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[wingide-users] Wing 2.0 features

gary.h.merrill@gsk.com gary.h.merrill at gsk.com
Fri, 30 Apr 2004 10:31:08 -0400


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I've just installed the beta version and started to use it a bit.  In 
general, of course, there are a host of very nice improvements.  Other 
things will require getting used to (always the case).  But there are a 
couple of features that I think could be improved with little effort.

First, when running the program under the debugger I don't see any obvious 
indicator that anything is happening until everything is loaded and the 
program actually begins to run or a breakpoint is hit.  In the older 
version, the little status window used to display how many modules had 
been loaded, etc. and was immediately in front of the user's eyes.  In the 
new version, this appears to be buried over in a status window at the 
bottom of the tool box, and the messages are displayed in the messages 
pane.  The cursor doesn't change in any way either.  So you click the 
button to run the program and the appearance is that nothing is happening. 
  I'd prefer to see some more obvious indicator of what is going on.

I think the idea of  a generic message pane needs revisiting.  It's just a 
poor interface component -- especially if what gets dumped into it is a 
large number of messages, some of which are informational, some of which 
are warnings, and some of which are something else (?).  The "Show 
Message" selector is not a successful attempt at addressing that problem. 
Clearly an afterthought.  Beyond that, printing out a separate message for 
*every* module that is loaded is just not a good way to display this 
information.  And many of the messages appear to be meaningful only to 
Wing developers.  (E.g., what in the world do the messages 
"text.arginfo[text].label not valid.  Using default derived label." mean? 
And why should I be seeing them?)  This really has the look of something 
the developers whipped up in the early stages ("Uh, we need a log of 
everything that's happening.") and just never replaced with better UI 
design.  I've done that myself, of course.

The vertical tabs on the notebook pages are *awful*.  I can see why you've 
done that from the point of view of layout and screen real estate, but 
from the user's perspective (mine at least) they are virtually impossible 
to read.  I need to tilt my head to the side to read rather lengthy labels 
such as "Search/Replace", "Source Assistant", etc., and even then the 
letters are difficult to make out given my screen and resolution (a 21" 
display in 1280x1024).  I think that having vertical tabs with text on 
them is in general a bad idea, but unless the text is *very* clear and 
*relatively short*, it's a disaster.   If you want to keep the vertical 
tab configuration, perhaps an improvement would be had by replacing the 
text with clear and distinct icons and tooltips.  Or pehaps the text would 
be intelligible if you simply arranged it vertically:

          E
          x
          a
          m
          p
          l
          e

instead of "Example" rotated 90 degrees.  Of course, this is almost 
certain to take up more space -- but instead of using real text you could 
use images containing the text, with good contrast for readability.    I 
don't know how successful this would be, but it would *have* to be an 
improvement over what is currently there.

When you click a source file and are in "one window per editor" mode, the 
new window comes up *precisely* over the old one.  It would be better if 
it didn't completely and exactly hide the old one, but his is a minor nit.


Otherwise, I really look forward to using this and just sent in money for 
three new licenses.

--------------------------------------
Gary H. Merrill
Director and Principal Scientist, New Applications
Data Exploration Sciences
GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
(919) 483-8456

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<br><font size=2 face="Arial">I've just installed the beta version and
started to use it a bit. &nbsp;In general, of course, there are a host
of very nice improvements. &nbsp;Other things will require getting used
to (always the case). &nbsp;But there are a couple of features that I think
could be improved with little effort.</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">First, when running the program under the
debugger I don't see any obvious indicator that anything is happening until
everything is loaded and the program actually begins to run or a breakpoint
is hit. &nbsp;In the older version, the little status window used to display
how many modules had been loaded, etc. and was immediately in front of
the user's eyes. &nbsp;In the new version, this appears to be buried over
in a status window at the bottom of the tool box, and the messages are
displayed in the messages pane. &nbsp;The cursor doesn't change in any
way either. &nbsp;So you click the button to run the program and the appearance
is that nothing is happening. &nbsp; I'd prefer to see some more obvious
indicator of what is going on.</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">I think the idea of &nbsp;a generic message
pane needs revisiting. &nbsp;It's just a poor interface component -- especially
if what gets dumped into it is a large number of messages, some of which
are informational, some of which are warnings, and some of which are something
else (?). &nbsp;The &quot;Show Message&quot; selector is not a successful
attempt at addressing that problem. &nbsp;Clearly an afterthought. &nbsp;Beyond
that, printing out a separate message for *every* module that is loaded
is just not a good way to display this information. &nbsp;And many of the
messages appear to be meaningful only to Wing developers. &nbsp;(E.g.,
what in the world do the messages &quot;text.arginfo[text].label not valid.
&nbsp;Using default derived label.&quot; mean? &nbsp;And why should I be
seeing them?) &nbsp;This really has the look of something the developers
whipped up in the early stages (&quot;Uh, we need a log of everything that's
happening.&quot;) and just never replaced with better UI design. &nbsp;I've
done that myself, of course.</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">The vertical tabs on the notebook pages are
*awful*. &nbsp;I can see why you've done that from the point of view of
layout and screen real estate, but from the user's perspective (mine at
least) they are virtually impossible to read. &nbsp;I need to tilt my head
to the side to read rather lengthy labels such as &quot;Search/Replace&quot;,
&quot;Source Assistant&quot;, etc., and even then the letters are difficult
to make out given my screen and resolution (a 21&quot; display in 1280x1024).
&nbsp;I think that having vertical tabs with text on them is in general
a bad idea, but unless the text is *very* clear and *relatively short*,
it's a disaster. &nbsp; If you want to keep the vertical tab configuration,
perhaps an improvement would be had by replacing the text with clear and
distinct icons and tooltips. &nbsp;Or pehaps the text would be intelligible
if you simply arranged it vertically:</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; E</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; x</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; a</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; m</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; p</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; l</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; e</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">instead of &quot;Example&quot; rotated 90
degrees. &nbsp;Of course, this is almost certain to take up more space
-- but instead of using real text you could use images containing the text,
with good contrast for readability. &nbsp; &nbsp;I don't know how successful
this would be, but it would *have* to be an improvement over what is currently
there.</font>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">When you click a source file and are in &quot;one
window per editor&quot; mode, the new window comes up *precisely* over
the old one. &nbsp;It would be better if it didn't completely and exactly
hide the old one, but his is a minor nit.</font>
<br>
<br>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial">Otherwise, I really look forward to using
this and just sent in money for three new licenses.</font>
<br><font size=2 face="Arial"><br>
--------------------------------------<br>
Gary H. Merrill<br>
Director and Principal Scientist, New Applications<br>
Data Exploration Sciences<br>
GlaxoSmithKline Inc.<br>
(919) 483-8456<br>
</font>
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