Direction of Komodo

@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 :slight_smile:

Thank you for being cognitive of this :wink: 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 :slight_smile: (that’s not meant to sound sarcastic - it’s not).

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Hi naatan,

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.

Hi naatan,

thank you for your feedback.

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.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Creating custom open files patterns/styling

Sorry to interrupt but should these last few messages go into a new thread? There was great discussion above but this seems to be veering into a “How to topic” that people might find equally helpful.

  • Carey

Fair point, I’ll split it off.

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.

Hey @Meatwad! Love your show! You should get Carl, Master Shake and Frylock to do another season!..

Umm…any way, You can customize any aspect of the Komodo UI now, either through setting global CSS variables or adding custom CSS to the color scheme editor.

Someone asked this exact question about 5 days ago:

NOTE: The @special in the CSS is the item in the interface list so if you want to change the color change it’s setting in the dialog.

Also note I’ve filed a bug for this to change it to a lighter colour: https://github.com/Komodo/KomodoEdit/issues/1802

  • Carey
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Thanks for the support! I’ll check out the link.

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Hear, hear!

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.

Ahh I see, that explains things :slight_smile:

Of course that’s one part of it - as I said, familiarity impacts productivity, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” etc. But I really think that visual cues are useful. Take multi-level default menus Peter griped about - they really look like dense columns of newspaper print on cheap recycled pulp - two shades of grey on another shade of grey, with no separator between the main menu and submenu. You said that icons would make it too cluttered - I agree, but more contrast and clearly delineated submenu wouldn’t.

I understand you didn’t invent this - I am finally getting used to Win 10 UI. OK, at first glance it does look “cleaner”. But, how does one know which window has focus? Well, one doesn’t, except by the merest hint of a shadow it “casts” on those below it. And if the window has panes, it is almost impossible to tell them apart from proper windows. The same is happening with web sites - light grey on even lighter grey - I often have to select the text to be able to read it (or use one of those “reader” browser plug-ins that remove all clutter and use sensible fonts and colors).

But enough of us grumpy old men complaining… :o)

(BTW, for the life of me I cannot find a way to enable code folding symbols. Folding (from View menu) works, but nice old intuitive symbols are not there. How do I get them back? )

Thanks!

To be clear I agree with just about everything you’ve said, but these annoyances are to a degree the nature of a brand new UI which doesn’t have years of polish behind it. That’s what’s ahead of us.

You can change the fold marking style via Preferences > Editor > Smart Editing > Folding.

See, that’s what we are talking about: I was perhaps ten times there, and didn’t notice “>” sign in front of “Edit”, indicating there are submenus there…

BTW, fold marks are turned on (I tried various), but I still don’t see them anywhere - shouldn’t they be next ot line numbers?

Thanks!

That’s what the bug tracker is for :slight_smile:

Also wondering if perhaps contrast issues is why you can’t see fold markers?

For what it’s worth, I too have issues with contrast in Komodo and we’ve been improving it as we go. I definitely do NOT prefer the previous design. I much rather use the new design. But as Nathan said, it’s a new design and we’re working on fixing the glitches. As long as people report them we’re happy to fix them as we can :). Also note that Komodo is crazy customization so in mean time a lot of things can be fixed in the Tools > Color Scheme Editor. If it’s not fixable by a predefined CSS rule you can add custom CSS.

Thanks for the feedback @Dragi_Raos and reaching out for help.

  • Carey

Well, almost… :o)

Thank you, guys. This seems to be a very nice and lively community.

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Re: code folding symbols – this has come up before, and it’s typically the color theme that does not draw the symbols in enough contrast with the margin background color. Try changing the “Fold Icon” foreground color.