Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bn » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi bogs,

unfortunately I don't know anything about Linux. I am using a Mac and my experience seems to be somewhat better. I rarely have crashes and then mostly in DP versions. But that of course depends on what you are doing.

One thing though that destabilizes the IDE is when the preferences get corrupted. Then I delete the preferences while all copies of Livecode are closed. This forces the new preferences to be built.

On a Mac they are in: library -> Preferences -> RunRev folder, there are two files

livecode.rev
livecode7.rev

livecode.rev is for up to version 6.x.x and livecode7.rev is for LC 7 and up.
Delete both and see if LC behaves better. Or move those files to another place so you can move them back if need be.

Of course you would have to choose personalized preferences again since they are then the default values.

Other than that I have no idea.

Kind regards
Bernd
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:16 pm

I will certainly give that a shot when / if this happens in the future, thank you again Bernd ! Since I don't customize the prefs a lot to begin with (other than comments), I don't see any harm in jetting the ones there. It beats the other way I handled it, which was just uninstalling all the other IDEs and putting the 6.5.2 back (one I use most often).

As to what I was doing with 6.6.x, mostly it would crash on opening. So far it is the only ide that does, but the direction you pointed me in certainly could be the reason.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby ClipArtGuy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:39 am

For what it's worth, I have found the 8.1.x series to be more stable than LC 6 or 7 in Ubuntu linux, you way want to consider moving up because I am pretty sure that the 6 and 7 versions have been EOL'd.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:41 am

Thank you for the input, ClipArtGuy. It is something to consider.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby FourthWorld » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:29 am

+1 on v8.1. And 9's coming along pretty well too. Many great improvements, not just stability but with much better GTK integration too, so everything looks and feels more like it belongs on Ubuntu.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:25 pm

Ok, I actually spent a bit of time in the current DP of 9.0.6 this morning after conversing with Richard a bit, so I think this feed back may be more relevant to the topic of oddities in the current IDE. This isn't an exhaustive list in any way shape or form by any means, and I didn't get into a lot of functionality under the hood (code wise), so this will be superficial as well. The environment this is in was Linux Mint 18 AMD 64 monitor is 1920x1080.

Rulers - granted I don't use them much in the lower IDEs, but I did try them here. What I found was that as long as the IDE was open, once you open the rulers, you can't easily get them to go away again without closing the IDE down and restarting it.
- steps - View/Rulers to activate, check appears on menu, rulers show properly. Uncheck them on the menu, they appear to go away, but as soon as you click on the stack, they show up again. was unable to alter this behavior in any way short of closing Lc.

Dictionary - much improved in performance from 8, however when I typed into the search box, the first letter appeared then it ... I dunno, lagged ? for about 3 seconds on the rest of the letters showing up (I had actually finished typing and then had time to notice only the first letter was there, then had time to think I had maybe jumped out of the box when the rest showed up).

Also see a bit of an odd behavior in the windows with the dictionary, in that some of the IDE windows sit over it, and some under it. I had the menu, tools, inspector, and project browser open when I opened the dictionary. The inspector, tools and main menu all were on top , the project browser properly went below it. I would think that whatever window is 'active' should be on top in an IDE, as opposed to a developed app where it might be desirable to have a window open on top of something else (tool window for instance).

Also the dictionary is laid out in such a way that actually being able to fit it usefully on the screen (well, my screen) is hard to do.
Lc906DictionaryBelowAndAbove.png
Dictionary resized but areas of it too large to easily use, also under some windows but not others....

Certainly not as easy to access information as the older dictionary when you can only see a few lines at a time of the bottom right pane, or alternately only see one or two lines in the top right.

All isn't completely bad in it, as I mentioned to Richard, I believe the guide part is how the user guide should have been represented in practice instead of the harder to get at and use earlier versions, but as it is for a whole package it certainly doesn't work as well for my use.

Inspector - new layout of the inspector window means it can't be resized below a certain point, and even if you could shrink it as narrow as the old inspector, the layout precludes it being useful. Ditto on the project browser. And I fully agree with the comment in the original post by Mark about label field comments, changing sizes, etc., especially since I am not yet far enough along to be comfortable writing my own plug in to change it :(

Size increase - The new layout of all parts of the IDE winds up costing me almost another 20% of my screen real estate, which I have earmarked for things other than development. Devoting more than half my monitor to the IDE panels is a hard pill to swallow.
screenRealestateSizeDifferences.png
Size difference old to new (old in front, new highlighted in yellow)...


Personal taste input - I realize it is a growing trend to flatten out everything and color it black in the ux/ui world these days, but I myself prefer a touch of color and objects that look (at least somewhat ) like what they are trying to represent.

I realize as well that I am probably a crochety old guy (GET OFF MY LAWN!! ) and in a distinct minority in that regard, and I have no idea how hard it would be to implement this, but possibly offering a choice between the older and newer style IDE in preferences could be helpful? I know I'd appreciate it, but again don't know how hard/easy to implement it.

Anyhoo, what I noticed off the top of my testing today.

*edit 1 -
Look and feel - no longer a View option menu, perhaps could be re-introduced as well? Maybe to use as the above request ?? :idea:
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby [-hh] » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:42 pm

First of all, I find it very good that you give a public report of your learning experience for others who are also in this learning phase.

A few notes to your last post.
  • Screen:
    You are on linux, why don't you use "Workspaces"?
  • Dictionary:
    You could use 'tinydict' (by bn, see "sample stacks") on LC 8/9, and use 'BvG docu 2' on LC 6/7 (see http://bjoernke.com/?target=bvgdocu ).
  • Look and feel:
    You could use for example "virtualbox" to have "native views" for all desktop platforms.
One can change in LC close to everything that doesn't fit one's taste *even in the IDE*. And there are, by the way, a lot of such changes available as "plugins" or "helper stacks" or "snippets".
So, TMHO, it doesn't make sense to waste the time of a small core team with "styling" things that functionally work as needed.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:54 pm

Hello -hh, thank you for the kind words.

I want to make sure anyone reading anything I wrote above doesn't mis-construe my replies in a 2 year old thread with what may seem to them to be nickety complaints due to my writing style, which I sometimes feel is nickety myself. My goal here sure isn't to waste anyones time, never mind the core team who, by and far, puts out a very good product. Nor is it to denigrate what I find to be a fascinating language to program in.

Having said that, your notes are all well taken and understandable, I'll try to take them in order.
- Screen and not using workspaces - I do know about work spaces, however in the 15 or so years I've been using Linux it is usually the first thing I turn off. I work in a single screen because there are other things I am doing that require monitoring, such to the point that I can't just dedicate the screen to programming.

However, let us say that I decided to go with workspaces on Linux, and ignore everything else. It doesn't add to the main question almost all of my posts in this thread targeted, which was posed in the first post:
Postby asayd » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:00 pm
Hi Folks,
...A few months back I solicited responses on the use-livecode mail list to the general question--What do new users (or even experienced users) find confusing about the LiveCode IDE? Now that the IDE has gone/is going open source on github, I thought I'd post the list here as food for thought:
I am a new user, thats for sure, but the first time I tried and failed to get my brain wrapped around Lc was the release of the first community edition. Believe it or not, despite failing to "get it" that (or many subsequent) times, I really REALLY like this package, so I am above all else trying to faithfully respond to that first post.

- Dictionary - I should probably have put my comments about the dictionary along with some of the conversation Richard and I had. I have actually downloaded and used Bernd's tiny dictionary, and think it is a heck of a work. If at some point I am finding myself more in the 8 or 9 series, you BETCHA that will wind up being my go to dictionary.

However, the way I read that first post where it pertains to my input is someone "new", in other words, someone lets say who just downloaded Lc for the first time, and maybe has even played with it for months. It took me over 6 months of plugging away this time before I even heard of tiny dictionary, and it sure doesn't come with Lc as a download.

Your looking at it with the jaundiced eye of someone who has many years of using and working around things. I do not think people taking it up for the first (or maybe 4th) time will have that eye, they are going to look at what comes down and if they don't last long enough to figure out that it even can be modified, my belief is they will walk.

Big deal? Maybe. I obviously am coming back to Lc again and again despite having alternatives I do understand, and I think this time I'm finally getting it (yay), but I sure didn't the first through fifth times.

- Look and feel - I personally have no idea how long look and feel was part of the view menu, but certainly through all the Lc's I used, but I *think* you missed the point of that edit, and I should probably have written it much clearer, as I say, my style of writing isn't always the best.

The point of the 'look and feel' edit wasn't to bring back the motif, win, mac, native choices, it was that since it had been deleted from the menu, perhaps it could be brought back to offer some one a choice between the newer and older style of the IDE. Again, I have no idea how easy / hard that would be to implement? I haven't written an IDE myself for nigh on 20 years now, and back then they were positively primitive. I took a run at it again in Squeak more than 10 years ago, but it is safe to say that idea was probably due to failure from the start :lol:

Lets look at your idea of Vms though, and whether someone should have to install one for something that was an option at least through 7.1.4. On linux / mac, if you want a windows interface, you could use Wine, probably the least impact required, and Lc does 'seem' to work pretty well in versions of it (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=26591). I use it myself on occasion to test things out when developing because I know it won't have any impact on my main environment. I don't know that I would trust that for a complete development environment on any regular basis though, and if something happened it would be damned hard to figure out where the fault started.

Other Vms (virtualbox or vmware) have other issues. Although I have (don't ask) managed to get osx installed in various vms, I wouldn't call it a trifling task if thats the look your set on. Motif is easier, Windows probably easiest of all, but Vms also hit more heavily on resources and again are not something the new user is likely to focus on at all, certainly not for something like a look change.

Also for what I am thinking are obvious reasons, no vm images come with the dl for Lc, I am trying to concentrate on what comes out of the box, so to speak.

Are there work arounds to every problem I may encounter? Almost certainly, as you point out, "a lot of such changes available as "plugins" or "helper stacks" or "snippets"." Even now, though, I can't say I've ever gotten everything plug in related to work out of the box, I wasn't aware of what libraries were, or how to use other stacks and code re-use and (the list goes on) in Lc.

Certainly if your 'new'-ish to the package a LOT of the above isn't even readily apparent until you a.) know what to look for or b.) have been pointed towards it by someone after figuring out the right questions to ask.

I hope you take all of the above as it is intended, and that I was able to clarify at least a little. Peace out :arrow:
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby FourthWorld » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:14 pm

The most popular screen resolution on desktops, where the LC IDE is used, is 1366x768. That's on more than 30% of all desktop OSes. The second most commonly-used resolution is 1920x1080, on roughly half as many systems (15.4%). The third most common is 1440x900, on just 6.6% of systems. The rest is a long tail from there:
http://gs.statcounter.com/screen-resolu ... /worldwide

We can expect developers to skew toward larger screens, but not exclusively. And given the wide gulf in percentages between the first- and second-leading resolutions, clearly we can't gamble on devs having big screens if we want to aim for widespread adoption.

Beyond the Dictionary, which is indeed a bit too generous with its white space, font size, and general layout, there's the larger consideration of having to manage all the windows an environment like LC needs.

FWIW, my own solution turns this whole design inside-out: tools are easily available BUT ONLY AS NEEDED, opened and even closed from a single slender window whose buttons present a large target area:
http://fourthworld.com/products/devolution/index.html

There are also flyout panes that offer quick access to the things a developer needs often, including Projects (where you can get to what you're working on quickly), a complete message path view (MPath, because I MPathize with the need to see the complete message path in a singe list <g>), and Plugins (no more slow, careful drags to get from the Development menu to the Plugins submenu). The flyout panes go away like menus, as soon as you click anywhere outside them or hit the Escape key.

Tools when you need 'em, out of the way when you don't.

There's even an option to hide LC's menubar/toolbar, so your workspace can be super-tidy. After all, as your app design comes together, isn't that where your own app's menus will be?

This approach reverses the focus from traditional IDE designs: with devolution you're not so much building your app inside of an IDE, as running an IDE inside your app. This is a subtle shift, but one that has radically sped up development here.

I wouldn't recommend devolution for everyone, and certainly not for beginners. When you're starting out, it can help to have more things visible on screen at once.

But for me and the friends who use it, devolution has been a real boon. It makes work on small screen possible, and on big screens more efficient.

Anyone can use it free of charge. Maybe some aspects of it may help suggest new approaches for a community-driven IDE.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby AndyP » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:34 pm

Hi bogs,

You might want to take a look at my TinyIDE, a Free alternative minimalist IDE Plugin for LiveCode.

Image

I built TinyIDE to give me more space on the laptop I use.
http://2108.co.uk/tinyide/

Vid here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjLg33Lo4OA&feature=youtu.be

It dos not solve all the issues, but helps a little.
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http://2108.co.uk/tinyide/ - TinyIDE gives you more space to develop your ideas

http://2108.co.uk/script-editor-themer/ Script Editor Themer - Your code has never looked so good

My software never has bugs. It just develops random features
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:07 pm

OMG! Richard, I had mentioned as I had hit your pages, but lord above I hadn't seen that! Andy as well, holy cow! Rest assured, those have been added to the arsenal, and will certainly be playing with them later as a treat. I do also have a dev/general purpose laptop, and I think BOTH of those may serve it better than even the older beloved 6 series. Just WOW ~

I was thinking more about the size of the new IDE vs. the size of the older IDE after having replied to -hh's comments. I wonder if that isn't a situation that could be resolved using scaleFactor, which was introduced in 6.6 I believe? I actually used it myself on a few demos, basing the factor at the working screenRect / 1080 (my working screen), but I would suppose it could just as easily be based on some agreed upon number as well by the dev team who may not all be using the same screen size?
... heck, you could just put the factor as a user settable selection, and scale the IDE to suit the taste of the most important person for the product, the user, to choose on his own. Unless I miss my guess, thats what, a 2 line addition as a settable option?

As Richard mentioned though, it probably wouldn't solve the white space issues in the dictionary. Is the dictionary functional? It works as intended yes, but if functionality is the only measure, a paper-clip can 'function' as a tv antenna but I doubt it is most people's first choice.

As an aside, Andy I love that signature :lol:
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby FourthWorld » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:46 pm

Ah, the Dictionary.

As functional as the earlier Dict was, it had two problems: 1) the font size was woefully tiny, and 2) it had no way to be updated dynamically, as is needed for the current IDE dev team workflow.

The Dict content is now authored in Markdown format, making it easily worked on collaboration among many members of the community along with the core dev team. Additionally, widgets have their own documentation included, so the scope of the Dict content will vary depending on which mix of widgets a user has installed.

So a complete rewrite was needed, and since Markdown->HTML tools are widely available, and some of the Lessons also need certain handling of images and other elements easy to accommodate in HTML but not supported by the field object, moving the UI to use the Browser widget was a pretty good move.

In fact, since the Dict is so central to the UX, now that it's based on the Browser widget it's gotten a lot more attention on platforms like Linux than it might have if the IDE itself wasn't so dependent on it (they strive for quality with all components, but as you may know there's a lot of variation in the Linux world, and the Browser widget is by far the most complex one currently available).

OK, so far so good: rebuild the Dictionary so it can be dynamically populated with content that originates in Markdown, and use the Browser widget for display.

But along the way we all discovered something: despite the success of hybrid frameworks that use HTML/CSS at their core like the ones used for Facebook and other apps, the reality is that even with a good framework it's a lot of work to make UIs compared to using good ol' LiveCode objects.

So the Dictionary is still being refined, and I haven't yet discussed it with anyone on the team who things it's currently optimal. It may take another version to get it to where we really want it. The functionality is good, the integration with the build system is good, the UI bites. :)

If any of you are interested in diving in to tidy up the Dict's HTML/CSS-based UI, put a proposal in the Bug DB (it's used for feature requests as well), and together we can refine it.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:19 pm

Thanks for the clarifications Richard, it helps a lot for outsiders looking in, and at least I understand the why now :)
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby jacque » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:46 pm

I too was tempted to say that there are alternate solutions to all the issues bogs mentioned. But I think the point is: the feedback is from a new user's perspective, before they know that alternatives exist. And first impressions matter.
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Re: Current IDE Oddities and Obstacles

Postby bogs » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:19 pm

That is what I'm trying for yes. If it helps you ( you generic, not you personally Jacque :) ) to view it differently, do an installation fresh of the current package (what someone brand new coming in would do), then forget about every plug in and work around you know, forget you know how to change it yourself, and just use it as it is.

That exercise is a lot harder than you may think, but I find it valuable when I'm programming something for use other than my own.
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