Why Did You Mess With The Run Config?


The run config looks awful now.

Not only is it switched around for no particular reason, the fonts are using the editor fonts instead of the dialog fonts.

All the stuff that was easily configurable from tabs is now difficult to discover under a drop down menu.

I can't see any new features added to warrant this.

I could perhaps understand if there were loads of extra parameters required and you ran out of space.

However, as far as I can see you haven't added anything new, you have just made it worse to look at and harder to find the information you need to configure it!


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Please see https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-256950 and the linked issues. A lot of the usability problems with the new design were addressed in https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/nextversion/. If you still find it unusable, please submit your feedback at https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/newIssue?project=IDEA.

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Other items used to be a checkbox but now you have to search through the menu for it then add it.

When eventually get close to the fields you had previously the configuration scrolls off the page!

If you create a new run config it says "Error: Module not specified" even though I only have one module - you might call it 2 because there are test and main but there is no reason to not select one.

When I click the drop down that says "module not specified" it doesn't list the modules it lists the JDKs.

The module is the drop down next to it!

There is also a bug when loading existing projects where the run configs are not being saved to file when you select save as project file.

There also doesn't seem to be any good reason to move the save location from .idea/runConfigurations to .run.

If you want to check them in but not the rest of the .idea directory you can just use a gitignore pattern.

If I don't want to, and most people don't recommend checking in run configs, I now have to have 2 lines to ignore IDEA directories.




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Why did you even bother changing it at all?

Can you link to a YouTrack issue where loads of people were complaining that the existing one?

Because I can link to loads of YouTrack issues that would have been a better use of time.


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Thanks for reaching out, and thank you for your criticism. I'd like to explain why we chose the configuration with the menu, and I'd like to clarify some of your issues because I need a little more help to understand the precise problem you're facing.

The reason we put the options in the menu is to make it easier to see what is configured for a specific run configuration. Rather than show you a large form with many options not-checked, we only show you what's actually configured. Before, with the tabs, you'd have to check multiple tabs to fully understand what's going on in a run configuration. Putting all possible configuration in a single list will also make features more discoverable for those users who never bothered to check the other tabs.

Could you please clarify what you mean with "When eventually get close to the fields you had previously the configuration scrolls off the page!" are you trying to put all the configuration back? Could you please share a screenshot?

I've created a ticket for your issue with the 'Module not specified' JDK problem: https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-265070

By default, we pick the JDK that's configured for the module. I'm not 100% sure what happened here, and we could really use your help to figure this out and fix it. Could you please attach a screenshot of your project structure? (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S, or Cmd+; on macOS).

The save location: if I recall correctly, this feature was built so you get control of where the file is saved, and you can choose where you'd like to place it.

Again, I'd like to thank you for your criticism, by letting us know you help us improve our product!

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Thanks for the nice response after me posting in a stressful day!

Here is a Gradle config:

Here is a cucumber config:

Here is an application config:

If I want code coverage it is easily discoverable in the first screenshot because I can see a tab that says "Code Coverage".

If I want to do something with logs it is easily discoverable because I can see a tab that says "Logs".

If I want to change the VM options it is right there on the config.

None of that is easily discoverable in the new window because you have hidden it in a menu.

I put all the configuration back to see what it would look like and it clearly looked worse.

In the screenshots above you can see the progression of the fonts get worse and worse as gradually the editor font takes over the fields.

I believe that the JDK and run location issues are due to a project had a completely different structure in a feature branch and IDEA hadn't synchronised with the new structure - probably due to gradle failing because a network error.

Build #IC-203.7717.56, built on March 15, 2021



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Both the approach with the tabs and the current approach have advantages and disadvantages, I'll be the last to say that the new style is perfect :)

We've found that very few users click the other tabs, and users also frequently get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.

Therefore we've chosen an approach where non-configured fields are hidden by default. And also, all options are in the same place, so it'd be easier to discover more options for users who wouldn't be inclined to go look on different tabs.

Regarding the fonts, you're absolutely right that the cucumber config has some issues as it looks inconsistent. We're continuously working on our run configurations to improve their usability and aesthetics, and I hope we can improve this situation soon.

I've added your JDK comment to the ticket. Even if your project is in an inconsistent state, you're absolutely right that message is quite confusing.

Again, thank you for your criticism. And I'm sad to hear that our new style doesn't work as well for you as it could, but I hope you understand why we've made these choices.

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Fun fact:

I had to do a screen share to help a colleague on how to use the new run config.

This shows that the new design is bad


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