[RFC] KDev4 Ui

Jens Dagerbo jens.dagerbo at swipnet.se
Wed Nov 14 20:39:51 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 14 November 2007 20.43.53 Andreas Pakulat wrote:
> On 14.11.07 20:38:35, Jens Dagerbo wrote:
> > In KDev3 you can press-and-hold the toolbar button to see where you will
> > end up, but I never found that too useful myself. You typically
> > "remember" where 'back' will take you. Typical use would be something
> > like: you click 'QObject' in your code to have a look at qobject.h, once
> > satisfied with what you learned you hit 'back' to continue working.
> > That's code navigation history. And KDev3 supported this quite nicely.
> > Calling it "not usable" is a wild exaggeration.
> Sorry, but for me its unusable because I don't want to go back only
> once, but possibly many times. And using the toolbar is not an option as
> I want that to be fast, having to go to my trackball and than waiting
> another 2 seconds for the popup to show. I just want the keyboard
> shortcut to show the last couple of places (or the "next") I've been to.

It happens to be the ruling paradigm for "history" in webbrowsers and many 
filemanagers. It can't be completely useless since the same critisism can be 
directed at them and many people seem to find the feature useful. ;)

Still, I agree that "better" is good to aim for. But is there something 
significantly better, or is it just a pipe dream? 

What would a more predictable navigation history look like? A popup that 
describes what you would jump to with filenames and line numbers (like in 
your mockup.. (that's just the "useless" KDev3 feature bound to a shortcut) 
Personally, I never found it informative enough. Faced with a list that says 
foo.cpp: 24
foo.cpp: 212
foo.cpp 75
what does that tell me if I don't happen to recall the code layout in this 
particular file? Not much. Pressing 'back' a few times until I recognize 
where I wanted to be is actually both easier and less confusing (the chance 
of you guessing the right location with no more to go on than the linenumber 
is low enough that you probably guess wrong a few times - the popup gives you 
nothing in this case).

An improved version could perhaps use language support to tell you, in the 
popup, what functions those locations actually belong to. Potentially useful, 
but also possibly vague (600 line functions anyone? It happens), big on 
screen estate (a list of fully qualified scopes will need room) and maybe 
also too slow to wait for it to be constructed. As you said, navigation 
should be quick.

My personal modus operandi: use 'back' if where I wanted to be was recent 
enough to be quickly accessible this way, use quickopen if it wasn't.

I would love to see something better, but I wouldn't know what it would look 

// jens

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