder with the names matching 'unwanted' plugins folders. Then those plugins will not extract due to an extraction error.
Of cause having errors when extracting new EAP build is not the best option. But it's quite effective to ged rid of unneeded plugins.

0

Please sign in to leave a comment.