A lot has been said already about the topic, but anyway:
After the latest option to make a double click in the "commit" toolwindow open a file insted of showing the diff, I gave the non-modal setting another chance and used it for work for a couple of days.
Still, I see no real advantage, but a lot of disadvantages. IMHO the whole "non-modal" option should be removed. New users aren't getting the best experience here. Also, I am afraid that JetBrains might someday choose to remove the option to have the old UI completely.
Here are my arguments:
- focusing on the "commit" instead of the "coding" is like the tail wagging the dog:
I usually work on a change for hours or sometimes days. This is the main use case that should be supported as best as possible.
Commit is happening once (or twice when I have to incorporate some changes from code review) and I don't mind it being "modal" - it is a singular, specific operation.
- In the old UI I have the "Preview Diff" enabled to get a quick overview over my changes and to navigate to a specific change place in the code - all without messing up the editor view.
- In the old UI I can see both my "Local Changes" and the project tree at once, which I find very helpful.
- Using the main editor for a diff view is disorienting. Also when the editor is split (which is almost always is for me), the diff is using only half the screen width, which is just too small.
- Why do I now have to use *two* separate toolwindows for VCS related stuff? It feels more consistent to have that in one tab.
(Actually, it's three tabs with the new UI, because I use the gerrit plugin which also has a separate toolwindow.)