sandover wrote:I've been thinking about this a lot as well.
While I do appreciate a few of the design ideas behind ST2's approach to projects, I still believe that the project system is overall quite complex, and that the complexity isn't adding value, from a user's perspective. And from a development perspective, I can see that the current scheme has a lot of moving parts, which could probably be jettisoned with no real loss.
sandover wrote:The obvious comparison point is, yes, TextMate. The TextMate project system offers 3(ish) levels of complexity:
1. Instant "project-lite" is the simplest. Just run 'mate .' in some directory and work with that directory's files in a new window. This is what people want at least 75% of the time. No project file is created. No state is saved. There is no extra menu option (no menu at all) required to support this. Note that it's very easy to open as many of these windows as you want. ST2 is always trying to save a bunch of state and can't be used in this simple way.
sandover wrote:2. Next rung up the ladder: the ability to turn that view into a project file, by doing "save project as", under the File menu. This is where the power users get started. Once a project exists, it's easy to get back to, because "open" a folder, "open" a file, or "open" a project file in TextMate are all mapped to the same "open" in the file menu; again, no new menu items have been created, and so there is little cognitive load for the user. Any number of projects can be open at a time. They don't try to share state.
sandover wrote:3. Developer level. Now we begin (for example) setting up file & folder pattern for a project, to do filtering. Power users are now fairly happy. There are little UI commands to learn (like right-clicking the right way in the projects drawer), but they don't clutter up the general experience, and power users are happy to learn them.
sandover wrote:With these (roughly) 3 levels of engagement, the system of setting up and accessing projects is simple, understandable, robust, and it pleases most folks.
I would seriously consider adopting something much more like TextMate's project approach _at least as a starting point_, and then seeing if there are ways to improve it, or seeing what feature requests roll in.
sandover wrote:(Aside about searching: the 2 kinds of search scope in Textmate (search in file & search in project) are probably all that's really needed. I'm not sure that ST2's extra scopes ("search in open files" & "search in open folders") add value that outweighs the clutter of their presence.)
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