i’m not here to post my rant about the last 2 versions of Komodo but i definetely don’t understand what you are trying to achieve with these graphical UI downgrades.
There are so many things that changed for worse i just don’t know where to start…
dark menu backgrounds on dark editor backgrounds
EVERYTHING looks the same, there is really no visual difference, funny when trying to find something
font sizes too small
program exceeds screen and menu is only visible by half
playmobile style menu bar with no visual differences…except those 3 icons on the top right corner in yellow, green and red. Those are really important, i need the close button 73813 times when coding
when opening a multilevel menu, it looks like if i lay 3 pages of my newspaper with just text next to each other, no margins, just plain text, no differences - just unusable
These are just about 5% which makes the software completely useless. I really tried to work with this version but absolutely no chance. The complete user interface and design makes daily work impossible. So i will stay with version 8, which was the last usable version.
Why is here so less discussion about these changes, is everyone happy with this layout (which i can’t imagine) or do people loose interest in this software? Do you guys have no UI Designer in your company? Why is there no poll or something similar inside komodo to give feedback or are you guys so convinced that everything is well (and this is what i think) that you loose track for the really important things?
If i plan a software i’ll use everyday for work, there are just a few conditions that must be met:
I must be fast at work and the software MUST BE EASY AND INTUITIVE TO USE
I’ll have to find important things immediately and they MUST BE CLEAR VISIBLE
I’d like to adjust my workspace that it fits my needs
I don’t need an adobe photoshop like design (which is by the way infinetely times better compared to komodo 9 and 10), the only reason i’ll use such a software is that it assists me in work. Komodo 9 and 10 definitely doesn’t do that any more.
If this would be my company i would be in red alert cause this is one of the biggest reasons a software will rise or fall. I have my own web development company and i know that usability is by far the most important thing to keep people using a software. There are so much alternatives outside that do better so i think this will be really vital for the future of Komodo.
I hope that you realize the problem and hear the voice of the users and your are not trying to put things into perspective or say “everything is ok because we developer have no problems at all”. This would lead you to a new but unavoidable direction: You would design the software just for your own - and would use it on your own…think about that.
This is only an issue on monitors with very low contrast ratio’s. I’ve tested this thoroughly and made significant changes to be viable for most monitor setups, but at the end of the day this is the bane of darker UI’s and if it doesn’t work well with your monitor I would recommend simply switching to a lighter color scheme.
If you don’t like the custom window borders you can enable the native window borders under Prefs > Appearance > Platform Integration > Use Native Window borders
I’m sorry you don’t like this change. I personally feel there are far too many menu’s to be decorating them all with icons as you wouldn’t be able to see the woods through all the trees, as we say in the Netherlands.
I’m sorry you feel this way. However based on your feedback thus far it seems to me the bulk of your concerns are very subjective and more important are perfectly addressable just by tweaking Komodo’s preferences. It seems your main concerns are that you do not like the default preferences, which while perfectly valid is an opinion that thus far does not appear to have many voices. Sadly we cannot please everyone with our default settings, it is simply impossible. Different people, different opinions.
To be perfectly honest with you I expected a lot more discussion, not because I wasn’t confident about the direction of Komodo X but because something as big as a new UI was bound to be polarizing no matter how well we did. The fact of the matter appears to be that we have no big discussions because the response appears to be overwhelmingly positive. Sure, not everyone likes the change. As I said we cannot please everyone. But for those who do not like the new UI we have gone out of our way to provide preferences where they could customize it in a way that they prefer.
Keep in mind that while we do not appear to be having any big discussions about this topic, we are getting an overwhelming amount of feedback. And thus far that feedback is overwhelmingly in favour of the new UI.
These are 2 topics that are BY FAR some of the most important objectives of Komodo X. We have made huge strides to makes Komodo easier to use and I think we have succeeded on many counts. Have we succeeded across the board? Are we finished? No of course not, we are not perfect. No one is. But we are very much listening to feedback and further making improvements where necessary.
I completely agree. I think my above post addresses this well.
You absolutely can, as is evident by my responses to your primary concerns. This stuff isn’t hidden at all, it’s there on the first Preferences page. I would strongly suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with Komodo’s customization options.
A company has to take risks in order to get anywhere, otherwise you stay stale and die. Unfortunately not everyone will like the risks you take.
I think putting things in perspective is absolutely something we should do. The perspective being that this is all very much subjective, and as such we need to listen to the community as a whole rather than to individuals alone. That’s not to say individuals have no voice; not at all - your concerns are very much noted and appreciated. One big take away for me is that we need to be better at communicating that all that you see is entirely optional, and if you don’t like it you CAN change it.
This is a screenshot of the Legacy Addon Manager, you would have launched it from a menu item that reads “Addons (Legacy)”. The fact that it is called Legacy indicates that it is deprecated and will soon be dropped entirely. This is the reason why it’s not properly styled and may exhibit some bugs.
I’m going to second the UI issues petewulf brings up. I won’t repeat, except perhaps about contrast. It seems like you’ve decided to throw contrast out the window. As with color, shape, position, size…contrast a useful tool for encoding information. There are precious few design axis that can be used to encode information - you can’t afford to throw one out. I understand that if you have a great monitor with very high contrast you can probably see a little contrast. Good for those people. The rest of us with normal monitors can’t see any.
The tools and hooks to customize and application UI are cool. I would love to have great tools and hooks like that to help build the UI of apps I’m paid to build. But we are not paid to build Komodo. I don’t really want to spend a day tweaking my IDE’s color scheme, any more than the color schemes of Word or Photoshop or any other app I just want to use. Building great color schemes for Komodo is your job. Make those tools an internal-only thing for you, or make them a special download for the hard core Komodo users that have the time to sit around all day tweaking their IDE’s colors.
Second, when it comes to color schemes, quantity does NOT make up for quality. There are so many color schemes that ship with Komodo, nearly all of them are somewhere been laughable and nauseating. One or two are usable. None are great. Adobe has it right: make one great light scheme and one great dark scheme. Maybe add a slider to allow you to set how light and dark. Done. That’s about all the customization I want to do with your app unless you pay me.
Third, the last couple of versions seem like UI experimentation…on us. I recall 9.3 moved the syntax checking feature in a little icon on the lower right, buried under a couple clicks and not nearly functional. As if syntax checking was not an important part of coding. Thankfully it has been moved back as full-time tab on the bottom pane in 10.0.
In 10 there seems to be the desire to move buttons all over the place. I was using my newly restored syntax checking tab in the bottom pane and wanted to refresh the results. In 9.2 there was a one-click button in or touching the syntax checking panel to refresh the results. It took me a few minutes to find the same feature in 10 - which has been moved as a sub menu under an icon on the upper left-hand edge of the UI. Thats about as far away from the syntax checking pane as you could put it. And its buried under two clicks. There is no possible way you can explain to me how that makes Komodo’s syntax checking panel easier to use than the 9.2 approach of putting similar functionality in the same proximity - with one click.
Another example: In 9.x if you search for text it would tell you adjacent the search box how many instances were found. Now that feature seems to be gone. But I spent 5 minutes looking all over the UI for it because version 10 has taught me to expect something like search results to be as far away from the obvious place…like the search box…as possible. Still can’t find it, but I’m expecting you to be able to send me a screen shot of how it was tucked in some corner a mile away from the search box, or under three mouse clicks.
I just don’t see any logic for many of these changes. I like your spirit of experimentation, but it feels like some of the UI experiments, like putting buttons in every corner of the UI for no apparent reason, have been tried by others and failed.
Getting a UI review from a third party might be helpful. Or pump up the debate over those design changes internally. Every time someone wants to change a color, shape, position, size, orientation or interaction there needs to be a debate: Does this make Komodo easier to use? Designate someone to be the devil’s advocate if your team is too much on the same page.
I’m also very hopeful that there are great UI advancements possible. You certainly have that spirit. More experimentation internally. Less on us. Thanks.
I think I have sufficiently addressed this in my first response. I will consider making further changes to this in the future, based on feeback. In any case you can simply switch to a color scheme that works better for you, you are in no way forced to use the default color scheme.
Komodo comes with nearly 20 color schemes that you can choose from. And any tweaking you do would hardly amount to a days worth of your time. All of the prefs I have referred to in this thread can be accessed and tested within the span of 5 minutes.
This is the first iteration of these brand new color schemes. I’m sorry they are not perfect across the board, this is something we’ll continue to focus on. I don’t see how having just 2 color schemes that you might both dislike would be of any help.
We’re not at all experimenting on anyone, but what we ARE doing is listening to our users. The syntax checker was a good example, many people spoke up about it and so we decided to bring it back.
This is a very good point, I’ve logged a bug here to put the button back into the syntax checking pane:
Note that while we have indeed move buttons around, it is precisely for consistency that we have done this. If you compare the Komodo 10 button placement with that of past versions you’ll see that past versions were far more inconsistent. We haven’t quite nailed it yet, but it’s definitely better than before.
I don’t follow this one, if anything we have removed buttons. The only place where we added buttons was in the left sidebar, and these buttons are in no way random and can be disabled if you so desire. I appreciate your concern but I feel this one could be based on false impressions.
This is definitely something that is on our mind as well. One thing we agreed upon when we set out to do this was that this would be the last large UI change for a while. After this we iterate and perfect it. For what it’s worth there were many technical reasons for us to redo large parts of the UI, it wasn’t just “we want something new and sexy”.
At the end of the day we need our users to tell us what they want. We have our pre-releases for this reason, where people can try out a new release months before it’s released and help shape it into it’s final form. Sadly no amount of internal or external testing will cover your full userbase, it will only ever serve to give you a general idea of how the average Komodo user experiences and enjoys the application.
About the last item in your big post Nathan, as far as I can see a lot of users just don’t know about pre-releases or the forums. I can’t call myself a long-time Komodo user, I’ve seen only 2 major migrations, but I don’t remember a lot of feedback about these pre-releases. I remember myself talking about some UI things, bugs and enhancements and a bunch of regular forums users doing the same, but the amount of these users is very small, from my point of view about 5-15 people. I don’t want to blame you nor I’m doing it right now by writing this post, I respect you as developers because you’re listening to users, but I just want to suggest to do more announcements about these pre-releases (not the nightlies!), so users could see what can possibly disappoint them in a new version.
Sending an e-mail to your user database would be a good choice in this case, something like “Komodo 11 is coming out soon! We want to hear your opinion about it on our Forums!” and a very beautiful text why the user should try it.
I don’t remember such a letter in my e-mail, I got it only when X was released, that means that “we did some major changes but we didn’t listen to your opinion during the final development, so here it is, try it :)” (don’t interpret this as blaming, that’s just what I think being a Komodo user).
Do more twitter, reddit, facebook, e-mail things to get the most maximum feedback from the community. You guys are cool and you don’t have any problems with listening users opinions and fix/implement what they want, so the only one problem that you don’t do enough “advertisement” of your pre-releases.
Thanks for the response. One thing you should do is rely less on users, like me, to tell you what we want. First off, we don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about most of the time. Second, we don’t have the time to do a thoughtful analysis comparing current state to possible future states, and suggest a logical course of action. We’ve got shoot-from-the-hip rants for you, that’s about it. Third, no one knows how to build an IDE better than you. Own your role as Michelangelos of the IDE and build a masterpiece that meets your world class standards. Then raise those standards and do it again. Sure, listening to customers needs to be a small part of the equation, but you’ve got to put the worlds highest ranking IDE geniuses in the drive’s seat. You wouldn’t let some opinionated spectator from the stands drive your Formula 1 car - you go with a first-rate world-class driver.
It’s a bit Apple-like to not do ask customers what they want - just show them what they want. That takes massive amounts of arrogance and ego. As a customer it’s kind of what I want from you. I don’t want to have to post 10 different little rants about what I’d like to see. I just want to turn your product on and have my jaw drop at the sheer brilliance of all the things a backseat IDE developer like me could not have thought of.
I don’t envy your job - building software that pleases the worlds leading arrogant and egotistical experts in IDE development (you) is a painfully difficult challenge. You might have to build something hundreds of times before the impossible-to-please nuts at the very top of the IDE world (once again, you) actually like it. That’s how great design works in architecture (my wife lives it) and every other field. The ‘we listen to the customer’ shtick is just an easy out of that nightmare. Don’t do it.
@Defman It’s a delicate balance, we don’t want to over-market the pre-release because it is after all a pre-release. I can tell you we definitely have far more than 15 people using them, though the amount that comes in and shares their insights is far less than the amount of people that use them. Additionally we get a ton of impressions on the pre-release blog post, but not everyone is interested in actually trying it out, a lot of people simply wait for the full release.
I don’t think advertisement of the pre-releases is the problem, the problem is simply that there aren’t enough users providing feedback on the pre-release. To which the only solution is to grow our community, which we are doing very well on, but there’s still a ways to go
Thank you for being cognitive of this And by that I don’t mean “you don’t know what you’re talking about”, I mean that listening to individual users is risky. You have to take everything with a grain of salt and always try to interpret the meaning behind someones needs, and then weigh it against the (interpreted) needs of your community at large. This is why being responsive to any one individuals concerns, such as the case in this thread, can be challenging.
None of that is to say that feedback is worthless, we still need your (by which I mean the community) feedback because while it does not provide direct answers it does give us all of the context we need to plan out the future of Komodo.
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. This is exactly the mindset that I try to use when working on Komodo; listen to your users, but don’t let them decide what the answer is. Not only do users more often than not not know “exactly” what they want, but additionally if we were to always listen to exactly what our users ask for we would never truly be innovative. I don’t want that to sound like “we don’t listen to our users” because that’s not what I mean at all. We listen to our users, but we create our own answers.
We will do our best to make this happen for you, and truly, I think for some users this HAS happened for Komodo X.
Please visit our forums more often, I very much enjoyed reading your response (that’s not meant to sound sarcastic - it’s not).
thanks for the fast reply. To clarify the point with the monitors and contrast: I have 2 Eizo Flexscan monitors which are meant to be used for graphical production and cost more than $1k per screen. So this is no argument - and if, this must be a bad joke. Its just a design problem.
Sure i can try to fiddle around hours and hours to maybe get a result i can live with…but this is not why i need this program cause i’m not a developer of the IDE. I’m the user and i have to work with that thing out of the box. 11px is not the size an end user will look at for 8+ hours a day so this must be at an acceptable size to be used out of the box for the mass. The few People who’d like to stare at 8px fonts can adjust that on their own.
No one said something about decorating every menu point with icons. The problem is that the font is stacked together, with no margins to the next item and no margin to the menu seperators. There is no ned to crowd all items with icons because that will only make the handling more unclear.
I also understand that this version is currently in development but as stated on the website it is promoted like an end-product which it is absolutely not. It’s still in beta and we users are beta tester. I have no time for that. It was already hard for me to find the time to write my opinion about this new versions. Normally i would stay still and continue using an older version or switch to another software. Maybe there are other people outside who also think so.
Why is there no integrated frequent polling or feedback system? Did you already got so much feedback from users who are perfectly happy with everything and the workflow so they really saved time in productive environment? Theres a big difference in “yeah, cool and modern interface, feels like an apple product” and “it speeds up my daily work and made everything easier”.
Its very risky to say that you hear to the community, but not at individuals alone - because the community is a composition of many individuals and i don’t think that your previously adresed overwhelming feedback comes from the majority of users. My first impression was also “looks cool” but as i’ve started working with it it was rather the opposite. So i would be careful when evaluating user feedback. I havent seen much thoroughly and specific feedback here in the forum.
Here are some specific examples where the interface is not well usable:
Whats with the selection? I cant read the text if its selected. This is a fundamental problem i don’t want to search and edit in the color preferences. Why are the arrows in blue and why is the border so fat? If my focus is in the text box because i’m currently typing i know where i’m at. What is the right arrow next to the “A” button? There is no Tooltip.
The search icons are not self explanating. Everytime i have to switch between case insensitive, smart case or whatever i’ll have to wait for the tooltip. There is another find dialog where clicking in the icon results in a dropdown with textual possibilities which is much better. Why are there different forms?
Curently opened files looks all the same. I’m working with MVC and a used to seperate the models, views and controllers by background color of the path they are currently located (i’ve used the extension “ColorTab” which isn’t working anymore). So i see immediately where i have to click if i need a specific view for example. How can i color them different based on their location now? I haven’f found any possibilities for that.
The main menu is cut by half and exceeds the monitor on the upper side. I can’t change anything about this behaviour because it seems like the font-height is not set properly.
Why are there 2 “find dialogues”? Whats the purpose and why is the handling different?
This is a comparison af the menu in v8 and v10. As you can see the v8 is much more clear, has decent margins and is much more readable than the new one. The old one has clear black text on light grey background. The new one has dark grey text on medium grey background (cause you’ve currently talked about contrast). This is nothing which a user should set up by himself. This is a fundamental UI element and MUST be clear out of the box - independent from the currently active color scheme.
What happened to the useful server based profile for syncing all the saved settings, especially server credentials? I was on a meeting with my notebook where i just installed Komodo X and tried to find the sync option to get on a remote server - and failed. Is that option gone? Do i have to insert every single server on all my workstations/notebooks or whatever computers again and again or is there any reason that this setting is hidden?
Whats the purpose of putting options and icons on most edges of the screen? (especially the ones in the left lower corner?) Now i have to look at the left bottom for some tools and/or in the menu. Is this intuitive to split up?
This is just a very small feedback from things i encountered in 5 Minutes of trying to work productively - but it costs me about an hour or more to write down. I don’t think that many users will give so detailed feedback - and the question is: will you honour this work or is this just an individual feedback from a single person out a big overwhelmed community where it seems that everything is already fine as it is and some minor tweakings would make the product nearly state of the art? I hope you get the point. There is much to do.
I find this very puzzling, as I have tested the UI across a variety of monitors, from the very low end to high end, and I simply have not seen this as an issue. Is it possible that your monitors are not properly calibrated?
The font size issue has been duly noted as a concern by many, we will be doing two things on this in a future release:
Increase the default font size on Windows and OSX (Linux seems to be fine)
Make it much simpler to adjust both the font face and font size (independent from color scheme).
As for spending hours customizing Komodo, I mean you could certainly do that but that is by no means necessary. As I said the customizations I suggested can be accessed within the span of 5 minutes.
I miss-understood. Comparing to OS context menu’s now it does seem like it is a bit narrow. I’ve opened a bug for this here:
It is in no way still a beta nor are you being “tested” upon. Of course it is still “in development”, in the sense that software is always and will forever be in a perpetual state of development. This is simply how software works. Version 10 does have some rough edges, I will admit, but these rough edges can only be sanded down by actually using Komodo, and in no way do they constitute an unstable or a beta release. Additionally why it may add some rough edges I feel it resolves many more rough edges that were present in eg. 8.5, which you still use.
We use our forums and github for this, we have received both types of feedback. I am sorry to say that while your opinion is valued, it does not appear to be a popular opinion at this time.
The only alternative is to not evaluate user feedback, which obviously is not an option. I’ve never said we don’t listen to the individuals alone, I meant that we put your individual opinion in context of what the community wants.
A good and basic example: We had a poll a while ago on whether users prefer a dark or a light scheme, many preferred dark schemes but some preferred light. They were even quite passionate about dark schemes being awful and light being the way to go. Sadly at the end of the day they were the minority. Did we not listen to them? Of course not, we added a slew of light schemes that they can pick from, we added a classic mode specifically for these types of users so that they could make Komodo their own. But we could not and will not make Komodo’s default conform to the ideals of just a few people when the voices of many more people say otherwise. Sadly we cannot please everyone with the default settings, but we can empower you to change these settings; which we did.
The selection color is an issue. Could you tell me what color scheme this is? I think it’s Redmond but rather be sure.
The rest is wholly subjective, but duly noted.
They have always been different, they are in Komodo 8.5 too. That said I do agree with you, this flawed redundancy is an annoyance and it’s something that I intend to look into for a future release.
You have never been able to color them differently, that has always been a third party addon. However if you use MVC I would strongly suggest you give the Open Files widget a try, as it allows you to group your files by pattern. See http://komodoide.com/screencasts/open-files-widget/.
This is a bug in Komodo X and will soon be resolved in the first patch release. You can enable Preferences > Appearance > Platform Integration > Use native window borders to work around the bug, or use Commando to access your menu items (just type in their name).
I’ve addressed this above.
I agree with you, the bug I created above will improve this.
This was removed back in Komodo 9. It will be re-introduced but unfortunately the code that this ran on was very flawed and we could not maintain it any longer.
Currently you cannot move these icons (at least not without touching some code), but this is a planned feature. As for putting them in the corner; well to be honest these are not tools that you are likely to be using that often that they would need to be at the center of your screen, and if they were you would most likely set up keybindings for them. Additionally in an editor pretty much -everything- is at the side of your screen, because your “editor” is at the center. We could put it in the main toolbar but this toolbar is easily over-populated already.
Of course we will honour your work, you have already effected our planning on some fronts. But we’re not going to directly address every single one of your concerns, as I said many of them are subjective and in this regard you are indeed just one voice and we have to listen to our community at large. That doesn’t mean that these comment falls on deaf ears, it only means that we need to put it into context.
Regarding to your answer with the open files dialog: Maybe this is an alternative to colored tabs. Although there is no option to make files easier visually by adding colors to specific folders/types it may be adequate to use. It would be a good visual easement to have an option to easy set a color by right clicking on a grouped heading and set a color so your eyes will instantly find the right section.
But there’s still one thing which currently makes no sense: If i’m working with “open files” instead of the tabs, i’d like to hide the tabs on top cause it’s only confusing to see the same files twice on screen and “open files” is much more clearly arranged on screen than “tabs”. Is there an option to hide “tabs”? I haven’t found a setting referring to this.
After spending some time with it I think my biggest annoyance with the new version is the scrollbars. I hate them. They are hard to find and too small to get hold of. I don’t see the place to change this in the preferences but I know there was a place in previous versions.
Komodo people just seem to be following in the stream started (probably) by Microsoft (or more likely by Apple, now that I think about it) - the overriding priority is to make things look “modern” (which some misguided souls consider “beautiful”), with no concern for usability. But, that’s what the masses, apparently, want.
People generally see color (those who don’t, still perceive contrast, if they see at all) - Komodo acknowledges that by using color in code highlighting. Why on Earth not for elements of UI ?!?
Further, one of the main factors influencing one’s productivity with a tool is familiarity with it - constant chasing of UI fashion does not help here at all. Once upon a time, when DECWindows UI standards were adopted by both Microsoft and X consortium (or whatever that was/is called), one had consistent visual cues on most platforms, because usability was the goal, not standing out or being perceived as “the leader”. Not any more, sadly.
Mercifully, Komodo Edit 11 I am installing now does allow the user to revert the look and feel to almost sane values (they even call it in the vein of “I like it as it was” (that is, “I actually work with the damned thing”), and that option is now a part of installation or initial setup procedure - THANK YOU!).
Komodo IDE has the exact same options in this field as Edit does. We worked hard on features that acknowledge exactly your concern here, we fully realise some people want the “classic” approach. You have to realise though that like it or not you are the minority, and so the burden of discovering these features falls on you.
That said they are in the exact same place in IDE as they are in edit, so I’m not sure why you are faulting IDE and praising edit.
I realize I am in minority, Nathan, and that’s what I cannot understand. Does “coolness” and “modernity” really trump usability for most users ?
You misunderstood (and I was not clear) re IDE / Edit. I use only the latter, but understand that they take the same approach, so, for the purpose of this discussion, are interchangeable. I just mentioned the particular experience with the version I am using.
I don’t really agree that the usability is negatively affected, what I think is happening is we have an older generation that grew up with UI’s different from the ones the younger generations are growing up with. You prefer the older ones both in terms of appearance and in terms of experience because that is what you are most used to. Least that’s my theory. Aside from the UI changes the UX has actually vastly improved in many places, though I’m sure that’s being overshadowed by the UI for you.