Author Topic: Smart Open Issues  (Read 15866 times)

jim

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Smart Open Issues
« on: April 03, 2009, 09:56:42 pm »
Hi folks,

Just upgraded to SE2009, and I'm having a hard time making the adjustment to Smart Open.  I don't use projects or workspaces, and instead just leave the "open" sidebar up all the time, so I can click through my source tree and open files as needed.  Smart Open doesn't seem to be as friendly to this style of work, instead opting for a "type your filename and we'll find it in your workspace" approach.  Are there workarounds (or am I missing something) regarding these issues?:

   [1] The directory pane behavior is uncomfortably non-standard, with only the arrows expanding folders, and only double-click showing the file list for that folder.  Single-clicking a folder does nothing.  I don't think I've encountered another tree control (at least in Windows) that behaves this way.

   [2] Related, the scrolling of the directory pane is awkward, and the thing I'm clicking on is constantly jumping out from under my mouse, so I have to hunt for the subfolders I want subsequently click on.  Also, the rendering on the double-click is funky.  Sometimes it flickers like it *wants* to expand, sometimes a copy of the folder I double-clicked appears above the original folder, and sometimes the parent folder disappears!

   [3] When I manage to pick the directory I want, the file list in the other pane also includes the subdirectories, so I have to scroll past them to get to the file I want.  It seems like one pane should be directories, and the other should be files in the selected directory.

   [4] I thought I could just avoid all this by using the Smart Open feature, but it doesn't appear to search into the selected folder, it just searches open files, workspaces, and history.  Is there a way to make it search the selected folder and subfolder for those of us who don't use workspaces?

Finally, if I'm out of luck on all this stuff, is there a way to use the old File Open pane?  The only other option I can see is to use the file open dialog, but I definitely wants something I can keep docked for these purposes.

Thanks!

Jim

chrisant

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2009, 12:09:14 am »
I don't use projects or workspaces, and instead just leave the "open" sidebar up all the time, so I can click through my source tree and open files as needed.  Smart Open doesn't seem to be as friendly to this style of work, instead opting for a "type your filename and we'll find it in your workspace" approach.
It is optimized for a "type something and I'll show you things that match it, from various places" approach.  So if you know what you're trying to find, it is good at zeroing in quickly.  But if you don't know quite what you're looking for and need to visually browse to find the unknown thing, then yeah it's not going to be as good for that.

@SlickTeam:  Adding an option "Show directories in the file list" (default to ON, for the current behavior) could let the user choose which approach they prefer.


   [3] When I manage to pick the directory I want, the file list in the other pane also includes the subdirectories, so I have to scroll past them to get to the file I want.  It seems like one pane should be directories, and the other should be files in the selected directory.
Having the directories show up in the file list allows filtering and auto completion of directories as well as files.  In a sense, it's kind of the "smartest" part of the new Smart Open toolbar.  (Reasonable minds may disagree on the degree of "smart" ;)).


   [4] I thought I could just avoid all this by using the Smart Open feature, but it doesn't appear to search into the selected folder, it just searches open files, workspaces, and history.  Is there a way to make it search the selected folder and subfolder for those of us who don't use workspaces?
It should already be searching the selected folder (i.e. the "current directory" as shown just above the directory tree).  It does in my SE.  I frequently open files that aren't in the workspace.  Scanning subfolders on the fly could be annoying, it would result in the editor going unresponsive for periods of time depending on the total number of files across all subfolders.

jim

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 02:33:29 pm »
I like the idea of making showing directories in the file list optional.

I guess the big disconnect for me is that I use the File Open panel to browse and open files, not really to search through my buffers or workspace, and now that functionality has been melded, to the detriment of my ability to browse and open files.  Alas!

What I really would have wanted is for the list-buffers dialog to have been updated with this functionality instead.  Actually, it looks like it has been a bit, are the "Project" and "Workspace" tabs new?  The quick filtering hasn't changed, though.  You still can't filter on directory name here.  And being able to reorder the buffers would be nice.  But I digress...

It would have made more sense to me to update list-buffers to better support the "type stuff to find a file" approach, while optimizing the File Open panel for, well, opening files.  :-)

Bummer.  I hate to downgrade, but making it harder for me to browse and open files is a pretty big dent in my workflow.

chrisant

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 05:43:39 pm »
The "Projects" and "Workspaces" tabs were new in 12, I believe.

As far as I can tell, the only part of the new Smart Open that is being detrimental to you, is that the directories show up in the file list.  Is that correct?  Just trying to nail down specifics, so the SlickTeam can address them.

jim

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 06:21:25 pm »
I would say the main things are:

  [1] The directory list showing up in the file list.  It would be great to be able to turn that off.

  [2] The directory list (the lower pane) jumping around as I double-click folders in a manner that makes it hard to drill down into subfolders.  I often have to double-click a folder, scroll to where I can see the subfolders, double-click the subfolder, scroll.... etc.

  [3] Hard-to-reproduce UI glitches in the directory list (lower pane), where parent folders disappear on double-click of a child folder, or the child folder appears duplicated above itself.  Here's a screenshot:

   http://www.biancolo.com/jim/slick_fileopen.gif

Thanks!

Jim

jim

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 06:49:25 pm »
Oh, for [3] it's not that hard to reproduce, I can usually make it happen just by double-clicking around for a bit until it goes wonky, it's just hard to reproduce consistently. 

Ironically, it happens often enough that I have to use the directories in the upper pane to get anywhere, and to "reset" the lower pane.  So I won't be able to take advantage of a future option to hide those directories until the bottom pane behaves better.  I also have another:

   [4] Double-clicking a directory (lower pane) will collapse it, but it doesn't expand it.

Thanks again!

Jim

Tim Kemp

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 09:52:58 pm »
You aren't kidding.  I haven't really used the smart open much but I just tried it after reading about your problems.  When you start expanding and collapsing directories "wonky" is a pretty good description of what happens.  BTW it happens if you click on the arrows to expand and collapse too, no double clicking required.

I got three computer/favorite pairs.  Do I win something?   ;D

- Tim

Clark

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 03:48:48 pm »
Oh, for [3] it's not that hard to reproduce, I can usually make it happen just by double-clicking around for a bit until it goes wonky, it's just hard to reproduce consistently. 

Ironically, it happens often enough that I have to use the directories in the upper pane to get anywhere, and to "reset" the lower pane.  So I won't be able to take advantage of a future option to hide those directories until the bottom pane behaves better.  I also have another:

   [4] Double-clicking a directory (lower pane) will collapse it, but it doesn't expand it.

Thanks again!

Jim


Thanks for catching the double-click problem. There should be a hot fix for the folder drawing problem soon.  I'm running with it which is why I'm not getting the drawing problems. An option to show the directories in the file list is a good idea.

JeffB

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 05:08:10 pm »
What does this "directory list" that is in the "upper pane" look like ?  All I see in the upper pane when using the "Smart Open" is a list of files, with "Name" and "Path" columns.  Is that what everyone is referring to ?

Thanks,
Jeff

jim

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009, 05:15:12 pm »
@JeffB: yeah that's the pane.  In addition to listing files in the currently selected directory, it also lists subdirectories of the currently selected directory.

JeffB

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2009, 05:24:43 pm »
Thanks, Jim.  I see what you mean...I didn't even notice the directories listed there.

At first I had my hopes up thinking we may finally have a normal file browser where the directory tree and files are all together in the same listing (and I, for some reason, wasn't seeing it).

-Jeff

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2009, 08:29:15 pm »
Hey Jim, thanks for all the feedback on this. We're looking into each and every one of those issues. We've tried to make the Open tool window equally accessible to mouse and keyboard users, where previously it wasn't as useful for keyboard-centric users. By putting the directories into the top pane, you can filter them along with filenames so that you don't have to take your hands of the keyboard to navigate. Adding matching for workspaces, open files, and file history shouldn't interfere with your use of this tool window--it's just a little extra matching to make it easier to open a file regardless of where it is. We're looking into adding an option to not display the folders in the top pane.

I do have to ask, though: why aren't you using workspaces/projects? Much of what we can do for you depends on having your files in a workspace so we can tag them. Once that is done, you can quickly jump from a symbol to its definition or view a list of references. You can even use the Preview pane to see definitions without having to even open the file. I find that this allows me to navigate my code much quicker and more naturally. I follow logical connections rather than having to think about the physical location so much. Plus there's completions, auto parameter info, auto-list parameters, and more. Workspaces and projects are easy to set up. We can quickly suck in a directory tree and tagging is pretty quick.

Keep an eye out for hotfixes. We'll have solutions to most of these pretty quickly.


jim

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2009, 02:21:51 am »
@ScottW, thanks for the reply, and I appreciate you looking into these issues!  I do web programming almost exclusively, mostly ColdFusion and SQL Server stuff, and I didn't think projects/workspaces would do as much for me since I don't really deal with a debug/compile cycle.  I'd love to see a screencast that demonstrated the power of that style of work though, because when I read the help it didn't really get me excited to try it out.  I might be a bit of an odd case, though.  I usually turn off color coding because I find it distracting (I set up my own "Jim" language that only subtly colors the comments, and otherwise leaves the rest of my code all black-on-white, and have pretty much all file extensions mapped to that).  I tried autocomplete for awhile, but found the appearance of the drop-downs in my typing distracting, and more often than not I don't need them.  For those functions and tags with parameters I can't remember, I have some AutoHotKey scripts that expand those automatically, and since they are in AHK I can use them anywhere (Notepad, e-mail, IM, etc.). 

So really I use SE because at its core it's a kick-ass text editor.  It's the only editor I've found since Codewright (and I've tried a bunch) that does multi-file find-and-replace right.  It has column select and insert.  It has a good diff tool.  I can switch buffers easily with a couple keystrokes (this could be improved by allowing the list-buffers dialog to filter based on directory in addition to filename, and by being able to reorder the buffers - I miss those Codewright features).  That is the core of why I like it, and I like it for that a lot, my compliments!

Once Smart File Open is working, I might look into projects/workspaces again simply so I can take advantage of the ability to find files in the project to open quickly by hitting Ctrl+O and typing a few characters.  Although, if there were an option that let Smart File Open search down into subfolders for matching files I could continue to ignore projects/workspaces awhile longer.  :-)

Thanks again!

Jim

jbhurst

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2009, 04:06:17 am »
Jim,

My usage of SlickEdit, and my reasons for liking it, are very similar to yours. I never do debugging or compiles from within SlickEdit. I do use its editing features to the max though: macros, column editing, elaborate search and replace. I also turn off many features that do not work well for me: Auto Complete, XML/HTML formatting, Adaptive Formatting, Symbol Coloring.

I do find that workspaces/projects are pretty useful. I work with quite deep directory trees. I work mostly in Java. Being able to open a file in my project based on a partial match of its name is really good. Arbitrary searching of the filesystem or all directories under my current directory would not work. There are often build artifacts with similar names to my source files. Being able to specify my project using a few simple wildcards, which teaches SlickEdit which files I am interested in, works really well. I have done various non-programming work involving many text files using SlickEdit too, and the same thing applies.

However, SlickEdit basically solved this file open within workspace thing pretty well in version 12, with the Files Tool Window. I'm not yet sure that the Smart Open dialog is really an improvement. It has had a lot of glitches, and still has a number of them. But then again, so did the Files Tool Window, but they were finally worked out.

So anyway, the point of this post is: workspaces/projects are not just about compile/debug. Give them a try some time!

John Hurst
Wellington, New Zealand

Clark

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Re: Smart Open Issues
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2009, 02:30:03 pm »
...
Once Smart File Open is working, I might look into projects/workspaces again simply so I can take advantage of the ability to find files in the project to open quickly by hitting Ctrl+O and typing a few characters.  Although, if there were an option that let Smart File Open search down into subfolders for matching files I could continue to ignore projects/workspaces awhile longer.  :-)

Thanks again!

Jim

One enhancement we are thinking about for Smart Open is to allow for additional files to be specified (possibly global and per workspace). This will allow you to have a workspace open and have other files listed for whatever reason. Yes, we will support recursive specs and exclusions (not sure when the refresh will happen).  For exampe, we need this feature internally for the macro source.  The macro source would be added to the workspace. We don't want to add the macro source to a project because the .e/.sh tags will be merged with the C++ tags which is something we don't want. Slick-C has it's own tag space.  My guess is that everyone has some odd cases where it would be useful to specify some global or workspace smart open files for one reason or another. Having mentioned this, I still think you should create a workspace/project so you can benefit from tagging and smart open.