Want an IDEAl Ui for your app?

February 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Posted in KDevelop | 9 Comments

As a recent thread on kde-devel showed that nearly nobody knows about this, I thought I’d blog again about Sublime. Alexander already wrote two parts, here and here
and it was even featured in a commit-digest article. Obviously thats still not enough😦

So to put it short: If you want an IDEAl like user interface, that is dockwidgets (note: not necessarily QDockWidget) and a central editor area, then I invite you to have a look at Sublime Sublime. Its a Ui library thats solely based on Qt and kdelibs, even though its currently part of the KDevelop Development Platform. Its not yet finished, but it already supports quite some stuff that KDevelop3 had, including buttons for toolviews, automatic hiding of them, maximizing a toolview and “always show” option. The API is also prepared to support different Area’s (Eclipse calls this perspectives), so you can have different views into your application (for IDE’s this can be used to have a Debug, Code, Test and Design Area).

Once there’s another two apps using Sublime (and the Area stuff is implemented) we can even think about moving it to kdelibs, making it easier for apps that don’t need kdevplatform to use it.

Oh, I guess a small screenie is good (click for larger picture):

9 Comments

  1. I’m a bit confused. As far as I understand sublime is supposed to be the only UI library for KDevelop 4. Is this true?
    Earlier screnshots of sublime UI were more Eclipse like with dock panels. But the current screenshot is very IDEA like with buttons at the bottom and at the left of the main window.
    Does this mean that KDevelop 4 will look like this? I mean like IDEA?

  2. I’m a bit confused. As far as I understand sublime is supposed to be the only UI library for KDevelop 4. Is this true?
    Earlier screnshots of sublime UI were more Eclipse like with dock panels. But the current screenshot is very IDEA like with buttons at the bottom and at the left of the main window.
    Does this mean that KDevelop 4 will look like this? I mean like IDEA?

    Actually answering your question (Want an IDEAl Ui for your app?) I want to say “No, thanks. I like that Eclipse like UI much more”.

  3. I don’t see a real difference between IDEAl and the Eclipse Ui. The only thing we did is that we don’t use QDockWidget for the toolviews, as that doesn’t give us enough control about their behaviour and thus makes it at least hard (if not impossible) to do things like auto-hide or maximize. And specifically those two are the most wanted features for toolviews.

    Personally I don’t care about having buttons or a tabwidget to switch between the toolviews and I can’t take anybody serious who says that an Ui is less usable with buttons instead of tabwidgets.

    Last but not least: This is the current default Ui, AFAIK the code for the former implementation (change was sometime around November last year IIRC) is still in Sublime so I believe its simply a matter of s/Ideal// somewhere in the code. Or maybe thats even a choice you as a user of Sublime have by passing the proper flag or something. I don’t know the API very much. But note that the former implementation has even less features than the current and is just a QMainWindow with QDockWidgets – nothing more.

  4. You websvn link doesn’t work for me. http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/KDE/kdevplatform/sublime/ should be the one to go to.

  5. Hmm, it worked for me last night. Anyway, thanks for the notice, fixed the text.

  6. Please sorry for multiple comments with same text. It has happened exidentaly.

    I haven’t wrote that Ui is less usable with buttons instead of tabwidgets. I wrote that I like tabs more. I am wroking with Eclipse for a long time and can’t tell about current former vs current KDevelop UI functionality.

    Here are examples of usage tabs for the toolview in Eclipse. In Eclipse I can drag a tab (which can be a toolview) from it’s current location to any other. Is this possible to drag “CVS” toolview from the bottom to the right or left in current sublime implementation? Will it be possible. It certanly is possible with QDockWidget.

    You wrote things usage of QDockWidget for toolviews make such things like auto-hide or maximize impossible. I don’t really know what is the problem here. Maybe it’s just a pacularity of QDockWidget.

    I am not trying to tell you that it is better to QDockWidget. I just tell that tabs looks nicer than buttons for toolviews. Implementation can be different. From the other point of view the simpler something is the easiler it is to support this. The chalabge is to have a real balance between simplicity and amount of features.

    That’s just my personal opinion.

  7. @Serhiy: Yes, all those drag and drop features are a must have for us. So instead of dragging/dropping a tab in KDevelop4 you’d drag a button.

    So its really just the looks that differ here. It might be possible to replace the list of buttons with a tabbar, but the problem with a tabbar is that its not possible to have it multi-line. Of course there’s something wrong in the first place when you get two rows of buttons too, but at least its possible and you don’t get those totally unsuable very small arrows to go through the list of tabs.

    And having an overly complicated implementation was one of the major problems with kmdi in kde3 which we want to avoid at all costs.

  8. And probably the last question.
    Is there any news about when combo box to select source files will be replaced by something other? Why you refused to use tabs to select between multiple opened source files? What are you planning to use for this purpose?

    Thanks,
    Serhiy

  9. There’s no replacement yet, but we won’t release it as is.

    Tabs are not good there because they don’t scale. If you’ve got a high resolution you can probably fit 10 tabs or so onto your screen. However many people often work with quite more files open.

    The last discussions about this haven’t really concluded anything, but the option of having tabs may be present in later releases of KDevelop4


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