Designing Komodo 9 - Share Your Opinion

I’d like to start discussing the design changes in Komodo 9, have a feel for what everyone likes best and allow people to chip in.

To start off - I’ve redesigned Commando in a sort of “hud” flavour, I’m liking the idea of designing all “editor UI” elements in this way as it makes it feel more snappy, ie. they are tools that you use to make editing faster, so they should not feel too bulky.

Please tell me which version you like better (dark/light).

(click the screenshot and ensure you zoom in at 1:1)

Summary Of Design Changes Discussed Here

When I open “Diff” by clicking in green/blue/red line - I’m get a dark window with darkest green and darkest red text and it’s difficult to watch (also I’m using light scheme so I don’t want to see dark colors). Can you make it based on selected scheme/configurable?
Also I like new design of Komodo. It’s looks more “lightly” and doesn’t have a lot of panels/tabs like another editors or like Komodo 8 (by default, of course user can show all panes for himself). :wink:

Yeah I have to fix this, atm it uses the “Track Changes” color under your scheme settings, but since the background does not come from your scheme this doesnt always turn out well.

So which one of the Commando skins do you like better? (light/dark - see screenshot above) .

About Commando: I think it must be per-user option. I’m more like light themes (because a lot of sites has light colors) and I like light Commando.

Unfortunately we can’t make everything a preference, it would become a nightmare to maintain. You could still write your own skin for it, but it would not be a simple preference in the UI.

I’ve committed the dark UI, so far the response (on Twitter and IRC) has been overwhelmingly positive (not a single vote against it). So we’ll take it for a spin on the nightlies and see how it fares.

Nobody loves light but I love. :frowning:

I like light more too :slight_smile:

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I prefer the light skin when coding during the daytime.

Also, not sure if this is already possible.

  • I wish that the left side pane would go all the way to the bottom. I have a lot of files and directories and I need to see more without scrolling.

  • The top portion of the bottom pane is too thick. If you make the controls only take up one line, this would allow the bottom pane to be smaller and we can see more code.

If I had to choose either light or dark, I would choose light. Like @bmcgin I use light color schemes during the day, based on the lighting in my office and the position of my monitors relative to windows in order to reduce glare. For me, the light version would both work better and be less jarring for the majority of my use.

Even for the dark version, though, I would want a color more visually different from the editor window background for the background of the Commando panel so that if is more clearly differentiated from the editor itself.

My preference would be that the colors would come from or be part of the color scheme. It seems like that would enable scheme developers/tweakers to make it a much more consistent experience with the rest of the editor.

I’ve thought about this as well but have resisted the urge thus far because it would affect people with a smaller screen negatively. I’ll have a look at turning it into a pref, if that is relatively easy (ie. low maintenance) to do then I’ll implement that.

Completely agree, this has annoyed me for a while as well, though I still haven’ come up with a solution that satifies me fully. Design ideas more than welcome.

This is a good idea but given that these elements are not actually “part” of the editor (from a technical perspective) implementation is not as simple as you might think. Never the less I like the idea and I’ll have a think about adding it (ie. evaluate the implications).

For the left side panel, most programmers have larger than normal monitors and work on a ton of files, Making it an option to fill the entire left side of the editor would be welcomed by many.

For the bottom panel, a design suggestion is to make the tabs smaller by renaming them to: Output, Find, Notices, Syntax. This opens room to the right to put a lot of things. So the items which are normally below the tab could be moved up. Also, you can display less stuff–like the Command Output, display only the filename instead of the whole path.

Additionally, the very bottom status bar, it would be nice if there was a way to hide it.

This sounds fine in theory but I don’t see this as being a very friendly UX practically. I’d be happy to look at some mockups to change me of that opinion though and I’ll be sure to play around with it myself.

Up till now it has not been very feasible to do this (at least for IDE) as it includes essential tools (section list being the most prominent one). However with Komodo 9 these tools will be made somewhat redundant with the introduction of Commando, so a setting to hide this might indeed make sense. Thanks for the suggestion.

If I haven’t a choice, then I want a light theme. Dark themes are notoriously difficult for those of us with any color blindness issues (a significant portion of the population). I have a very slight red/green color blindness and even for that slight degree of impairment, dark themes are problematic. But, I still want a choice!

As for the bottom panel, most people have wide screens these days, and it’s vertical, not horizontal, real estate that is at a premium. I always turn the bottom pane off to increase the vertical real estate, both for the editor and the side bars. When it’s needed, it pops up on it’s own, anyhow.

Is there a link to an explanation of the ‘commando’ feature? I’ve yet to be able to get a functional version of the alpha running on my system… it fails to start up codeintel.

The latest pre-release builds should be working fine:
and it fixes the codeintel issue (as far as I’m aware).

@toddw, I have the alpha up now, thanks. I saw the prefs for commando, but I still don’t really know what it is, how to invoke it or how to use it. Does it have something to do with the new search box on the menu bar? Is there anything you can link to to explain commando?

Sorry there is no documentation yet. You can open Commando with ctrl+shift+o (or cmd+shift+o on a Mac) and you can set keybindings by searching for “Commando” in the keybinding preference screen.

Please create a separate thread for questions unrelated to the topic of this thread though, such that we don’t loose focus :slight_smile: Thanks.

I prefer dark themes in general, although I have noticed on the current stable release the Abyss theme has some areas that don’t feel styled entirely. The success message after a plugin is installed is a good example of what I mean.

Either way, what you’ve done to the Commando window looks really good. I like that there is extra line height and the icons make it easy to identify the file type. I’m a relentless Fast Open user, but I feel the dialog in v8.5 is cramped, whereas this is much easier to read.

The addon dialog is a bit of an anamoly as it’s one of the few (if not only) places where we copied UI directly from Firefox. As such the styling here is a bit different. It’s still TBD if I’ll fix this for Komodo 9 or replace it with something more targeted at Komodo.

Next design change, the loading animation. Please see and share your opinion.