Discussion: New Settings

Hi all,

I just installed 996 and so far I have to say good job this time! The only thing I'm not quite satified with is the new way of editing the project and general settings. Personally I preferred the old way. In my opinion I could browse my settings faster since I didn't have to close each settings section with 'ok' or 'cancel' except I changed a setting.

What do other EAP members think about the new settings menu???

-Steffen

73 comments

+1
Becouse, faster and take less place on screen.

"Steffen Krause" <no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:17089759.1071560605208.JavaMail.javamailuser@localhost...

Hi all,

>

I just installed 996 and so far I have to say good job this time! The only

thing I'm not quite satified with is the new way of editing the project and
general settings. Personally I preferred the old way. In my opinion I could
browse my settings faster since I didn't have to close each settings section
with 'ok' or 'cancel' except I changed a setting.
>

What do other EAP members think about the new settings menu???

>

-Steffen



0

On 12/16/03 10:43 AM, in article
17089759.1071560605208.JavaMail.javamailuser@localhost, "Steffen Krause"
<no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote:

Hi all,

I just installed 996 and so far I have to say good job this time! The only
thing I'm not quite satified with is the new way of editing the project and
general settings. Personally I preferred the old way. In my opinion I could
browse my settings faster since I didn't have to close each settings section
with 'ok' or 'cancel' except I changed a setting.

What do other EAP members think about the new settings menu???

-Steffen


Try closing them with ESC key. Not every dialog is OK here though.

--
Maxim Shafirov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


0

Yes, it works with ESC as well but what I personally liked on the old version of the Settings was the fact that I could click through them from top to bottom without having to close anything.

-Steffen.

0

Yes, it works with ESC as well but what I personally liked on the old

version of the Settings was the fact that I could click through them from
top to bottom without having to close anything.

Yes, we seriously considered this before doing the change. We experimented
with the new UI and came to conclusion that given that you use Escape key to
close dialogs it's not less usable than before.

--
Valentin Kipiatkov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


"Steffen Krause" <no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:20448845.1071575403579.JavaMail.javamailuser@localhost...

Yes, it works with ESC as well but what I personally liked on the old

version of the Settings was the fact that I could click through them from
top to bottom without having to close anything.
>

-Steffen.



0

Try closing them with ESC key. Not every dialog is OK here though.


But it's temporarily and every dialog will close by Escape soon.

--
Valentin Kipiatkov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


"Maxim Shafirov (JetBrains)" <max@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:BC04B7FB.1DFB%max@intellij.com...

On 12/16/03 10:43 AM, in article
17089759.1071560605208.JavaMail.javamailuser@localhost, "Steffen Krause"
<no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote:

>

Hi all,

>

I just installed 996 and so far I have to say good job this time! The

only

thing I'm not quite satified with is the new way of editing the project

and

general settings. Personally I preferred the old way. In my opinion I

could

browse my settings faster since I didn't have to close each settings

section

with 'ok' or 'cancel' except I changed a setting.

>

What do other EAP members think about the new settings menu???

>

-Steffen

>

Try closing them with ESC key. Not every dialog is OK here though.

>

--
Maxim Shafirov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"

>
>


0

Yes, we seriously considered this before doing the change. We experimented
with the new UI and came to conclusion that given that you use Escape key to
close dialogs it's not less usable than before.


So there is no chance to get back the old settings UI?

Tom

0

>>Yes, it works with ESC as well but what I personally liked on the old


version of the Settings was the fact that I could click through them from
top to bottom without having to close anything.

Yes, we seriously considered this before doing the change. We experimented
with the new UI and came to conclusion that given that you use Escape key to
close dialogs it's not less usable than before.


I, for example, have set my mouse to jump to the default button in a new dialog. I find
this feature very convenient! But with the new layout if I want to browse through all the
settings using mouse (as I used to do with the old layout) then after new dialog pops
up, my mouse jumps to Ok in this dialog and even if I press esc I have to move the mouse
to the next settings item to continue browsing. I find this extremely inconvenient. I
guess I can adapt, but my point is that this way forces some people (and I believe a lot)
to adapt without any reasonable ground. What was wrong with the old layout?

--
Dmitry Skavish

0

Not every user likes using the keyboard for doing everything, for many reasons.

I am not sure why it is necessary to alienate those the like using the mouse? Are we somehow a deviant or evil group that deserves to be repeatedly punished.

I know that I am no where near a brilliant as the rest of you guys, so, sometimes, you have to dumb down the applications for us lesser capable users.

0

zmbs wrote:

>Not every user likes using the keyboard for doing everything, for many reasons.
>
>I am not sure why it is necessary to alienate those the like using the mouse? Are we somehow a deviant or evil group that deserves to be repeatedly punished.
>
>I know that I am no where near a brilliant as the rest of you guys, so, sometimes, you have to dumb down the applications for us lesser capable users.

>


If you hate the keyboard that much, you are in the wrong business :
don't write code.
If you prefer the mouse, you should try making cheese.

Alain

0

You know, I normally respect your opinion, but that was plain stupid.

All I am saying is that not everyone works exactly the same way, for many reasons.

I use the keyboard, a lot, but I also use the mouse. I use the mouse for most navigation, it is a force of habit.

Period.

0

zmbs wrote:

>You know, I normally respect your opinion,
>

>
Will I win it back if I say that the dog ate the smiley?

>..but that was plain stupid.
>

>
No, that was plain humor. Hard to see, without the smiley, I agree.
Gosh, that bloody dog need to be punished. I'll wip him with my mouse
cable. I knew I could find a good use for this device. :) See, that's
humour.


>All I am saying is that not everyone works exactly the same way, for many reasons.
>I use the keyboard, a lot, but I also use the mouse. I use the mouse for most navigation, it is a force of habit.

>

I don't get it. In this very dialog, all the needed navigation, to
change section, is done with and (true, it was broken.).
Why on earth drop your keyboard, and reach for the mouse for this?
Even on a laptop, a drunk developer could find htem during a blackout.

I have no problem being obliged to use the mouse to configure the
modules. It's ok, because is rare, and more complex.
Project and IDE settings, that's another story.

Alain

0

Alain, I apologize. I am having a truly horendous week, and I am just taking things wrong. That is no excuse, just a reason.

And, I certainly didn't mean that they should not make things easier for those the mainly use the keyboard, because the should. But, at times, it seems like they forget some of use just like to point and click and use that little scroll wheel thingy.

As I said, it is partly force of habit. By the time I can remember a certain key combination or such, I have already clicked it witht he mouse(I really wish they have a configurable tool bar and menus).

Again, I apologize for snapping at you; it was uncalled for.

0

I don't get it. In this very dialog, all the needed navigation, to
change section, is done with and (true, it was broken.).
Why on earth drop your keyboard, and reach for the mouse for this?
Even on a laptop, a drunk developer could find htem during a blackout.


Well, not exactly. :)

I use the keyboard most of the time, but when it comes to configuring
things, I reach for the mouse. And that's because the configuration dialogs
are most of the time quite complex, and it's way easier to jump to the exact
thing I need to configure using the mouse than it is to navigate using tab
and up/down arrow keys (take a ckeck-box on the editor pane, for instance,
you might need more than ten tabs to get to one of them, not to mention the
fact that the labels themselves are tabbed through so sometimes you don't
even see who has the focus).

>

I have no problem being obliged to use the mouse to configure the
modules. It's ok, because is rare, and more complex.
Project and IDE settings, that's another story.


Really? How many times per session do you configure the IDE? How about the
project settings?

Anyway, I, too, liked the old configuration dialogs better. And I would have
expected JetBrains to merge the two project panes (config and settings)
together, rather than the IDE and the project settings.

Andrei


0

>I have no problem being obliged to use the mouse to >configure the
>modules. It's ok, because is rare, and more complex.
>Project and IDE settings, that's another story.

That strikes me as very odd. Module configuration is much more common than settings manipulation for me. Outside of the "Errors" panel, I rarely touch anything currently in the Settings Panel at all. (If there were named error-checking schemes with quick-switch, I'd rarely go to the "Errors" panel. Hint. Hint.) I certainly never scroll through settings to find something. If it isn't obvious where something is, then it's under "General", or possibly "Editor". It's not in "Colors and Fonts" or "File Templates" or "Weblogic Integration", because for everything there it's pretty obvious where it should be. Being able to key-down through "Colors and Fonts" when I'm looking for how to configure completion is no use to me at all. Being able to go directly to the Completion panel by hitting "4" is very valuable. Given that, I have no idea how going back to a list-based panel representation could be anything like as convenient for the desired use cases. It just feels like people have gotten too used to their current, sub-optimal, interaction patterns.

--Dave

0

I like the new layout, it is more convenient, because you see all section at one time. If you have installed plug-ins, many sections may be not visibile and only reachable by scrolling the scrollpane, so that you might not be aware of hiiden configuration options. Additionally, each of the config dialog now is displayed in its optimum size, whereas in the old style the config pane had always the same size.

I find the new settings more convenient than the old ones, so keep it.

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

0

I know I'll get creamed for saying this, but to my eye, this new layout looks unconventional and unprofessional. A dialog box with rows upon rows of large icon/buttons like that is not a UI convention that one sees very often; at least not in a professional product.

"Configure Project" in the "File" menu also uses an unconventional UI, but it, at least, has a somewhat more professional appearance. I'd still prefer standard rows, columns, and trees however, and this is coming from someone who's not running the IDE on Windows.

All of Idea's Settings/Configuration/Preferences, etc. have really gotten a work out in the past few builds. Are all of these changes working towards some common goal that one of the developers would care to share with us? Will all of these related items eventually find themselves back into some kind of easily accessible and intuitive format that way they have been in the past?

-Matt

0

zmbs,

No need to apologize. Not putting a smiley made my comment sound harsh,
and you were not insulting, so it's ok with me.

Alain

0

Andrei and Dave,


Actually in the IDE settings discussion, the
- mouse-
vs
-keyboard,
problem is only marginal.


The read and most important problems are actually

-all_under_one_container
vs
-I_pop_up_a_dialog_each_time_you_choose_an_option


and

- vertical_presentation
vs
- zig-zag_presentation



With the new settings solution, we loose on the all grounds.


The biggest pain I feel with the new stuff is the readability loss cause
by the grid-based presentation.
I'm sincerely convinced that for any human being, with its original
wiring, finding an item in a vertical list (the old way), is AT LEAST
TWICE AS EASY as finding the same info in a multi-line multi-column
presentation.


Can you imagine a phone directory where names would be organized this way?

name_1 name_2 name_4
name_4 name_5 name_6
etc...


This would be a great way to cut your phone bill, but that
would be the only advantage.



To summarize my thoughts,
I have the feeling they invented this new interface, only because they
were running out of space, in the category toolbar.
As I said many times, there was a SIMPLE and elegant solution, that I
suggested 5 months ago :
http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=4565#517920

see attached illustration :




Two quick questions :

Don't you feel that the solution above would
1/- satisfy our current and future needs
2/- be better than the current new stuff
?

Alain



Attachment(s):
smallerIcons.png
0

My answer is yes to both of them.

One more thing: how about the grouping (project and IDE settings vs. project settings and project configuration), am I the only one who finds the new way a bit odd?

Andrei
"Alain Ravet" <alain.ravet.list@wanadoo.be> wrote in message news:brnpd7$dup$2@is.intellij.net...

Two quick questions :

Don't you feel that the solution above would
1/- satisfy our current and future needs
2/- be better than the current new stuff
?

Alain

0

You mean like how it used to be?

0

Yup, I agree that your suggestion is preferable to the current IDE settings.

Dave



0

Alain,

it seems to me, that your proposal is not very different than the
original layout. E.g. what happens when you install a few plugins, each
adding one more icon to the "switch-board"? I agree that your variant is
more scalable than the original and more convenient than the new layout,
but there is inherent scalability vs usability problem.

In this regard, I'd like to note, how the new "errors" dialog has solved
a similar problem.

Another idea, that comes to my mind is: why don't we use plain
old-fashioned menu? Especially if the IDEA L&F is modified to support
tear-off menus, we'd get the convenience of the current solution, plus
the quick access of a single tab. Also sometimes I'd like to tear off
the Refactoring menu. Do you think it's worth feature request?

-- dimiter

0

"this new layout looks unconventional and unprofessional."
that's the point!

0

dimiter wrote:

I agree that your variant is more scalable than the original and more
convenient than the new layout, but there is inherent scalability vs
usability problem.



This inherent scalability problem exists for any display mode, and any
size screen. It's just a question of time, and number of plugin loaded.

Correct keyboard navigation would solve the biggest problems :
- /[down] to change settings categories
- /[page-down] to scroll to hidden settings categories
- , , , ..
and voilà, you can browse through dozens, or hundreds of settings
categories with a few keypresses.


You could even display move than 1 kind of categories (ex. IDE and
PROJECT), by using a 2nd column in the left side toolbar.
- /[Alt-Right]
, and voilà, you moved from IDE settings to Project Settings in 1 keypress.


Another idea, that comes to my mind is: why don't we use plain
old-fashioned menu?



No, please. We're already running of Menu Real Estate.

Especially if the IDEA L&F is modified to support tear-off menus, we'd
get the convenience of the current solution, plus the quick access of
a single tab. Also sometimes. I'd like to tear off the Refactoring
menu. Do you think it's worth feature request?


Yes, do it, and you'll see people's reactions.
I'm not used to tear-off menus, so my opinion wouldn't be valuable at
this stage.


Alain

0

OK guys. I've honestly read all the discussion here and actually failed to
extract a single reason why previous UI was better other than emotional ones
like new one "looks unprofessional" or old one was "more convenient". Let me
just list a reasons why change settings UI decision has been taken and
advantages of new UI:

1. Number of configurables scalability. It is obvious that UI that shows all
available options at the same time is more usable. Any scrollbars are just
compromise.

2. All configuration options are shown up in one place. It is common
situation one searches for some option in IDE Settings while it actually
resides in Project Properties which is not as easy to switch to. This has
been actually a big problem for new IDEA users. And please remember there
were additional items under Options menu like keymap, file templates, live
templates. Does anybody understands why they're something different than
other IDE Settings? This also helps those who upgrades to a new version
where some options has been moved from Project Properties to IDE Settings
and vice a versa. I bet one would search for a long time for Local History
options if we wouldn't change options UI.

3. Each configurable panel scalability. Let's compare UI Designer options
against Configure Project. In old UI they are to show up on the same size
area. This doesn't look good not to say we can allow little bigger space for
dialogs that need this because we do not need to show icons stripe bar on
the left.

4. Quicker navigation to a known option. That's what Dave perfectly
explained somewhere in this thread.

5. Long stand "Page has been modified" blooper just gone away.

Thanks for listening. And we're always open to other/opposite ideas when
those are motivated.

Friendly
--
Maxim Shafirov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


0

4. Quicker navigation to a known option. That's what Dave perfectly
explained somewhere in this thread.


This is true, if you know, where you need to look. If in the standard
dialog (the previous one), you was not sure, where to look, you just
needed to click through all icon buttons to the left. Now it is much harder:
- click a icon button, click Cancel
- what icon button I clicked?
- try to find a next button...

Do you understand what I mean?

BTW, the new options dialog (those with the icon buttons) definitely
needs an explicite Close button - each dialog has it.

Tom

0

5. Long stand "Page has been modified" blooper just gone away.


Well, you just needed not to show the dialog and apply the changes.

Tom

0

I agree about putting the icon in front of the text than above too.

Inspired by the idea preferences dialog I used the icons above approach for an application of my own, but soon refactored it to the icons in front approach, and haven't looked back.


I also like the idea of grouping the icons in some higher level categories suggested by someone else.

If there really are not enough space, the categories could be collapsable (a bit like a tree control) (although collapsable categories can be a bit annoying too, better to put things in tabs if possible perhaps).


--
beetle

0

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