Author Topic: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request  (Read 7803 times)

jflamm

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Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« on: July 11, 2006, 05:51:13 am »
Hello,

I have been using SlickEdit for a while.

I appreciate the tabbed window selection, but the vertical split does not work well in conjunction with this.  In Visual Studio .NET 2003 and 2005 (sorry to use Microsoft as an example), you can create new vertical splits and drag windows between the splits.  The windows don't have their title bars - they appear in "full screen" mode, except they fill just their partition.  This is a much more effective use of screen space and more functional than what is implemented in Visual SlickEdit which looks more like Visual Studio 6 from several years ago.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 01:22:10 pm by jflamm »

egads

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 12:09:05 pm »
Hello,

I have been using SlickEdit for a while.

I appreciate the tabbed window selection, but the vertical split does not work will in conjunction with this.  In Visual Studio .NET 2003 and 2005 (sorry to use Microsoft as an example), you can create new vertical splits and drag windows between the splits.  The windows don't have their title bars - they appear in "full screen" mode, except they fill just their partition.  This is a much more effective use of screen space and more functional than what is implemented in Visual SlickEdit which looks more like Visual Studio 6 from several years ago.

I was at the Embedded Systems Conference in SanJose this year and SlickEdit had a booth there.  I brought this subject up with the person at the booth.  I also suggested that I would like to be able to create a horizontal split the way VS6 and UltraEdit work, just click on and drag the small rectangle just above the vertical scroll bar.  The guy at the booth was kind of rude and went on to say VSE's way was better and the other way was stupid.  I've since quit using VSE and now use something else thats not quite as powerfull as VSE, but it is cheaper and pretty much does what I need...

Tim Kemp

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2006, 12:59:52 pm »
That's a shame.  My experience has been that the SlickEdit team is open to suggestions and that they try to be accommodating.  (They can take a while to implement new features though, as noted throughout these forums.)

I'm not trying to make excuses for the guy at the show, he was rude and he shouldn't have been, but if you've ever had to work one of those things you know how exhausting they are.  I am sure they have made me act a bit unpleasant too.

jflamm

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2006, 01:21:40 pm »
Can't comment on Visual SlickEdit team, since I have had no interaction with them.

I want to clearly state that the SlickEdit interface is certainly NOT the best.  It is feature-rich but from a UI perspective it has always lagged Visual Studio and to a lesser extent Eclipse.  I have used VSE for many years and this has always been the case - nice features but marginal UI.  Where Visual Studio has drastically IMPROVED the interface from Visual Studio 6 to Visual Studio .NET, SlickEdit has made only a handful of incremental (UI) changes.

Upgrading to VSE 11 was a tough call since the interface is somewhat better - but still not really in the same league as Visual Studio.

Optimizing tabs and screen layout is a critical element for a user's productivity (this is especially true on laptops).  I wish VSE would improve in these areas - and in general polish on the UI.  For me, I will not continue to spend $100 plus for upgrades unless these areas are addressed.  I have used Visual SlickEdit on and off for several years the the lack of polish is what prevents me from staying with this program.  For me, it's not worth setting up all the hooks (and taking advantage of its functionality) which is a shame.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 01:36:16 pm by jflamm »

rwehrli

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2006, 08:50:46 pm »
Can't comment on Visual SlickEdit team, since I have had no interaction with them.

I want to clearly state that the SlickEdit interface is certainly NOT the best.  It is feature-rich but from a UI perspective it has always lagged Visual Studio and to a lesser extent Eclipse.  I have used VSE for many years and this has always been the case - nice features but marginal UI.  Where Visual Studio has drastically IMPROVED the interface from Visual Studio 6 to Visual Studio .NET, SlickEdit has made only a handful of incremental (UI) changes.

Upgrading to VSE 11 was a tough call since the interface is somewhat better - but still not really in the same league as Visual Studio.

Optimizing tabs and screen layout is a critical element for a user's productivity (this is especially true on laptops).  I wish VSE would improve in these areas - and in general polish on the UI.  For me, I will not continue to spend $100 plus for upgrades unless these areas are addressed.  I have used Visual SlickEdit on and off for several years the the lack of polish is what prevents me from staying with this program.  For me, it's not worth setting up all the hooks (and taking advantage of its functionality) which is a shame.

I think that you've made some really valid points, however, I'd like to contrast some of them with some alternative points of view.

First of all, I agree with you that the UI isn't "all that."  It is my belief that the editor should be code-centric and programmer-responsive (and reasonably customizable), not necessarily the "wax" or "spinners" on the Caddy SUV.  In fact, too much glorified UI detracts from the coding work, IMO.  I'm not saying that there are not plenty of areas where some improvements can be made, rather that for the most part, the UI does a successful job at being low key so that the code is what is given the attention, so to speak.

Secondly, I think that it is unfair to compare SE to VStudio/et al.  There are more people on just the GUI team of VS than are in the entire company at SE.  Also, VS doesn't *have* to run on Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Mac and others.

Thirdly, when it comes to customizing VS, you basically have VBScript/VBA...unless something new has come out in the past few years.  That aspect of it has always been a "thorn" in my side because I don't want to learn YAPL (yet another programming language) just so I can modify my editor.  Slick-C is very C-centric and since I'm a (mostly) C/C++ programmer, it is rather natural compared to VB for (at least) me.

I think that we all appreciate many of the benefits of probably several different editors and long for those same benefits to be in our daily editor.  My feeling is that SE is arriving at that destination, but the course is a long journey and not every feature is going to be implemented when I or you or anyone else necessary wants it, rather when the SE organization is able to accommodate it.

These forums are an excellent opportunity for all of us to make more meaningful contributions back to the editor.  We can continue to offer our advice, recommendations and such.


Take Care.

Rob!

jflamm

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 12:12:41 am »
From a consumer perspective, I am not concerned with how many people are on the staff of a company, I only care about the usability of the product.  This comment also applies to the cross-platform capabilities of VSE, although it costs another $200 (which I cannot justify) - so this doesn't apply to MY product.

The UI elements that I have commented on are not fancy ("wax" or "spinners"), they are actually quite the opposite:  simple and more efficient use of screen space so the user can see the code he/she is working on.  My comments are directed to the code windows and the mechanism for switching between them.

One of the most common things I do while coding is to work with several files, compare, or cut and paste elements.  Vertical splitting is a simple (code-centric) mechanism that allows more effective coding.  VSE simply doesn't handle this very well.  Try it in Visual Studio:  you can create vertical splits pull the vertical bar back and forth and drag files between the splits - it's not fancy, just very effective from a usability perspective.

None of my comments apply to VSE scripting.  My point here is that there is a learning curve to most programs/development systems.  If the core interface is not effective, then it is not worth delving deeper.

VSE will choose to address these issues as they see fit.  Note that I have purchased VSE 10 AND the VSE 11 upgrade.  To quote a line from Wayne's World, "I am a fan."  This doesn't mean I will continue to shell out money.  I actually use VIM since it is sometimes more effective and less cluttered to open multiple windows.  I have taken this time to give honest opinions to the Visual SlickEdit team.  Thanks for listening.

Erica

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 02:35:31 am »
I have taken this time to give honest opinions to the Visual SlickEdit team.  Thanks for listening.


Thank you for participating and we are listening.  This is exactly why we initiated this Forum.  We have talked internally about reaching out to our customer base to freely exchange ideas and to hear what you like and what you would like to see either added or changed.  The fact that not everything will be a glowing endorsement is reality, though we do appreciate to hear it in a constructive way.  We can handle honest and we do promise to consider everything that is written. 

Our hope as we begin this Forum is that our customers are most interested in sharing ideas as a means to make the product better.  We enjoy hearing from our customers and we want to provide a place for you to share ideas with fellow power programmers.  We are passionate about editing and work daily to make SlickEdit the best editor on the planet.

I sincerely thank you for participating and you can be sure we are listening!

Erica,
Pres/COO

SharmanJ

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006, 06:42:29 pm »
History - old time user of SlickEdit and have had to use CodeWright7.5 here at work until persuading the company to switch to VSE11.  CW is old and no longer supported but does support the thumb style split window and I miss it dreadfully.
The thumb style was good because of several reasons:
Single window to move about/reduce and enlarge;
Minimal loss of window space;
Easy to manipulate the relative area;
Visual comparisons of two blocks were not broken up with display furniture.
- all issues with VSE style of operation.
So, please implement this option as it is not something we can 'program' (overcome) with the macro language.
Regards
J.

Clark

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Re: Split Tabbed Window Functionality Request
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2006, 05:53:57 pm »
I'm the CTO and I like the tabbed windows done like Visual Studio 2005.  It will be a while before we have this though.  You as the customer know exactly what you want.  Unfortunately, this is not what everyone wants.  We could have an option for it but I'm not real keen on that.  I'd guess at least 75% of the users would be happy with the switch.  Some very happy.  I'd be happy :-)  I, like the rest of you here NEVER use overlapped MDI windows.  Anyone using Brief, Emacs, or SlickEdit emulation never uses overlapped MDI windows either.

Some users might be mad that a maximized window gets less space because the tab itself takes up space.  This would be the one thing that would bother me.  Maybe a user configurable font for the tabs would help this problem.  Maybe an option to display tabs only if the window is not maximized.  Hummmmm...I kind of like that option.  Obviously, I'm not a user who selects a buffer by clicking on a tab.

The group I worry about is a vocal group of users that have very large monitors and like to maximize SlickEdit.  Some users maximize SlickEdit across multiple monitors.  Sounds screwey but it's true.  These users are constantly complaining that our MDI windows are too big.   They want more control than tiling.

As for the SlickEdit overall UI,  Yep, it could use more improvements.  If we only dealt with Windows, this would be really easy even with the small size of the SlickEdit team.  Unix, even now, has a big GUI problem.  Simply put, there isn't enough of a standard GUI on Unix.  If there was, we wouldn't have to waste our time writing our own GUI layer for Unix which has support hooking into GTK and QT apps.  If you pick QT, then you can't use Gecko (drop in Web browser control) and you can't yet realistically integrate with a GTK app (needed when integrating with Eclipse).  If you pick GTK, you get non-OO API and a much less rich set of features.  SWT, used by Eclipse, is out of the question because SlickEdit would run too slooooooooow and would require Java.   My hope is that the QT folks re-implement QT to use the GTK event loop.  This would probably make QT attractive enough for us to use it.