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First Impressions


Xarbrough
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First, thank you for providing us with the revamped GUI! :)

My name is Chris, I'm a programmer at Nementic, a game studio based in Munich. We use Plastic SCM and Gluon to version control our Unity projects with 10 users.

Things I like

  • Tabs are now only on the left and fixed, this is perfect, since moving tabs around wasn't really helpful and sometimes was confusing.
  • Switching between dark and light themes is awesome!
  • The new overall style seems coherent and fits Unity's style well, which I personally enjoy.
  • The branch explorer smooth zooming is nice and overall rendering looks good.
  • The top right burger menu (for theme switching), preferences and user account display is great.
  • Overall, the UI looks a little cleaner, which is a good thing as long as all needed options are still present (or will be re-added later, for that matter).
  • The "Switch workspace..." button now opens a separate window that displays more information about workspaces and repos, that's useful.

 

Things I'm missing

  • In the Branch Explorer, the option to color changesets by user.
  • In the Branch Explorer, the option to show full branch names and hide the "main" prefix.
  • The keyboard shortcuts to switch between tabs are missing (CTRL+1 for workspace, CTRL+2 for pending changes and so on).

 

Things I dislike

  • Syntax highlighting of C# scripts looks like it wasn't yet correctly implemented in the dark theme.
  • The bottom blue bar in the main window draws too much attention. The "Ready" text seems like noise to me. I understand it might be a place to display info such as "loading" or even notifications like "server maintenance expected on x" but I feel like status messages should be subtle (not bright blue) and notifications deserve a button in the header bar (e.g. bell symbol next to the user name, close the preferences), that when clicked, shows a popup with notification messages, that can be dismissed.
  • Icons in the preferences window tab header are difficult to read (dark blue on gray).
  • The "Switch workspace..." button position is strange in the bottom left. I would expect it on the top left, next to the changeset number display, because that bar already shows the info about "where" my workspace/repo is. The button at the bottom bar seems to take up useless space.

 

I realize that many features are probably work in progress or not fully implemented, so I'm looking forward to those, but still wanted to mention them to show some sort of first-glance priority of things I noticed when I started using the new UI in my daily work.

Again, thank you and keep up the great work!

 

 

 

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Just some very quick first impressions...

  • Seems to take as a starting point the linux client which means that right away somethings are missing such as
    • I miss the WS selection (previously opened) selection  list and switch is "hidden" at the bottom of the screen.
    • No way (thru the gui) to setup Jira integration
  • Since we are re-doing how about longer "filter" boxes (e.g. repo list) so I have at least a fighting chance to see the entire string I'm searching for (our repo names tend to get a little long, certainly longer than the 10 or so characters we are given.)

I'll add more under feature requests later.  And I already have a bug that is not allowing me to bring up Branch Explorer

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I'm going to second Xarbrough on lots of things

Likes :
Single tab style of working is great.

Dislikes :
Switch workspace is in a weird place. I had no problems with the previous location and functionality other than I wish it was always alphabetical sort vs MRU.

Suggestion :
Seems like the top bar is being use as information only. It'd be nice if these were also buttons to change branch / workspace.

The information architect in me feel like

Workspace -> server -> project -> branch is the more logical hierarchy to present this info. But I understand this is close to the objectspec. In which case a right click copy for me to paste into cm.exe would be useful. 

 

image.png.98029c8d25f0e094f12d69cc8c288683.png

 

 

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Thank you so much@Xarbrough,@Todd Aand @byg_jamesfor the great feedback! Our team is actively monitoring the thread and the proposed improvements make a lot of sense. I will chat more with the team about addressing some of the above feedback in our next releases.

We are already working on updates to some of the items you have mentioned in your replies.

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The "Switch workspace..." button position is strange in the bottom left. I would expect it on the top left, next to the changeset number display, because that bar already shows the info about "where" my workspace/repo is. The button at the bottom bar seems to take up useless space.

The "Switch Workspace" button will be removed from its current location and we are planning to leverage the top bar as @Xarbrough and @byg_jamesboth suggest.

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No way (thru the gui) to setup Jira integration

For the Issue tracking system binding, @Todd A we are actively working on porting this feature over to PlasticX and we will make sure to update our release notes thread as soon as it becomes available.

 

Please keep the feedback coming - we will be actively iterating based on the feedback we receive. Thanks :)

 

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Hey, I'm Freddy, I work with @Xarbrough at Nementic Games.

In addition to his feedback, there's one small thing I've noticed: In the sync view, only the incoming and outgoing branches are shown. In classic Plastic, the actual changesets are displayed in addition to the branches. Not sure if this is intended or not.

Also, I'd like to be able to use the mouse scroll wheel to scroll through the branch explorer.

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Just some more minor things here, I'd open new threads for bigger usability issues.

  • In Branch Explorer please re-implement the scroll direction to match the branch layout. Previously, when the branch layout was horizontal, using the mouse scroll wheel would scroll horizontally and when branch layout was vertical it would scroll vertically. In PlasticX it always scrolls vertically, but it makes total sense to align the scroll direction with the time axis of the graph.
  • The home icon on the branch which indicates the current workspace position is really noisy (has to many small details) I believe. The following screenshot is on my 1920x1080 monitor in what I would consider common zoom level. The same goes for the changeset bubbles that indicate an outgoing merge link (multiple thin border lines).
    image.png.91190069c632639950985976f06ff25f.png
  • About Branch Explorer "display full branch names" and "display branch task info": We use these settings because we follow the recommendation of naming branches like "/main/abc-123" and then "Some Task Title" as the comments field. We currently use a task ID for the branch name and the readable task title, so like to see both in the branch explorer view, but the info "main" is usually not needed, because everything (for us) is rooted in main. Maybe the convention isn't perfect, I'd be open to change it, but I believe the options are still useful to declutter the graph view.
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We have planned to add the following really soon:

Quote

In the sync view, only the incoming and outgoing branches are shown. In classic Plastic, the actual changesets are displayed in addition to the branches. 

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In the Branch Explorer, the option to show full branch names and hide the "main" prefix.

 

Also expect this one fixed in future releases:

Quote

Icons in the preferences window tab header are difficult to read (dark blue on gray).

 

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In Branch Explorer please re-implement the scroll direction to match the branch layout. Previously, when the branch layout was horizontal, using the mouse scroll wheel would scroll horizontally and when branch layout was vertical it would scroll vertically. In PlasticX it always scrolls vertically, but it makes total sense to align the scroll direction with the time axis of the graph.

@Xarbrough @tomfulghum, thank you again for your valuable feedback.

Unfortunately implementing this implies not being compatible with touchpads. The framework we're using is not able differentiate scrolling with the mouse wheel or a touchpad device. So, inverting the the scroll direction for the mouse wheel implies inverting the scroll directory for the touchpad, which would be really weird. This is the main reason we didn't implement it yet.

Fortunately, you can horizontal scroll the graph using Shift key + mouse wheel.

Additionally, we implemented a super smooth panning using the mouse. You can swipe (click and drag the canvas) left and right, and it will smooth scroll horizontally.

Try it and let me know your impressions.

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3 hours ago, Daniel Peñalba said:

Try it and let me know your impressions.

Thanks for letting us know! I understand that touchpad support might be relevant to the user base and I would be ok with using the shift key. However, using shift and mouse wheel doesn't seem to work.

I can hold CTRL and use the mouse wheel to zoom in, which is nice, but shift simply does nothing.

Also, I like the idea of the drag to pan around in the branch explorer. I believe I'll use that a lot in the future. However, I must say it doesn't feel "super smooth" at all. It's rather choppy as if it had an unstable low framerate. Especially when I drag and let go, the inertia effect after mouse up looks very jittery. If that is also due to the framework implementation I'd prefer no inertia at all and just have tight panning control with the mouse. There's nothing suspicious showing in the log, I'll try to record a video.

Build 10.0.16.6307 Camaron De La Isla

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I'm not sure if the jitter/choppiness can be really showcased in the video, but the inertia doesn't look as smooth as other software I'm currently using. Not a big issue though of course. Just some nitpicky polish.

I feel like the implementation of the inertia uses only the last delta frame of movement, but that results in weird stopping or super fast jumps sometimes. A smoother implementation would probably average multiple frames of velocity and smooth out sudden spikes to make it feel softer.

Now that I played around with the feature, I do have to say that I do like the idea of panning with inertia, it just could be a little smoother for mouse usage (I assume it feels much better with a large Apple trackpad for example).

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Quote

Thanks for letting us know! I understand that touchpad support might be relevant to the user base and I would be ok with using the shift key. However, using shift and mouse wheel doesn't seem to work.

Are you using macOS right? Which macOS version are you trying?

Just you to know, for me it's working ok in macOS Monterey, using a Dell keyboard, an standard Logitech mouse, by pressing the left "Shift" key, and using the mouse wheel.

Please let me know because I would like to understand why it's not working for you.

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1 minute ago, Daniel Peñalba said:

Please let me know because I would like to understand why it's not working for you.

I'm using Windows 10 (tested on two different PCs). PlasticX build 10.0.16.6307. When I zoom into the branch explorer until both scrollbars show, I can scroll up down with the mouse scroll wheel. If I hold left shift (or right shift) and use the scroll wheel at the same time, it still only scrolls up down, but not left right as expected. I tried other modifier keys like CTRL, but that triggers zoom and ALT does nothing.

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4 minutes ago, Xarbrough said:

I'm using Windows 10 (tested on two different PCs). PlasticX build 10.0.16.6307. When I zoom into the branch explorer until both scrollbars show, I can scroll up down with the mouse scroll wheel. If I hold left shift (or right shift) and use the scroll wheel at the same time, it still only scrolls up down, but not left right as expected. I tried other modifier keys like CTRL, but that triggers zoom and ALT does nothing.

It's also working for me in a Windows 10 machine... so I'm wondering if it's a machine-specific configuration. Let me dig a little bit more into it and I'll come with more info.

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@Xarbrough I'm also checking with my teammates, and it seems to work only for me 😕

In fact it works for any application in my macOS.

I'm guessing this is an standard behavior in macOS, and as my Windows machine is a Parallels VM running under macOS, y guess that the mouse driver is getting that events from the macOS virtual driver, and this is the reason it works in windows.

But let me confirm that.

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The "Explain Merge" feature seems to be missing from PlasticX. I hope you will bring it back soon, as I use it often and find it very helpful to double-check the merge and be sure about what source and destination is (since that can change depending on whether I merge from the current branch to main or if I set my workspace to main and then merge from the branch).

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