Path settings name

Hi.

I think that "Paths" settings has long ago evolved into what should be
called "Modules" Settings.

It has been a long time now that it is used to configure much more than
the old single module classpath / src / classes directory configuration.

It is used to add, delete and configure modules.

I suggest changing its name to "Modules", as it will make more sense,
especially to new IJ users that don't know all the history behind it.

Regards,
Amnon I. Govrin

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OK, it configures Libraries as well. I still think that the name Paths
is confusing, and that Modules is a better name, especially if the
following additions will be made.

Since there are Edit buttons for Project and Global libraries and those
buttons bring up a new dialog, I suggest adding Libraries as another
item in the project settings and IDE Settings for direct access. It is
not logical to need to have a project before one can set up global IDE
libraries.

Amnon

Amnon I. Govrin wrote:

Hi.

I think that "Paths" settings has long ago evolved into what should be
called "Modules" Settings.

It has been a long time now that it is used to configure much more than
the old single module classpath / src / classes directory configuration.

It is used to add, delete and configure modules.

I suggest changing its name to "Modules", as it will make more sense,
especially to new IJ users that don't know all the history behind it.

Regards,
Amnon I. Govrin

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buttons bring up a new dialog, I suggest adding Libraries as another item in the project settings and IDE Settings for direct
access. It is not logical to need to have a project before one can set up global IDE libraries.


There is another item: JDK and Libraries. The "Libraries" tab in the module settings allows you to configure what libraries are used
in this particular module and also provide a quick access to the libraries configuration dialog.
But I also think that "Paths" name is not a good choice for the modules dialog. Any better name suggestions?

--
Best regards,
Eugene Zhuravlev
Software Developer
JetBrains Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


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I simply agree in every point you mention. It happened to me just an
hour ago that I helped someone to configure a project after he installed
IDEA for the first time. The deficiencies you describe were exactly the
cause of his trouble. If your proposals had been implemented he wouldn't
had needed my help.

Amnon I. Govrin wrote:

OK, it configures Libraries as well. I still think that the name Paths
is confusing, and that Modules is a better name, especially if the
following additions will be made.

Since there are Edit buttons for Project and Global libraries and those
buttons bring up a new dialog, I suggest adding Libraries as another
item in the project settings and IDE Settings for direct access. It is
not logical to need to have a project before one can set up global IDE
libraries.

Amnon

Amnon I. Govrin wrote:

>> Hi.
>>
>> I think that "Paths" settings has long ago evolved into what should be
>> called "Modules" Settings.
>>
>> It has been a long time now that it is used to configure much more
>> than the old single module classpath / src / classes directory
>> configuration.
>>
>> It is used to add, delete and configure modules.
>>
>> I suggest changing its name to "Modules", as it will make more sense,
>> especially to new IJ users that don't know all the history behind it.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Amnon I. Govrin

--
Martin Fuhrer
Fuhrer Engineering AG
http://www.fuhrer.com

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Martin Fuhrer wrote:

I simply agree in every point you mention. It happened to me just an
hour ago that I helped someone to configure a project after he installed
IDEA for the first time. The deficiencies you describe were exactly the
cause of his trouble. If your proposals had been implemented he wouldn't
had needed my help.


Thanks. I guess this is an example of how knowing history helps :)

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In article <cslb5q$su$1@is.intellij.net>,
"Eugene Zhuravlev \(JetBrains\)" <jeka@intellij.com> wrote:

buttons bring up a new dialog, I suggest adding Libraries as another item
in the project settings and IDE Settings for direct
access. It is not logical to need to have a project before one can set up
global IDE libraries.


There is another item: JDK and Libraries. The "Libraries" tab in the module
settings allows you to configure what libraries are used
in this particular module and also provide a quick access to the libraries
configuration dialog.
But I also think that "Paths" name is not a good choice for the modules
dialog. Any better name suggestions?


Actually EVERYTHING that is configured under Path is module related,
even if you can setup Libraries, they're Project and Module libraries.

I thin the name Modules is great, and perhaps the fact that you setup
project libs and jdk simply points to the fact that these 2 things are
in the wrong place, not the name of the button or 'section'.

I think having Global Libraries and JDK is OK, but perhaps that should
be Libraries and JDK, a place where we setup the Project libraries and
JDKs.

The only thing that would be in Modules from the Libraries and JDK
section would be choosing the JDK specific to modules, and picking the
project and global libraries you've setup.

Modules is the right name for sure.

R

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Robert S. Sfeir wrote:

The only thing that would be in Modules from the Libraries and JDK
section would be choosing the JDK specific to modules, and picking the
project and global libraries you've setup.


Agree on the name, but so far I like the way I can jump to configure a
new JDK or a new library. Perhaps that would be a good use of the "link"
control? Speaking in UML terms, buttons represent aggregations, links -
associations.

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Robert S. Sfeir wrote:

I think having Global Libraries and JDK is OK, but perhaps that should
be Libraries and JDK, a place where we setup the Project libraries and
JDKs.

The only thing that would be in Modules from the Libraries and JDK
section would be choosing the JDK specific to modules, and picking the
project and global libraries you've setup.

Modules is the right name for sure.

R


I think Libraries and JDKs is a better name, too. At least conceptually,
libraries change more frequently than JDKs.

Putting JDKs and global libraries together without any apparent linkage
between them (apart from the tabs) suggests that it might be better to
put them as different settings items.

I don't mind having the linkage to the Global or Project library
configuration UI from the Modules (Paths) settings, but this relates to
the broader question of navigation. IntelliJ settings (similarly to any
management or configuration console) grew little by little to become
quite of a complex UI. The current 2 modes for navigating it (classic /
Default view) are historical of nature.
Classic refers to the way it used to be, and default is a Control Panel
like rendering (which is actually called "Classic View" in the Windows
XP Control Panel). The names for those should finally (this is the 3rd
version with the new Default View) be changed to something descriptive
rather than historical, I'm sure there are many users that don't
understand why one mode is called Classic and the other Default, both
don't describe what they are.
As for the general settings UI navigation, I think I would like to see 2
semi standard widgets - A settings tree, which will enable having
smaller forms and a more flexible arrangement which will also be clearer
if done right, and back/forward arrows (like in Explorer, IntelliJ,
browsers, etc.) which remove the 'pressure' on the user to remember
where he/she was, as they can always go back and forward on their linear
usage line. The user essentially gets a file-manager-like navigation
paradigm (which I can imagine is being used not only in the Windows world).
The fact that we're talking about the usefullness or confusion derived
from the global and project library buttons in the Paths settings and
the fact that we easily get a UI that has the main window with 3 layers
of dialogs on top that have to be closed just to navigate to a different
part of the settings console are a red flag for me.

Amnon

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dimitar wrote:

Robert S. Sfeir wrote:

>> The only thing that would be in Modules from the Libraries and JDK
>> section would be choosing the JDK specific to modules, and picking the
>> project and global libraries you've setup.


Agree on the name, but so far I like the way I can jump to configure a
new JDK or a new library. Perhaps that would be a good use of the "link"
control? Speaking in UML terms, buttons represent aggregations, links -
associations.


Hey Dimitar,

Please read my reply to Robert and tell me what your thoughts are on that.

Thanks,
Amnon

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Amnon I. Govrin wrote:

I think Libraries and JDKs is a better name, too. At least conceptually,
libraries change more frequently than JDKs.


That's true, though some people would put it in the relative importance
order (i.e. JDK is more important than libraries).

Putting JDKs and global libraries together without any apparent linkage
between them (apart from the tabs) suggests that it might be better to
put them as different settings items.


Or make the JDK a special kind of library and put them the same list?
The JDK could be configured like yet another library (I.e. there is a 2
buttons 'New JDK' and 'New Library', but only one generic 'Remove'.)
Thelibraries and JDKs already are different icons and it would be nice
to be grouped in the list - the JDK's in the beginning.

The names for those should finally (this is the 3rd
version with the new Default View) be changed to something descriptive
rather than historical, I'm sure there are many users that don't
understand why one mode is called Classic and the other Default, both
don't describe what they are.


What about 'Dialog style' and 'Inline style'?

As for the general settings UI navigation, I think I would like to see 2
semi standard widgets - A settings tree, which will enable having
smaller forms and a more flexible arrangement which will also be clearer
if done right,


I also think that a settings tree could make the navigation much easier,
but I wouldn't like to give up the large colorful icons :) On the other
hand, the current 'classic' UI is the right balance for me (having 4
plugin prop pages in the project tab.)

and back/forward arrows (like in Explorer, IntelliJ,
browsers, etc.) which remove the 'pressure' on the user to remember
where he/she was, as they can always go back and forward on their linear
usage line.


I'm not so sure about these. The back/forward navigation makes sense
mostly when you jump between locations in the same dialog (i.e. a web
browser, IDEA's code navigation, etc.) right now IDEA opens a 'linked'
prop page in a modal dialog, naturally constraining the user to go back
and finish the job he has started.

I think that the browser metaphor is overused and tends to encourage
nonstructured UI design. A major problem is that it encourages
'graph-like' UI as opposed to hierarchical UI, and the problem with the
graph-like UI's is that it's hard to keep track of state.

Imagine:

1. You want to add some classes to your project and you want them in a
library. Thus you click on the 'libraries' link and you get the
libraries page.

2. You configure your libraries, and now you have to hit 'back'. This
part doesn't map well in my mental model. I would like to hit 'OK' to
indicate that I'm done with this subtask and get back to whatever I was
doing before (this is the current behaviour.)

3. It could get worse, imagine that while you are defining your
libraries in the 'browser-like' UI, you remember that you wanted to
change a keyboard shortcut, then tweak your fonts, etc. Obviously in
this case you wouldnt want to go 10 dialogs back to finish updating your
project (which is most probably in inconsistent state at that time.)

The current UI organization indicates clearly, that you have to finish
your changes before you switch to different pane. The modal dialog allow
you to do only one side task at a time and prevent distractions like in
point 3.

The fact that we're talking about the usefullness or confusion derived
from the global and project library buttons in the Paths settings and
the fact that we easily get a UI that has the main window with 3 layers
of dialogs on top that have to be closed just to navigate to a different
part of the settings console are a red flag for me.


I somewhat agree with this, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the clear
mental model for that...

cheers,
Dimitar

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