KDevelop4 UI

David Nolden zwabel at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 21 10:00:41 UTC 2009

So I think we have the required features in place for a 4.0 release. But apart 
from stability and bugs, there is still a bigger problem that should be 
addressed first: The messy UI.

Our main-menu has for too many entries without any structure. I think the 
merging of the editor UI with the kdevelop UI is wrong, because the editor 
main-menu entries look like they belong to the IDE directly, and create a 
wrong perception of what they contain. For example the "Tools". For an IDE, 
you expect it to contain things like "run massif", "run doxygen", etc., while 
it in truth contains only editor-actions like "change encoding", and from the 
UI it is not even clear that this applies only to the current editor window. 
The same is true for the "Bookmarks" entry: From an IDE I would expect it to 
contain global bookmarks that are stored in the session, while in truth it 
only contains editor-bookmarks of the current file.

Generally apart from the wrong expectations, there is simply too many top-
level menu entries, and the have no clear structure.

So, now lets see how these problems could be improved without too much hassle.

I propose this changed main-menu structure:

Sessions  Project  Navigation  |  File  Editor  Code  | Window  Settings  Help

The main-menu entries left from the first separator are 'global', and ordered 
in a way that makes sense. I think it does not make sense at all to have the 
"File" entry at left, because the 'primary' object we work with are not 
'Files', but 'Sessions' and/or 'Projects'.

In the middle between the separators, there is the actions that primarily 
apply to the currently active file.

At the right, there is the gobal settings that are not related to the 
'objects' you work with.

"Window" should contain all kdevelop-specific UI actions that are right now 
distributed between "View" and "Window", like "add tool view", "split view", 
etc., and maybe the entry should be renamed to "User Interface". 
"Editor" should contain all main-menu entries added by the editor, like 
"Edit", "View", "Bookmarks", "Tools", etc.
"Find in files" should go into "Navigation"

The "switch area" tool-buttons finally have to go, I'm tired of seeing them in 
The "debugger" tool-bar has to be restricted to the "debug" area

What do you think?

Greetings, David

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