Settings->Paths dialog unintuititve

When choosing the "Paths" dialog from the settings, and using the "Paths"
tab on that dialog... the tree view on the right is completely unintuitive.
The three "buttons" across the top really look like tabs... which they're
not. I expect to see different displays beneath it when clicking on them,
as one would expected from something that was tabbed. These need to look
more like buttons.

The way these buttons behave is also very odd and unintuitive. It's like
they're trying to do too much... between the "selected", "unselected", and
"mouse over" states, it's just confusing visually. The help doesn't help at
all either.

It's also not clear to me why the top folder, when you add the content root,
isn't specified as a "source folder" by default. It took quite a long time
of messing around with this dialog to get IDEA to recognize my project and
sources and packages correctly. The help doesn't provide any guidence
either. Why is this dialog so needlessly complex? The way IDEA 3.x did it
was much more obvious and intuitive. I can sort of see what you were going
for with this, but it desperately needs tweaking to be made more obvious,
intuitive, and easier to use.

Suggestions:

1) make the "Excluded/Sources/Test Sources" look more like individual
buttons and less like tabs, with visually "pushed in" and "popped out"
states.

2) default the added content root to be a source folder

3) get rid of the 'mouse over highlighting' of the buttons


5 comments

I agree that the functionality of the 'buttons' isn't clear. But, I don't
think a Content root should be a source folder by default. I have a ton of
stuff in my project under the Content root that I don't want to be included
as source. I would have to deselect about 15 folders. I think IDEA does a
pretty good job of finding my src folder automatically.

"Paul Bradshaw" <pbradshaw@vignette.com> wrote in message
news:bvbndh$d79$1@is.intellij.net...

When choosing the "Paths" dialog from the settings, and using the "Paths"
tab on that dialog... the tree view on the right is completely

unintuitive.

The three "buttons" across the top really look like tabs... which they're
not. I expect to see different displays beneath it when clicking on them,
as one would expected from something that was tabbed. These need to look
more like buttons.

>

The way these buttons behave is also very odd and unintuitive. It's like
they're trying to do too much... between the "selected", "unselected", and
"mouse over" states, it's just confusing visually. The help doesn't help

at

all either.

>

It's also not clear to me why the top folder, when you add the content

root,

isn't specified as a "source folder" by default. It took quite a long

time

of messing around with this dialog to get IDEA to recognize my project and
sources and packages correctly. The help doesn't provide any guidence
either. Why is this dialog so needlessly complex? The way IDEA 3.x did

it

was much more obvious and intuitive. I can sort of see what you were

going

for with this, but it desperately needs tweaking to be made more obvious,
intuitive, and easier to use.

>

Suggestions:

>

1) make the "Excluded/Sources/Test Sources" look more like individual
buttons and less like tabs, with visually "pushed in" and "popped out"
states.

>

2) default the added content root to be a source folder

>

3) get rid of the 'mouse over highlighting' of the buttons

>
>


0

Really?

First, it was never clear from the dialog or the help whether you should
select the "com" folder or the one above it. I added the one above it as
root, and IDEA couldn't resolve any of my classes. If I made the 'com'
folder the source folder, then it still couldn't find anything. I had to
de-select that, and then mark my root as a source folder before IDEA could
make heads or tails of anything. I then simply excluded the other non-"com"
folder that were under the root, and finally IDEA seemed to understand
things. But it really was nothing more than trial and error, without any
guidance from the help, the interface, or anything else. Since it only
seemed to like one root, and that root had to be marked as 'source' for
things to work, I guess I don't understand why you think making the root a
source folder by default wouldn't work? I certainly didn't witness IDEA
finding anything "automatically"...

"Brad" <brad.lane@pearson.com> wrote in message
news:bvbq0m$v81$1@is.intellij.net...

I agree that the functionality of the 'buttons' isn't clear. But, I don't
think a Content root should be a source folder by default. I have a ton of
stuff in my project under the Content root that I don't want to be

included

as source. I would have to deselect about 15 folders. I think IDEA does a
pretty good job of finding my src folder automatically.

>

"Paul Bradshaw" <pbradshaw@vignette.com> wrote in message
news:bvbndh$d79$1@is.intellij.net...

When choosing the "Paths" dialog from the settings, and using the

"Paths"

tab on that dialog... the tree view on the right is completely

unintuitive.

The three "buttons" across the top really look like tabs... which

they're

not. I expect to see different displays beneath it when clicking on

them,

as one would expected from something that was tabbed. These need to

look

more like buttons.

>

The way these buttons behave is also very odd and unintuitive. It's

like

they're trying to do too much... between the "selected", "unselected",

and

"mouse over" states, it's just confusing visually. The help doesn't

help

at

all either.

>

It's also not clear to me why the top folder, when you add the content

root,

isn't specified as a "source folder" by default. It took quite a long

time

of messing around with this dialog to get IDEA to recognize my project

and

sources and packages correctly. The help doesn't provide any guidence
either. Why is this dialog so needlessly complex? The way IDEA 3.x did

it

was much more obvious and intuitive. I can sort of see what you were

going

for with this, but it desperately needs tweaking to be made more

obvious,

intuitive, and easier to use.

>

Suggestions:

>

1) make the "Excluded/Sources/Test Sources" look more like individual
buttons and less like tabs, with visually "pushed in" and "popped out"
states.

>

2) default the added content root to be a source folder

>

3) get rid of the 'mouse over highlighting' of the buttons

>
>

>
>


0

Paul Bradshaw wrote:

Really?

First, it was never clear from the dialog or the help whether you should
select the "com" folder or the one above it. I added the one above it as
root, and IDEA couldn't resolve any of my classes. If I made the 'com'
folder the source folder, then it still couldn't find anything. I had to
de-select that, and then mark my root as a source folder before IDEA could
make heads or tails of anything. I then simply excluded the other non-"com"
folder that were under the root, and finally IDEA seemed to understand
things. But it really was nothing more than trial and error, without any
guidance from the help, the interface, or anything else. Since it only
seemed to like one root, and that root had to be marked as 'source' for
things to work, I guess I don't understand why you think making the root a
source folder by default wouldn't work? I certainly didn't witness IDEA
finding anything "automatically"...


I apologise if this sounds patronising, but I think your problem stems from
a little bit of confusion about what modules are. You can think of them as
almost a complete project (in the IDEA 3.0.x sense). Remember creating a
project with IDEA 3.0.x? You would select a project root directory, which
would usually contain a source directory and an output directory, and it was
the source directory that contained the com directory you refer to. Well
Aurora essentially does it the same way with modules, it's just a bit more
flexible.

The module root (called the content root, to use the proper terminology[*])
is expected to contain (potentially) a number of directories, one or more of
which may be a source directory. The module root itself can be the source
directory if desired. Ideally though, modules should be self-contained (i.e.
each one has it's own source, output, resources, etc. directories): it's
possible to reuse them between projects and keeping them self contaained
makes this much easier to do.

It is this self-contained module pattern that IDEA supports best. It will
autodetect source folders inside the content roots of the module for you by
(I think) looking for Java sources within the directory hierarchy and then
moving back up the hierarchy until it finds the point where the relative
path to the source file matches the package name declared in the file.

Hopefully the above makes it clear why the content root shouldn't
automatically be set as the source root.

I think what you have said is a great argument for improving the help in
this area, rather than changing the UI. Personally I find the current GUI
simple and intuitive, so I hope it remains in its current form. There are a
few small issues that I'd like to see sorted out (lack of support for the
keyboard, inability to collapse content roots, no multiple selection, etc.)
but I think on the whole it's quite good.

Hope that helps,
Vil.

A module can actually have a number of content roots.
--
Vilya Harvey
vilya.harvey@digitalsteps.com / digital steps /
(W) +44 (0)1483 469 480
(M) +44 (0)7816 678 457 http://www.digitalsteps.com/

0

>I think what you have said is a great argument for improving the help in
>this area, rather than changing the UI.

Well, yes and no. I think there are more issues here. Obviously the help
needs some improvement (examples sure would help... I went through this
entire problem of trial and error again trying to set up my project
("module") test classes. Ugh. It's still not obvious to me, and I just
have to keep trying things until "magic happens" and IDEA is happy.

But I do think the UI needs some tweaks. In particular, those three
buttons need to not look so much like tabs, and need to lose the
mouse-over highlighting. A standard push-button display would be a lot more
easy to recognize and understand than the current widgets, imho. That was a
major and unnecessary source of confusion right there.

"Vilya Harvey" <vilya.harvey@digitalsteps.com> wrote in message
news:bvdaas$rhg$1@is.intellij.net...

Paul Bradshaw wrote:

>

Really?

>

First, it was never clear from the dialog or the help whether you should
select the "com" folder or the one above it. I added the one above it

as

root, and IDEA couldn't resolve any of my classes. If I made the 'com'
folder the source folder, then it still couldn't find anything. I had

to

de-select that, and then mark my root as a source folder before IDEA

could

make heads or tails of anything. I then simply excluded the other

non-"com"

folder that were under the root, and finally IDEA seemed to understand
things. But it really was nothing more than trial and error, without

any

guidance from the help, the interface, or anything else. Since it only
seemed to like one root, and that root had to be marked as 'source' for
things to work, I guess I don't understand why you think making the root

a

source folder by default wouldn't work? I certainly didn't witness IDEA
finding anything "automatically"...

>

I apologise if this sounds patronising, but I think your problem stems

from

a little bit of confusion about what modules are. You can think of them as
almost a complete project (in the IDEA 3.0.x sense). Remember creating a
project with IDEA 3.0.x? You would select a project root directory, which
would usually contain a source directory and an output directory, and it

was

the source directory that contained the com directory you refer to. Well
Aurora essentially does it the same way with modules, it's just a bit more
flexible.

>

The module root (called the content root, to use the proper

terminology[*])

is expected to contain (potentially) a number of directories, one or more

of

which may be a source directory. The module root itself can be the source
directory if desired. Ideally though, modules should be self-contained

(i.e.

each one has it's own source, output, resources, etc. directories): it's
possible to reuse them between projects and keeping them self contaained
makes this much easier to do.

>

It is this self-contained module pattern that IDEA supports best. It will
autodetect source folders inside the content roots of the module for you

by

(I think) looking for Java sources within the directory hierarchy and then
moving back up the hierarchy until it finds the point where the relative
path to the source file matches the package name declared in the file.

>

Hopefully the above makes it clear why the content root shouldn't
automatically be set as the source root.

>

I think what you have said is a great argument for improving the help in
this area, rather than changing the UI. Personally I find the current GUI
simple and intuitive, so I hope it remains in its current form. There are

a

few small issues that I'd like to see sorted out (lack of support for the
keyboard, inability to collapse content roots, no multiple selection,

etc.)

but I think on the whole it's quite good.

>

Hope that helps,
Vil.

>

A module can actually have a number of content roots.
--
Vilya Harvey
vilya.harvey@digitalsteps.com / digital steps /
(W) +44 (0)1483 469 480
(M) +44 (0)7816 678 457 http://www.digitalsteps.com/



0

Here's another question.

I have a file, a log file, that gets genreated by my unit test run. While
this test is running, every time I switch back to IDEA, it prompts me with
"Changes have been made to "d:\blah\blah\blah\runtime.log" in memory and on
disk. Reload from disk?

What the hell? Why is it even looking at this file? I've never loaded it
into any editor, and IDEA shouldn't be caring about it. But I can find no
way to tell IDEA to ignore *.log files. Or to log this specific file. This
file shows up in my "project" tree, but I don't want it to. Do you have any
idea how I should go about excluding this FILE (i.e. I can't seem to do it
from the Paths dialog)?

Since this log file gets really large, this is really messing up IDEA (it
keeps throwing out of memory exceptions when I switch back to IDEA sometimes
as well). It shoudln't be loading, looking at, or god-forbid, versioning
this file! It's a log file... help?


"Vilya Harvey" <vilya.harvey@digitalsteps.com> wrote in message
news:bvdaas$rhg$1@is.intellij.net...

Paul Bradshaw wrote:

>

Really?

>

First, it was never clear from the dialog or the help whether you should
select the "com" folder or the one above it. I added the one above it

as

root, and IDEA couldn't resolve any of my classes. If I made the 'com'
folder the source folder, then it still couldn't find anything. I had

to

de-select that, and then mark my root as a source folder before IDEA

could

make heads or tails of anything. I then simply excluded the other

non-"com"

folder that were under the root, and finally IDEA seemed to understand
things. But it really was nothing more than trial and error, without

any

guidance from the help, the interface, or anything else. Since it only
seemed to like one root, and that root had to be marked as 'source' for
things to work, I guess I don't understand why you think making the root

a

source folder by default wouldn't work? I certainly didn't witness IDEA

finding anything "automatically"...

>

I apologise if this sounds patronising, but I think your problem stems

from

a little bit of confusion about what modules are. You can think of them as
almost a complete project (in the IDEA 3.0.x sense). Remember creating a
project with IDEA 3.0.x? You would select a project root directory, which
would usually contain a source directory and an output directory, and it

was

the source directory that contained the com directory you refer to. Well
Aurora essentially does it the same way with modules, it's just a bit more
flexible.

>

The module root (called the content root, to use the proper

terminology[*])

is expected to contain (potentially) a number of directories, one or more

of

which may be a source directory. The module root itself can be the source
directory if desired. Ideally though, modules should be self-contained

(i.e.

each one has it's own source, output, resources, etc. directories): it's
possible to reuse them between projects and keeping them self contaained
makes this much easier to do.

>

It is this self-contained module pattern that IDEA supports best. It will
autodetect source folders inside the content roots of the module for you

by

(I think) looking for Java sources within the directory hierarchy and then
moving back up the hierarchy until it finds the point where the relative
path to the source file matches the package name declared in the file.

>

Hopefully the above makes it clear why the content root shouldn't
automatically be set as the source root.

>

I think what you have said is a great argument for improving the help in
this area, rather than changing the UI. Personally I find the current GUI
simple and intuitive, so I hope it remains in its current form. There are

a

few small issues that I'd like to see sorted out (lack of support for the
keyboard, inability to collapse content roots, no multiple selection,

etc.)

but I think on the whole it's quite good.

>

Hope that helps,
Vil.

>

A module can actually have a number of content roots.
--
Vilya Harvey
vilya.harvey@digitalsteps.com / digital steps /
(W) +44 (0)1483 469 480
(M) +44 (0)7816 678 457 http://www.digitalsteps.com/



0

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