[RFC] KDev4 Ui

Andreas Pakulat apaku at gmx.de
Wed Nov 14 20:53:18 UTC 2007

On 14.11.07 21:39:51, Jens Dagerbo wrote:
> 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. ;)

There's a difference here, a webpage loads a dozen times slower than an
already-open file. And thus for webpages its not a problem for me to
wait another 2 seconds for the popup, or using the mouse which I need to
use for webpages anyway.

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

For there is.

> 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.

Maybe you're biased because you know exactly what events add an entry to
the history list.

> 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?

Thats easily solveable, add a tooltip with the line and 2 or 3 around
it, similar to kdev3 completion. Of course that might not be enough to
really know where you go back to.

> 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).

The problem is that unless you 

a) spend an hour or so playing with the history
b) or know the code exactly

you have no idea what exactly adds an entry to the history. At least I
didn't find a pattern that I can memorize. Thus I'm _never_ sure what
place I go back to when hitting the shortcut even once. And I can
imagine new users having the same problem.

So maybe the problem we have to solve is actually just making the
addition to the history more easily to follow? One idea would be having
a highlight set on the back-button which then fades out, everytime the
history is changed...

> 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.

My personal modus operandi currently: Using last accessed view (not
nav-history) if I know its one or two files ago, else I use the
quickopen that uses the currently opened files list.


Tomorrow will be cancelled due to lack of interest.

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