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Please send us your feedback! Plastic 9 - GUI redesign

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My first impression is good. I use manually "pinned" tabs too. Mine are Workspace Explorer, Pending Changes, Branch Explorer (and sometimes Sync repositories), in this order; but I can get used to the order from the blog post, so this should be OK for me.

 

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These changes but good! But I do have to say as an end user the GUI is not the painful part of Plastic, but rather unexplained/strange conditions.

Any effort to address error states/messages better would be an even bigger win, in my opinion. Just these 2 we brought up here for example:

  • Renaming a branch causes other workspaces referencing it to "break" without explanation (just error messages)
  • "Hidden changes" causing a warning that looks unrelated, every single time you switch workspaces (even if having changed files locally is¬†the intended usage pattern for hidden changes!)

Also not being able to use shelving for cloud users would be nice. :)

Anyhow, we really like how you're being responsive again these are meant as constructive criticism. Thank you!

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I like a lot of the changes that you are planning.

Here is one thing that I have noticed with the current design, which I'm not sure whether the new design improves upon:

I have found it strange that all tab-views have to exist within the context of a workspace. Whenever I work with Plastic I often end up with a tab list like this:

image.thumb.png.48892e0d5630fce1b3e7d3782f066321.png

The first three tabs are related to the current workspace. So far so good.

 

The last three tabs are entirely unrelated to the current workspace. I wanted to browse the history of an unrelated repository - but the only way for me to do so, is to open a "Cloud repositories" tab, and subsequent detail views for the cloud-side repository, within the current workspace's view.

 

I keep doing this a lot. I keep cleaning up my tab list (carefully) a lot.

 

The first thing that feels unnatural to me is that "Cloud repositories" opens as a tab within a Workspace view. The second thing that feels unnatural to me is that if I begin to drill down into another repository, the additional tabs continue to open up within a Workspace view.

 

If there was a way for me to get a new view - possibly in the top-left workspace selector - which is tied to the (serverside) repository I have chosen, and not to any workspace, then I would set up a couple of tabs within that view, I would keep that view around for a long time.

 

=========================================================

Summary:

I would like to be able to create workspace-less views. For example, imagine that there was an "Open repository" alternative at the bottom of this dropdown:

image.png.c7cfd015260a91b2634a8331ec216017.png

The "Open repository" option would ask me to choose a repository, either on my local server or on the cloud side. After choosing a repository, I would then have access to a subset of tabs within that view (only the tabs that make sense when browsing without an associated workspace). I would set up a couple of these workspace-less views, for projects that I don't actively work on but follow discussions on, and keep those views for a long time.

This would reduce the amount of time I spend creating & cleaning up tabs.

 

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At first glance I wasn't sure about removing the left hand menu, but then I realised how everything opens up as a tab anyway, your suggestion makes sense.  It's useful to have as much usable space on screen as possible, so reducing unnecessary clutter is helpful.

I like the idea of distinguishing between different kinds of tabs through colours or icons.  It's confusing when you end up with a mix of static/pinned tabs like Branch Explorer, Workspace Explorer, buried between more ephemeral tabs like merge results, 2d history views, where it's easy to forgot why they were opened in the first place.

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My impressions and thoughts for first look...

A general comment:  With wide screen monitors, horizontal space is easier to give up than vertical space.  Vertical space is a premium.  Please keep that in mind when adding things to the vertical space.  Using more space for the headings and tabs allows you to put more info there, but takes away from the precious limited vertical space for the main part of the screen.  At least having an option to put this on the left hand side vs top could be nice.

I understand wanting to make the gui more accessible for new users.  But you need to also not leave users that are used to the system.  Ability to control the interface, to a degree, can be useful in this (e.g. minimal view, vs more info view).  I can already see some operation I do taking more click in the new interface than in the old.  One thing I do (admittedly more in tool admin role than as a developer) is open up the list of repo, then view a repo (e.g. branch explore a repo w/o a WS).  It looks like now I have to first click to create a new tab, then select repo list.  I assume the rest of my operation would be the same from there, but still at least one more click.

It would be good to have the GUIs more similar across the platforms (for us, esp Windows and Linux).  But my first priority would be making features available in one gui available in all.  While I could see this consolidating effort a step in that direction, I hope we do not take a step back and see features go missing (e.g that are already in the windows gui today).  I would REALLY like to see some missing functions added to the gui as more important than a gui re-design.  How long have we now had the ability to create xlinks to a path in a repo, but still have to create it only using the CLI?  That (and any other missing functions) need to be added to the gui.

I could see more customization of the gui, esp for experienced users.  Say, being able to have a custom left hand "new tab" buttons on the left hand side (hidden and empty when you first install the client?)  I could also see more customization to right click menu options for experienced users (not only for tabs for for other contexts).

 

Thanks,
Todd

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So I had given a few thoughts on the blog post, but looking back now it looks like no one ever "approved" my comments.

I don't remember the specifics of what I said except for one major point for me: HDPI

I use Plastic on a 4k monitor and the interface is VERY hard to use.  Everything is so small with no option to increase fonts or anything like many apps have.  Not only is everything so small, but why is everything so small when huge swaths of the UI are just empty space?  Even with 150% UI scaling set in Windows, large portions of the plastic UI are just plain wasted.

So in summary I would really like to see two things:

1) Support for UI scaling in the app to better support high resolution displays without having to use global UI scaling across the OS
2) Better use of space

I also agree with tab annoyance in general.  When I use plastic on my Mac I like that I don't have constant tabs that need to be closed.

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Oh man, how I wish it could look as good as that Visio chart! The font choices there are SO much better than any of the images or the current UI. It's so much more legible!

Like jwvanderbeck, I'm on a 4k monitor, and so many of the fonts are illegibly small faint scratchings. I'd be so happy to see fonts like that Visio chart, I'd actually be able to read everything at a glance! If nothing else comes over, please replicate those text changes exactly!

The first thing I wonder about the fixed tabs is what happens when the tab bar is full enough that it needs to scroll? Are the pending changes stuck on the left, and my most recently opened History panel is on the far right, and I have scroll the entire bar left to right and back to use them both? If the tabs can be moved, I can put the main tabs in the context where I'm using them. I don't know if it's that big of a deal, but being able to unpin the main tabs an repin them when I want seems like a safer bet.

I like the idea of switching to a New Tab picker for actions, but the layout seems a lot less readable. My eye has to bounce around between a bunch of abstract icons and small text scattered around the page. The old UI is a single list of text that I can skim down pretty quickly to find the name of things I'm looking for. If the next tab page had an equally skimmable layout, I'd be for it. As it stands, I'll switch back to the old way (even though I agree the new tab page method is better). The "Plastic SCM" category of the home screen is a much better example of a layout I'd like to see on the new tab page.

If the goal of the Home panel is to reduce clutter/gore for new users, it feels like having a "News" section runs counter to this. That's some advanced user reading material right there, and it's super duper noisy. The "New" tags draw your eye away from the core use of the software, and the text density says that this should be the body of your work, not an exit to a web page.

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First of all, sorry all for not coming back to you earlier. We read all your comments in great detail, and were very excited about the feedback. I wanted to write proper answers, and unfortunately that meant I took too long to come back.

 

I'll start replying now.

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My first impression is good. I use manually "pinned" tabs too. Mine are Workspace Explorer, Pending Changes, Branch Explorer (and sometimes Sync repositories), in this order; but I can get used to the order from the blog post, so this should be OK for me.

@JakubH thanks for your feedback, as usual. You know you are one of our key users, and we always love to hear from you.

We'll try to come up with "smart defaults", but let's see if it is any good :-). Sync repos is a key one too, correct.

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These changes but good! But I do have to say as an end user the GUI is not the painful part of Plastic, but rather unexplained/strange conditions.

Any effort to address error states/messages better would be an even bigger win, in my opinion. Just these 2 we brought up here for example:

  • Renaming a branch causes other workspaces referencing it to "break" without explanation (just error messages)
  • "Hidden changes" causing a warning that looks unrelated, every single time you switch workspaces (even if having changed files locally is¬†the intended usage pattern for hidden changes!)

Also not being able to use shelving for cloud users would be nice. :)

 

Thanks @Francois Bertrand.

Yes, of course, you are entirely right. We'd like to come up with a better GUI, you know, it's been a while since the last redesign. But it doesn't mean it is our highest prio. If you check the release notes of our weekly releases (we stuck to twice a week for months, although we slowed down since end of the year holidays) you'll see our key focus is stability.

 

I'm taking note of these two ones. Thanks!

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Hi @Mikael Kalms,

Quote

I have found it strange that all tab-views have to exist within the context of a workspace. Whenever I work with Plastic I often end up with a tab list like this:

 

Quote

The first thing that feels unnatural to me is that "Cloud repositories" opens as a tab within a Workspace view. The second thing that feels unnatural to me is that if I begin to drill down into another repository, the additional tabs continue to open up within a Workspace view.

Quote

The "Open repository" option would ask me to choose a repository, either on my local server or on the cloud side. After choosing a repository, I would then have access to a subset of tabs within that view (only the tabs that make sense when browsing without an associated workspace). I would set up a couple of these workspace-less views, for projects that I don't actively work on but follow discussions on, and keep those views for a long time.

You nailed it!

You sound exactly like Violeta, one of our Senior Engineers. She's constantly reminding us that we should not show "workspace unrelated views" this way. This made her happy.

 

There's one caveat here:

  • We were aware of the limitations/lack of clarity of the Windows layout.
  • So we tried to come up with something different for macOS/Linux, where the workspaces/repositories views are not "inside" the workspace.
  • But, we failed to implement things like: list repos, right click, show branch explorer/branches/csets/whatever for that repo.
  • Indeed an "open this repo" that creates a new window with all the workspace-independent options available sounds good. And an extra option to "create workspace for this repo" so the window can optionally become a fully functional one.

Believe it or not, this is the "next phase" once we implement the proposed changes above.

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@Francois Bertrand I forgot to answer you about this one:

 

Quote

Also not being able to use shelving for cloud users would be nice

It strikes me hard because I'm the ultimate culprit for not having this one.

 

There is a (very programmer-wise) reason: we plan to make a big change in the current Plastic Cloud. So I tried to avoid "strong changes" in the current one.

What I mean?

Right now Plastic Cloud is 95% the same code as a regular Plastic Server. The different 5% is:

  • It is based on SQL-Azure for metadata (which is mostly the same code as for regular SQL-based storages, but with some retries and handling of 'increased latency' cases).
  • But tree-storage (info about the versioned directories) is stored in Azure Blobs because using the SQL-backend doesn't scale. This is different than regular SQL-based for on-premise servers where performance for this part is fine.
  • Data is stored in Azure Blobs and accessed directly (with security) from the client side, good for scaling.
  • Since we started Plastic Cloud, we developed the Jet repo storage for on-premises servers. We migrated almost everyone from the SQL-based storages to Jet on all the on-premises servers. Jet is way much faster than anything else (it is an ad-hoc storage for Plastic, written with perf in mind, and after 14 years of development). In fact, Cloud was key for Jet, because what we learnt from the "tree-storage" in Cloud was what we applied repo-wide.
  • So, the plan is to replace the current Cloud instances by Jet powered servers.
  • The first advantage (development wise) is that now Cloud will be 99% the same code as on-premises, so things like Shelving would be enabled by default, no need to "develop it for Cloud" as it is today (due to some restrictions).

That's the long story ūüôā

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Hi @Ramz-UK

 

 

Quote

 

At first glance I wasn't sure about removing the left hand menu, but then I realised how everything opens up as a tab anyway, your suggestion makes sense.  It's useful to have as much usable space on screen as possible, so reducing unnecessary clutter is helpful.

I like the idea of distinguishing between different kinds of tabs through colours or icons.  It's confusing when you end up with a mix of static/pinned tabs like Branch Explorer, Workspace Explorer, buried between more ephemeral tabs like merge results, 2d history views, where it's easy to forgot why they were opened in the first place.

 

 

Removing the left side might be a wild move. We plan (let's see if we can make it) to keep some sort of "compatibility mode" to preserve the old looks.

The thing is that for many new users, the current layout is overwhelming. Too much stuff. That's why we think cleaning it up might make sense.

 

Thanks for your support!

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Hey @Todd A

Needless to say I strongly appreciate you taking the time to answer us in our public forum. We communicate very often in private channels, as you know, but it is really great that someone like you, with such a vast experience in Plastic in a huge deployment, can find the time to openly share thoughts. Thanks!

Quote

 

A general comment:  With wide screen monitors, horizontal space is easier to give up than vertical space.  Vertical space is a premium.  Please keep that in mind when adding things to the vertical space.  Using more space for the headings and tabs allows you to put more info there, but takes away from the precious limited vertical space for the main part of the screen.  At least having an option to put this on the left hand side vs top could be nice.


 

Absolutely true. I've been always concerned about vertical space. My motto here is "all monitors are wider than higher, let's use the space widely". This thinking drove most of our designs since I took full responsibility of GUIs around 2012.

That being said, sometimes you need to use it a little bit, and I think the new "workspace info bar" on the top will be very useful. But yes,¬†I'll keep in mind vertical pixels can't be wasted¬†and will remind that to the entire team. I can now say Todd said that ūüôā

Quote

 

I understand wanting to make the gui more accessible for new users.  But you need to also not leave users that are used to the system.  Ability to control the interface, to a degree, can be useful in this (e.g. minimal view, vs more info view).  I can already see some operation I do taking more click in the new interface than in the old.  One thing I do (admittedly more in tool admin role than as a developer) is open up the list of repo, then view a repo (e.g. branch explore a repo w/o a WS).  It looks like now I have to first click to create a new tab, then select repo list.  I assume the rest of my operation would be the same from there, but still at least one more click.


 

Yes, you're right here, and that's a concern. We need a balance: let new users find their way, not annoy experts. And of course, all considering we don't have unlimited resources to do the perfect customizable GUI (and of course some designers will argue whether fully customizable GUIs are even best or not).

One thing we'd like to radically improve are short-cuts. We never put too much attention on them, which is a shame. Maybe they'd help here.

Anyway, sure, we need a way to highlight things like "accessing the repo list".

I don't have a full solution yet, but I'll keep your concerns and remarks in mind.

 

Quote

 

It would be good to have the GUIs more similar across the platforms (for us, esp Windows and Linux).  But my first priority would be making features available in one gui available in all.  While I could see this consolidating effort a step in that direction, I hope we do not take a step back and see features go missing (e.g that are already in the windows gui today).  I would REALLY like to see some missing functions added to the gui as more important than a gui re-design.  How long have we now had the ability to create xlinks to a path in a repo, but still have to create it only using the CLI?  That (and any other missing functions) need to be added to the gui.

 

Sure, the goal is to change the layout, but not the functionalities. I mean, we don't plan to "delete stuff from windows" with this initiative.

And yes, making the GUIs more consistent is one of the key reasons of this entire initiative too.

 

Quote

I could see more customization of the gui, esp for experienced users.  Say, being able to have a custom left hand "new tab" buttons on the left hand side (hidden and empty when you first install the client?)  I could also see more customization to right click menu options for experienced users (not only for tabs for for other contexts).

Definitely a good point. I'm concerned on whether we'll be able to come up with something good if we go down the customizable GUI path, and not create some sort of Word-menu-configurator which is great but only 1% probably use.

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Hi @Eric Carter

Quote

Oh man, how I wish it could look as good as that Visio chart! The font choices there are SO much better than any of the images or the current UI. It's so much more legible!

Ahahaha, you made my day with this.

Read this @danipen???? ūüėĄ

Dani tends to dislike my Visios because they totally ignore the GUI styles on each platform. I'll share this with him.

Quote

 

Like jwvanderbeck, I'm on a 4k monitor, and so many of the fonts are illegibly small faint scratchings. I'd be so happy to see fonts like that Visio chart, I'd actually be able to read everything at a glance! If nothing else comes over, please replicate those text changes exactly!

 

Uhm... but Plastic (gluon has issues, although we'll fix it) should be working fine on 4K. Would you mind creating a separate thread with this?

Quote

 

The first thing I wonder about the fixed tabs is what happens when the tab bar is full enough that it needs to scroll? Are the pending changes stuck on the left, and my most recently opened History panel is on the far right, and I have scroll the entire bar left to right and back to use them both? If the tabs can be moved, I can put the main tabs in the context where I'm using them. I don't know if it's that big of a deal, but being able to unpin the main tabs an repin them when I want seems like a safer bet.

Initially we'll probably stick to the current solution, that doesn't scroll. Look at this screenshot (I made the window tiny to show the corner case):

image.png.7cd14611ba5671b5ded2a452df7e1d6b.png

Tabs are simply made smaller and smaller.

We'll consider the pin/unpin. I thought keeping the key 3 ones on the left, always visible, was good, but you are not the first one pointing caveats.

Quote

 

I like the idea of switching to a New Tab picker for actions, but the layout seems a lot less readable. My eye has to bounce around between a bunch of abstract icons and small text scattered around the page. The old UI is a single list of text that I can skim down pretty quickly to find the name of things I'm looking for. If the next tab page had an equally skimmable layout, I'd be for it. As it stands, I'll switch back to the old way (even though I agree the new tab page method is better). The "Plastic SCM" category of the home screen is a much better example of a layout I'd like to see on the new tab page.

Oh god! @danipen¬†will think Eric Carter is actually me in disguise ūüėĄ

I tend to hate icons. I prefer text. My brain is fed up of remembering even another icon. Is like every app thinks they are smart to make you remember even a new icon for something. What they mean? Why are they worth?

This was my initial lame proposal:

image.thumb.png.be9fa62ca1abe9a3ed8bbcaf5bc2cae1.png

Of course it is not as cool as "new tab" in Chrome, or the actual design I submitted above.

This definitely requires giving it more thought.

Not sure if everyone else agrees or if it is just you and me, Eric.

 

Quote

If the goal of the Home panel is to reduce clutter/gore for new users, it feels like having a "News" section runs counter to this. That's some advanced user reading material right there, and it's super duper noisy. The "New" tags draw your eye away from the core use of the software, and the text density says that this should be the body of your work, not an exit to a web page.

We love to keep people up-to-date with the stuff we write, that's why, but I see your point!

 

Thanks!

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I like the idea of switching to a New Tab picker for actions, but the layout seems a lot less readable. My eye has to bounce around between a bunch of abstract icons and small text scattered around the page. The old UI is a single list of text that I can skim down pretty quickly to find the name of things I'm looking for. If the next tab page had an equally skimmable layout, I'd be for it. As it stands, I'll switch back to the old way (even though I agree the new tab page method is better).

@Eric Carter I understand that where you're complaining is more that a layout problem more than some kind of icon-related issues. Right?

When I designed it as a draft, the grid layout seemed to be good solution for me. Note that columns are 4 items wide:

image.thumb.png.023af3a3589d5e37879326bdca25c15c.png

The final high fidelity mockup has all the items in a row. Also, the icons are too big compared with the text. But my question is: It's really a layout problem for you, or it's maybe that the blue icons and the small text in the high fidelity mockup, makes the screen less "readable"? Would be making the text bigger a solution?

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On 1/10/2020 at 3:46 AM, danipen said:

@Eric Carter I understand that where you're complaining is more that a layout problem more than some kind of icon-related issues. Right?

When I designed it as a draft, the grid layout seemed to be good solution for me. Note that columns are 4 items wide:

The final high fidelity mockup has all the items in a row. Also, the icons are too big compared with the text. But my question is: It's really a layout problem for you, or it's maybe that the blue icons and the small text in the high fidelity mockup, makes the screen less "readable"? Would be making the text bigger a solution?

It's a mix of all those things, but I think the grid layout is inescapably wandersome. With a grid layout there's no way I can read it like a list, top to bottom or left to right and find what I need. The icons just add extra space to the already scattered grid layout. Grids are great if the icons are expressive enough or familiar enough that you don't need the words, you can just hone in via a color/shape/details heirarchy. But in Plastic, with a list of complex abstract actions, many of which are only rarely used, I'm always going to be relying on the words, which means I need to do a lot of reading, which means list are a lot better of an arrangement.

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@Eric Carter Thank you very much for your feedback. It's clear that we need to make an effort to improve our icons.

We will also take into account your suggestions and will try to make this "grid" more usable.

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Hi @psantosl and @danipen,

Not sure if you're still working on the GUI redesign, but wanted to share some thoughts.

 

Left side panel

Please keep this, at least as an option. Most IDEs/editors default to some kind of left panel for navigation (eg, Visual Studio, VSCode, and I think Unity as well), so a left side panel is something that will be familiar to both existing/new Plastic users.

 

Tab system

Agree that the current GUI opens too many tabs.

To be honest, I am not quite sold on the benefit of tabs for the primary views. It is just as easy to click Branch Explorer or Pending Changes on the left side panel than it is to click an already open tab (in fact, it is easier since the button is bigger and more visible). Similarly, CTRL+1/2/3 is just as easy as Alt tabbing.

I think the main benefit of tabs is easier to resume views that are more difficult to get to, eg anything you need to get to via the right-click context menu, etc.

So, I have got 2 alternative ideas for a better tab system:

  • Option 1: Similar to the approach used by VSCode. All tabs are¬†reusable¬†(ie, the tab changes when you navigate away rather than opening a new tab), until they are either "pinned"¬†by the user¬†or because there is unsaved data on the tab (eg, partly resolved merge conflicts).
     
  • Option 2: Primary views (eg, those on the left panel) reuse the current tab. All other views (eg, those you get to via a context menu)¬†open in a new tab. This is similar to the approach taken by a photo management software that I'm using, and it generally works pretty well.

 

Other GUI issues

In general, I don't think the current GUI is too bad. The main initial hurdle I think is understanding what all the words mean, since Plastic uses different terminology to other VCS.

If you are going to redesign the GUI though, here are a few other changes that I think would help new user on-boarding, and also some other changes that I think would benefit everyone.

 

For on-boarding new users

  1. More consistency between views. Some views have an "option" button (eg, pending changes), whereas others have options buried in a side panel (eg, branch explorer).
     
  2. "Forever" option for "Since" field in branch explorer. Should probably be the default option for new repos. I remember when I was a new user working my way through the "getting started" guides, this tripped me up because the training repo is very old, so by as a new user you are greeted with "no data found" until you figure out the problem. Not the best introduction for a new user.
     
  3. More universal help/info icon. Eg, a question mark or "i" with a circle around it. I had no idea what the current "soccer ball" was supposed to do at first.

 

For all users

  1. Easier ways to add attributes to branches/csets. Currently it is buried in the side panel. Maybe combine the attributes and properties side panels so you can view/change comments and attributes on the same screen, and/or add a way to add attributes in the right-click context menu (without having to create an external tool command first.
     
  2. Ability to customize some columns. Eg, add labels column in the csets views. Or ability to make the description column only shows text before a line break (for those of us who are used to writing Git commit messages with a "subject line" and "body").
     
  3. Keep line breaks in hover tool tips. Sometimes I will format checkin comments with bullet points, etc. The line breaks are not kept in the hover tool tip. Similarly for the description at the top of the diff window, very small and hard to see.
     
  4. Show clickable links when descriptions reference other objects. Similar to the "review scripts" idea that you mention in your blog. Ideally, the plain text should reference the GUID (so links don't break if branches/labels are renamed, or if csets are replicated with a different number), but have the GUI display this as a clickable link showing the friendly name instead.
     
  5. Code review status in branch explorer. I think this has been a top-rated uservoice request for a while now. Currently, would have to use triggers to apply attributes and conditional formatting, but an icon would be much nicer.
     
  6. Option to show attributes in branch explorer. Conditional formatting is nice for most things, but sometimes it would be better to be able to see the actual attribute details.
     
  7. Some tweaks to branch explorer diagram. Mostly one of the best parts of the GUI experience, but a few small nits:
    • Lots of crisscrossing arrows can look messy. Eg, when starting a branch from an older cset on main. Maybe the gmaster arrow style would look nicer here?¬†I also remember there was an older forum thread on different ideas to sort branches (eg, keeping parent and child together, instead of sorting top level first).
    • Label names¬†on child branches sometimes get hidden¬†by the branch name. Maybe have label names render underneath the branch instead?
    • Independent label drawing:¬†I think multiple labels on the same cset are currently¬†just rendered as one shape, so can't conditionally format those labels differently.
       

Kind regards
David

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On 1/10/2020 at 3:46 AM, danipen said:

I like the idea of switching to a New Tab picker for actions, but the layout seems a lot less readable. My eye has to bounce around between a bunch of abstract icons and small text scattered around the page. The old UI is a single list of text that I can skim down pretty quickly to find the name of things I'm looking for. If the next tab page had an equally skimmable layout, I'd be for it. As it stands, I'll switch back to the old way (even though I agree the new tab page method is better).

I agree - why make it a full page?  How about a simple dropdown menu, similar to the style of right-click menus, when you click on the new tab button.  I have the same thought about the "home" screen - you could just fit all of that into a "hamburger menu".

 

Recently Closed tabs sounds nice.  +1

 

I agree that the order of the three main tabs should be changed, or configurable.  Logically, I start with files (workspace explorer) - creating deleting opening changing and moving them.  Then, after I do that, I review the changes I have made.  After I do that, I have changes to visualize and perhaps merge together.

 

Consolidating from sidebar + tabs to just one or the other is good.  I'd prefer left-side tabs, though (or swappable like in the Vivaldi web browser) for the vertical space concerns.  Even better yet, use the same layout you came up with for GMaster.  That GUI looks so much easier to use than Plastic, and it's by the same company.  Plastic and Git are more similar than they are different in terms of the information that users need to get from a GUI and the actions they need to perform through that GUI, so it seems wasteful that this Plastic update is happening seemingly independently instead of just riding on the good decisions that were already made and hard work that was already invested for GMaster.

 

That said, and this is true for GMaster as well, the new GUI's visual style looks "Fisher Price" to me, like a child's toy with all the big margins and round corners that take up extra space.  Have you ever used SmartGit?  It is uuuuugly... but it's my favorite VCS interface.  I don't have to flip around different tabs, everything is all in one place (branch explorer, pending-changes/workspace-explorer combo, diff view, full hierarchical workspace listing) because it's dense enough that it can show in a single screen what Plastic has to spread across several tabs.  This visual redesign makes me worry that I will have to waste more effort scrolling and clicking around because the bigger buttons and tabs mean that I will have even less room for relevant information on screen at once.  I'm not saying it has to be ugly, but don't sacrifice information density for prettiness in the developer-focused GUI - that's what Gluon is for.

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Hi @David Yang and @M-Pixel for your great feedback.

We really like to see that you guys are involved on this.

GUI redesign is currently on hold, but as soon as we return to work on this, all your feedback will be revisited and taken into account.

Thank you very much, again, for sharing your thoughts.

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