Jump to content
lakehousetech

Sourceboost Ide Aesthetic/interface Ideas

Recommended Posts

The developers are currently working on the upcoming version 7, and are open to any ideas or recommendations for cosmetic changes to the IDE. Please use this thread to submit artwork for buttons, menus, and anything else relative to the user experience. The current IDE for reference:

 

SB.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd far rather the developers spent their valuable time on functional stuff rather than eye catching glitz. Arguably the menu structure and interface might be redesigned but one only needs to look at Office 2007 to see the level of complaints one can get if the familiar interface that the users are used to is discarded and replaced with something new. There is little wrong with the current look and feel other than some quirks in toolbar and plugin positioning. SourceBoost compiles PIC programs, its not an art package . . .

 

OTOH if they think that a fancy new interface will be an important factor in selling the next version to *NEW* users, I'm for it as more users = more money = more development, hopefully of the core products. Just leave us a way to turn off the glitz! Not everyone is running a hirez widescreen and screen space is *valuable*.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd far rather the developers spent their valuable time on functional stuff rather than eye catching glitz. Arguably the menu structure and interface might be redesigned but one only needs to look at Office 2007 to see the level of complaints one can get if the familiar interface that the users are used to is discarded and replaced with something new. There is little wrong with the current look and feel other than some quirks in toolbar and plugin positioning. SourceBoost compiles PIC programs, its not an art package . . .

 

OTOH if they think that a fancy new interface will be an important factor in selling the next version to *NEW* users, I'm for it as more users = more money = more development, hopefully of the core products. Just leave us a way to turn off the glitz! Not everyone is running a hirez widescreen and screen space is *valuable*.

 

 

I don't disagree with you, but your Office 2007 example is extreme. The point wasn't to make revolutionary changes. Only to allow users the opportunity to have a say in the feel and function of the interface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I agree orifice2007 was rather OTT as a comparison and I'm sure Dave and Pavel have *much* better sense :-), but I don't really see any benefit in 'skinning' the current UI. However, customizable toolbars would be nice. I'd especially like to be able to set up external programs that the selected file could be passed to (maybe with a documented and expanded set of macro substitutions like there are for the programmer command line) and I'd also like to see the UI tweaked to take advantage of multiple monitors. e.g. let you detatch a window and drag it to another screen.

 

Also shouldn't the context menu item to remove a file from a project be called something other than 'Delete'? Remove would be a better name as I dont think it ever deletes the file. The project menu could also benefit from a 'close' option. It is sometimes useful to *know* the project is safely closed before one goes rummaging for some file one wants to check out. Obviously it would close all the project files that were open.

 

It would also be nice to be able to add various documentation files to the project. Let them launch external programs. I would frequently like to attach various datasheets (PDF), and maybe a couple of web links and a Word doc to a project.

 

Allow a choice of web browser for the help files. System default browser is better than being stuck with IE, but if one runs a browser with a tabbed UI, opening help pages in the same window as one's browsing session can be distracting! All that is needed is an option to use a command line to invoke the browser and maybe an option to pass PDF help files to the chosen browser as well for those who like that sort of thing.

 

I fear that this lot will need a lot more work than redoing some icons in a resource file :-( but I can hope . . .

 

Wandering a little further from the look and feel theme:

 

If one could open multiple named copies of the UI and the simulators communicated with each other, one could simulate inter-PIC communication

 

It would also be nice to have a serial plugin that could handle bit-banged (with selectable polarity) and UART comms and could hook it to either a virtual serial port or a real serial port to connect to external hardware.

 

I could go on, but I dont want to distract the team from their core development work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, I agree orifice2007 was rather OTT as a comparison and I'm sure Dave and Pavel have *much* better sense :-), but I don't really see any benefit in 'skinning' the current UI. However, customizable toolbars would be nice. I'd especially like to be able to set up external programs that the selected file could be passed to (maybe with a documented and expanded set of macro substitutions like there are for the programmer command line) and I'd also like to see the UI tweaked to take advantage of multiple monitors. e.g. let you detatch a window and drag it to another screen.

 

Also shouldn't the context menu item to remove a file from a project be called something other than 'Delete'? Remove would be a better name as I dont think it ever deletes the file. The project menu could also benefit from a 'close' option. It is sometimes useful to *know* the project is safely closed before one goes rummaging for some file one wants to check out. Obviously it would close all the project files that were open.

 

It would also be nice to be able to add various documentation files to the project. Let them launch external programs. I would frequently like to attach various datasheets (PDF), and maybe a couple of web links and a Word doc to a project.

 

Allow a choice of web browser for the help files. System default browser is better than being stuck with IE, but if one runs a browser with a tabbed UI, opening help pages in the same window as one's browsing session can be distracting! All that is needed is an option to use a command line to invoke the browser and maybe an option to pass PDF help files to the chosen browser as well for those who like that sort of thing.

 

I fear that this lot will need a lot more work than redoing some icons in a resource file :-( but I can hope . . .

 

Wandering a little further from the look and feel theme:

 

If one could open multiple named copies of the UI and the simulators communicated with each other, one could simulate inter-PIC communication

 

It would also be nice to have a serial plugin that could handle bit-banged (with selectable polarity) and UART comms and could hook it to either a virtual serial port or a real serial port to connect to external hardware.

 

I could go on, but I dont want to distract the team from their core development work.

 

Wow these are really nice ideas. And what makes them even better is that some of them aren't too difficult to add :) We'll try to squeeze at least a few into 7.0

 

Regards,

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow these are really nice ideas. And what makes them even better is that some of them aren't too difficult to add :) We'll try to squeeze at least a few into 7.0

 

Regards,

Pavel

 

 

Let's add ICD compatibility to the list for the distant future (I know this is a tough one).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I would love to see is the idea of a solution file like in Visual Studio. It's like a project of projects. You probably know what I'm talking about.

 

I make a library file for each component I connect to outside of my microcontrollers so I don't have to remember each one's individual protocols. It would be nice to be able to work on and debug these libraries as I write the main project. Also, it'll let me write unit tests.

 

Thanks for letting us add our input.

 

- Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I would love to see is the idea of a solution file like in Visual Studio. It's like a project of projects. You probably know what I'm talking about.

 

I make a library file for each component I connect to outside of my microcontrollers so I don't have to remember each one's individual protocols. It would be nice to be able to work on and debug these libraries as I write the main project. Also, it'll let me write unit tests.

 

Thanks for letting us add our input.

 

- Bill

 

This feature is already implemented in our IDE working copy and will be available in 7.0 Instead of project IDE will work on a workspace level where each workspace can include one or more projects. We also plan to add multiple configurations per project but this feature may become available later.

 

Regards,

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I would love to see is the idea of a solution file like in Visual Studio. It's like a project of projects. You probably know what I'm talking about.

 

I make a library file for each component I connect to outside of my microcontrollers so I don't have to remember each one's individual protocols. It would be nice to be able to work on and debug these libraries as I write the main project. Also, it'll let me write unit tests.

 

Thanks for letting us add our input.

 

- Bill

 

 

This sounds similar to adding something of a 'snippets' window for module code. That way you could copy and paste or reference code easier during development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...This sounds similar to adding something of a 'snippets' window for module code. That way you could copy and paste or reference code easier during development...

 

Can you explain what is this 'snippets' window?

 

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The snippets window is off to one side and can be used to store pieces of code or complete modules for reference, with the ability to copy and paste into the current editor window. A good example is this screenshot from Aptana:

 

snippets.jpg

 

You can see from the screenshot (right hand side) that the code modules can be organized by category and edited or applied into the active editor window by right-clicking on the particular snippet. It's very handy, and is common in IDE's like Eclipse and Visual Studio. I'm not entirely sure this was exactly what animeranger was referring to, but it's similar. Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

...This sounds similar to adding something of a 'snippets' window for module code. That way you could copy and paste or reference code easier during development...

 

Can you explain what is this 'snippets' window?

 

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I was referring to is similar, but based on projects rather than snippets.

 

It's common in the corporate world when developing large projects, especially if you're working with .NET, to create libraries for commonly used classes. (I'm talking C++ now.)

 

So, you would create a solution file, which is just a collection of projects. Take this for example:

 

Game.sol
 |
 --- Monsters.proj
 |	  |
 |	  --- monsters.cpp
 |	  --- monsters.h
 |	  --- ...etc...
 |
 --- GameGUI.proj
	 |
	 --- ...more files...

 

If I'm making the Monsters.proj, which will be compiled to a DLL, and my friend is making the Game's GUI, which will be compiled to an EXE, we can both work on our projects separately without competing with each other. Every time he compiles, it will test to see if he has the latest version of Monsters.dll on his computer. If nothing has changed, his program will compile, and he can test what he wrote. If I had made changes and checked them in, assuming the entire thing is under source control, his computer would realize that, compile the new code into the new Monsters.dll on his machine, and he would now be testing what he wrote using my new, bug-fixed code.

 

In the *nix world, this would be the same as a Makefile calling other Makefiles.

 

This method allows me to write a small program to test my portion. On my computer, I could have a project set up as:

 

Game.sol
 |
 --- Monsters.proj
 |	  |
 |	  --- monsters.cpp
 |	  --- monsters.h
 |	  --- ...etc...
 |
 --- MonstersUnitTest.proj
	 |
	 --- ...more files...

 

I would use my unit test project to debug my Monsters.proj. Once I feel that it is usable, I would check in the source, and everyone else that I work with would immediately see the changes.

 

This is probably more info than anyone here either cares about or wants to know, so I'll cut myself here. If any of this sounds familiar to you, it could be because other IDEs have this feature, but sometimes they are called other names, such as workspaces.

 

 

This does bring up an idea, though. Is it possible to add built-in integration with source control software, such as Subversion? I personally use BoostC for hobby purposes, so it's not something I crave, but I would imagine it would be useful for someone out there.

 

Again, sorry for the length of the post.

 

- Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

The thing im missing the most are post-build steps. ie. run a command line after compile/link.

I want to be able to automatically copy my library and h files to a folder after each library build.

 

ICD2 debugging support would also be nice

as well as, ADC and UART support for the 18F simulators

 

Thanks!

Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The thing im missing the most are post-build steps. ie. run a command line after compile/link.

I want to be able to automatically copy my library and h files to a folder after each library build.

 

This functionality was added to the IDE several releases ago. Check the 'Build' sub-chapter in the IDE manual.

 

Regards,

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

 

Will the new v7 IDE save the current state of the workspace - same opened files, simulator choices and configurations - with each project ?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea when version 7 will be out? I check the web site every day in eager anticipation...Hoping perhaps that it supports 16bit PICs...

 

kind regards

Ian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please limit the width of the menu bar when docked to that required to display 'File to 'Help' so I can dock an icon bar in the currently wasted space on its right.

 

Ian

Edited by IanM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any idea when version 7 will be out? I check the web site every day in eager anticipation...Hoping perhaps that it supports 16bit PICs...

 

We have most of the features planned to 7.0 pre-release done. Just a few bits are left. Hopefully we'll have the first 7.0 pre-release available in a month.

 

Please limit the width of the menu bar when docked to that required to display 'File to 'Help' so I can dock an icon bar in the currently wasted space on its right.

 

Not sure what you mean.

 

Regards,

Pavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please limit the width of the menu bar when docked to that required to display 'File to 'Help' so I can dock an icon bar in the currently wasted space on its right.

 

Not sure what you mean.

 

Regards,

Pavel

At the moment in version 6.96 I can dock the toolbar, debug bar and panel bar (all the current bars of icons) above or below the menu bar or I can pull the menu bar out so its free-floating in the window, but I cannot dock one of the icon bars to the right of the menu bar's 'Help' in the same row even though the individual icon bars can be arranged in one row in any order. It would be nice if I could treat the Menu bar like an icon bar and arrange them all in any order in one or more rows while they are still docked.

 

Hope that clarifies it.

 

If you do find time to take another look at the docking and window layout code, it would be nice to have a 'lock toolbars' command (pretty much essential if you ever let us have customisable ones and helpful to stop my favourite layout getting messed up in 'frantic' debugging sessions) and also window and subwindow positions saved in separate sets for each standard screen resolution used so I don't screw up my 800x600 layout if I switch to 1024x768. The set used would depend on the screen size, not the window size if it isn't full screen.

 

Also if a window or toolbar ends up invisible because its been pushed off the edge of the maximized window hiding it then showing it again from the view menu should bring it back into the visible window.

 

Ian

Edited by IanM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using ver 6.96 for a few days what I have noticed.

BoostC help in PDF is great, but BoostIDE help online is not. I would happily make you a PDF version of the helpfile as swap for a license. If you provided the changes for new version would integrate those too.

Your wizard interface on notebook is way too big - lower section is obscured and the window is not sizeable so wizard does not work!

 

What I think would help, probably already done ;-)

To have the 'comment section' under menu item Settings is illogical. It should be in the right-click menu.

You could have comment/uncomment function.

I'd like to see more hotkeys user definable under settings eg delete line ctrl-y

Auto-indent.

Wizard looks to have good potential, but should have many more cpu types. As a newbie to your product when I saw it, I though wow! then ho-hum as no processors that I'm using are similar.

 

Plenty more, but thats enough for now.

Nice product.

Al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...