I’ve been using the Komodo IDEv9 early releases almost exclusively for the past couple months and would like to offer the following feedback on items in the new UI that feel like they need a bit of polish. Hopefully, the Komodo team will take this as constructive criticism and can address these as v9 continues to evolve. All of this feedback is based on my use of v9 on Mac OS X 10.9.x and 10.10, so some of the items I will offer feedback on may be specific to that platform. I’ve included 3 screenshots and have referenced them where appropriate below. And in the interest of fairness, there is much about the new UI that I like.
For background, I’ve used Komodo Edit or IDE as my day-in/day-out editor professionally and personally for Web application development and most other plain-text editing since the v4 days. For the past 6+ years, I’ve worked almost exclusively with Komodo on Mac OS X with a bit of work here and there on Linux systems.
- New icons are slow: Move to a folder with hundreds or thousands of files and it can take a significant period of time for the icons to be drawn in the “Places” panel. One example of this is any icon library; we use the Fugue icons, among others, in several of our projects and it can be painful to watch the icons being drawn and labeled.
- New icons are inconsistently spaced: Compare the vertical spacing of the new icons in the “Places” panel with those of “Open Files” panel. Visually, the spacing of the “Places” panel is more appealing with a slight gap between the icons. To be fair, as shown in the screenshot of v8, the spacing there is also inconsistent but the slightly smaller icons in v8 do leave a small gap between them in the “Open Files” panel rather than having the smashed against each other there as v9 currently does. (Screenshots 1, 2)
- New icons are inconsistently sized: Compare the size of the new icons in either the Places or Open Files panels with those of the file type panel available in the status bar at the bottom of the editor. I would vote for making the file type panel consistent with the spacing and sizing of the Places panel. Compare that panel in v9 to it’s implementation in v8, and the v9 implementation looks like it still needs some work. (Screenshots 1, 2)
- New icons are inconsistently colored and labeled: Compare the icon colors and labels applied to CFM files in the v9 screenshot. Grey with “TXT” in the file type panel (even though the Komodo extension registers “.cfm” as the primary file extension), but an interesting shade of brown (?) for the editor tab and the “Open Files” panel, along with the “CFM” label on the icon. Ideally, all of these would be consistently colored and labeled. In addition, all registered file extensions for a given file type would be treated consistently in terms of colors and labeled appropriately. (Screenshot 1)
- Spacing of icon, filename, and close icon on editor tabs should be addressed: The close icon is smashed up against the filename, and would benefit visually from some horizontal spacing. Compare that with the spacing in v8. Although I almost never have editor tabs shown, and rely on the “Open Files” panel instead, this is something I noticed and wanted to raise. (Screenshots 1, 2)
- The highlight color on the popup that provides attribute support for HTML tags and CSS attributes (for example) would benefit from some additional contrast with the background of the panel and/or the color of the text for each entry. I switch between a light and a dark color scheme depending on light and setting (color schemes tweaked from the Solarized palette), and in both cases – but particularly with the dark panel used in the darker color scheme – it is very difficult to see at a glance which is the currently highlighted entry from the list. I find myself moving the selection up and down to try to make sure I have the right attribute highlighted. (Screenshot 3)
- The combination of colors, shadows, etc., used in the status bar are simply not as clear or legible as the status bar in versions prior to v9. (Screenshot 1)