OK, while most of you guys here are raving about Tomcat integration, JSP
debugging or other important functional features, let me rant about the
Aurora UI. I am sick for the third day, sneezing and coughing, I do not feel
like working but I still can see letters on the screen ;-).
Downloaded build 977, fresh in the flesh, so I will start right from the
After IDEA starts up, the project wizard pops up. How to turn it off? How
can I switch from the wizard to normal dialog window, feature that is
standard for Windows wizards (I am on Win2000 and I like consistency of
The default value in the Location field points somewhere to the
"C:\Documents and Settings\]]>\IdeaProjects\untitled1\untitled1.ipr".
Why? I explicitly set up during the installation time, that I want to store
IDEA settings in the other location (namely, in the IDEA-977 installation
directory while I use EAP releases). Did I miss something?
Also, what is a project location and what is a project? I might imagine that
project is a set of directories/files plus some control file which stores my
source/deploy information. So, what is exactly the location of IPR file: the
location of control file only, or default location of my source files? I
would change the text in the dialog from "Please enter a file name to create
a new IntelliJ IDEA (Aurora) project" to "Please choose name and location of
IntelliJ IDEA (Aurora) project control file". And if I already informed by
IDEA that I am entering a file name, why duplicating it along with the IPR
extension in the Location field, creating full path to the file? Either ask
me for a project name and location and do the concatenation and
canonicalPath() stuff behind the scenes, or ask me for a full path of a
project file and do not overcomplicate things. I understand that UI is still
in work, but with projected release schedule it might seem to be close to
the real thing.
Btw, one cannot copy the label from the dialog. You think one should not be
able to copy labels? Well, I do it all the time while keeping saying thanks
for MS for doing this little things for me. It cannot be simpler than that:
- start IE
- right click on any picture, Properties. Now you can select URL using mouse
and even right click on the URL to copy it into clipboard. Handy? Then why
IDEA labels are unselectable?
Going further. Location field does not allow direct editing. Why? This is a
development tool, does someone think that I am so dumb that I cannot even
type a path correctly? OK, I will select it from the dialog, there is a nice
button with ellipses to help me. How would I do that with the keyboard? I am
in Name field and I am pressing Tab. Caret disappears, text in Location
field is not get selected. What control is the current one? I tried
Alt-Down, Space or even Enter -- nothing helps. Well, after pressing Tab two
more times Next button is selected. Aha, so the focus was being changed,
but what do I need to do to open the dialog?
When I pressed Enter while Location was supposedly focused, nothing
happened. Nothing! Even not moving to the next dialog page. Because this
wizard does not have default control which should be fired on pressing
Enter. OK, I will try to select one. I press Tab several times to select
Next button. Now I should be able to move focus within the button group
using Left/Right keys, but this does not work. Apparently, each control on
this page is a separate group and I can only move from one control to
another using Tab and I cannot proceed to the next page until I select Next.
Sleek. Is is Swing shortcomings?
I do not like using mouse but it seems that the only way to select Location
as well as Target JDK and Compiler Output Path is to click on the ellipses
button using mouse. What can I do in this dialog with keyboard? Not much:
OK, Cancel or moving up and down the directory tree. No Shift-F10
(Properties), no Ins or F7 (I would suppose to be "Create Dir", well along
the conventions of different commanders), and spacebar moves highlight from
the selected directory somewhere in the outer space. So I have to use mouse
again. Whoa, tool buttons, cool. I can even create a new directory which is
conveniently called Folder, complying to current Microsoft naming
conventions as well as other interface.
Now I have to select Target JDK. Nice small dialog, let me drag its border.
Whoa, nice effect. I am not a big Swing programmer, but I would think that
even with single-threaded Swing model it should be possible to track
MOUSE_DRAGGED or COMPONENT_RESIZED messages to repaint the window so it
would not look that ugly when resized. I understand that this is Swing, not
the good old WinAPI, but is it possible at least to set underlying window
color to match the color of the IDEA palette? Because during this resizing
process I see native window underneath and it has the color of my Windows
palette. Is it possible at least to create custom window class with a color
matching IDEA color? No one uses 4-bit graphics anymore, this should not be
a problem. This is the example of what could be done better with SWT.
OK, it is time to select Target JDK. What, no default JDK? Nothing? I
installed IDEA after I installed JDK, so all necessary information is
already in the registry, yet IDEA could not find and preconfigure it. What
gives? I click Configure, the same keyboard problems, all fields are
disabled except "+" button (sleek again). I select some document directory,
but IDEA complains: "The directory selected is not a valid JDK home". Then
find the valid one! Search the registry, lazy program. OK, I can select it
by myself. Now, the question: what is the difference between "+" button and
ellipses button beside the "JDK home path" field? One might think, that "+"
button just creates some sort of named set, library, whatever. And JDK path
actually selects JDK. Nah. If you press "+", you will not see "Enter JDK
name" window, instead you select JDK path. So, what is the point of having
"JDK home path" field? This window is totally inconsistent. And JDK can be a
library anyway with its Classpath/Sourcepath/Javadoc tabs. Well, special
library considering that it has compiler. Whatever. And still only one
javadoc URL can be entered.
Couple of other pages in this dialog do not add much to this, also I kinda
got tired. This is the only one window in the whole IDE, but there are
To IntelliJ guys: please, do not be offended, I like IDEA so much that I
want it to be picture perfect and candy sweet :)