Home Download Buy Blog Forum Support

GUI for preferences

GUI for preferences

Postby kakubei on Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:19 pm

Can't find if this has been asked already, but will we ever get a GUI to change preferences on OS X or will it always be a matter of directly editing the files?

I realize ST2 is still in beta, just asking cause I'm having a hard time just changing keyboard shortcuts, and of course direct editing of these files is very error-prone.

Loving ST2 so far...
kakubei
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:19 am

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby natebeaty on Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:56 pm

kakubei wrote:Can't find if this has been asked already, but will we ever get a GUI to change preferences on OS X or will it always be a matter of directly editing the files?

I realize ST2 is still in beta, just asking cause I'm having a hard time just changing keyboard shortcuts, and of course direct editing of these files is very error-prone.

Loving ST2 so far...


Been thinking about this also as lately I've found myself firing up TextMate just to use the Bundle Editor, then dragging the .tmbundle into my /Packages/User/ directory. For some things, a GUI is a much quicker and pleasant way to edit. In particular actions like duplicating a snippet to slightly modify it & change the tab trigger. Editing XML also makes me a little dizzy.

That said, this would be a difficult thing to do elegantly across platforms. Seems like a plugin for each OS would be the only way to really pull this off. It'd be a lot of work, which I'm guessing is why nobody's taken up the challenge yet. (Beside ST2 still being in pretty rapid development.)
natebeaty
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby kakubei on Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:54 pm

natebeaty wrote: ...this would be a difficult thing to do elegantly across platforms.


I disagree. What's wrong with a preference window like every other OS X app in the world? All it has to do is write to the pref file in the right format. It actually already does that somewhat. If you edit the project file, close it and open it up again, it will be formatted differently. From there to providing us with a GUI to change keyboard shortcuts or themes, etc is not such a leap.

Now, I'm new to ST so I don't know if they have one codebase that they share across all platforms (is it all python, is that the case?) but I would think each platform would have it's native bit no? Even if it didn't (all python), a GUI with Python or Ruby backend would work across platforms I should think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
kakubei
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:19 am

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby natebeaty on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:42 pm

kakubei wrote:I disagree. What's wrong with a preference window like every other OS X app in the world?


Er, first, I said "across platforms", since ST2 is available on OS X, Linux and Windows, all of which have specific requirements and UI paradigms to deal with for a preferences window.

Second, you'll get nowhere with devs using blanket statements like "every other OS X app in the world". It's akin to "c'mon, just add a few lines of code and put in this simple feature!" I get the same thing as a web dev, e.g. "why doesn't this site load fast, never break, and look perfect on IE7 like every other website in the world?! Can't be that hard!"

kakubei wrote:Now, I'm new to ST so I don't know if they have one codebase that they share across all platforms (is it all python, is that the case?) but I would think each platform would have it's native bit no? Even if it didn't (all python), a GUI with Python or Ruby backend would work across platforms I should think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


ST2 is not coded in Python (a common misconception). Per Jon: "Sublime Text is written in C++, with Python embedded for the API."

I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying it would be a difficult and significant undertaking to add a GUI for prefs. Not only do you have 3 different GUI systems to build it in, you have to organize the incredible myriad of ST2 preferences (or more likely, selectively pick which ones should be in the GUI interface, leaving more advanced prefs to still be edited via text files), design the forms, handle errors in user input (both from the GUI and if the user messes something up when directly editing the text files), adapt to ongoing changes in the program, etc. Another thing I learned from webdesign over the years: forms are one of the most difficult things to design & code. I'm positive if you asked the devs of Alfred or Transmit (both have exquisite pref panels) they'd tell you they spent hundreds of hours on them. And that's for one platform.

Just typing that paragraph made me believe we'll never see a GUI for prefs, haha. I believe it will be up to us to build a third-party plugin for our specific platforms. I'd love to see it happen, even if just for the most basic functions like User Snippets and/or a generic Keyboard Shortcut Editor.
natebeaty
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby werchter on Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:44 am

+1 for a preferences GUI!
BTW: I created a user echo post for this a while ago: sublimetext.userecho.com/topic/53798-gui-for-settings

I realize, that in this bèta stage where specific preference settings come and go, repeatedly changing the GUI accordingly would be time consuming. But I think in the end, having a preference GUI is a must have.
I don't see why building such an interface cross-platform would be a problem. The entire Sublime GUI architecture already is cross-platform!

A bit off-topic: I think code folding/unfolding also desperately needs GUI access in addition to the keyboard shortcuts. (for example a '+'/'-' icon in the gutter to fold/unfold).
This signature was hacked 1 time
werchter
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:32 pm

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby bizoo on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:12 am

-1
First time I was disappointed by the lack of GUI for preferences but actually it's not a bad thing.
Config files in ST are text files, and luckily ST is the best software to edit them, so where is where is the problem ;)

What I really like is that there is unlimited comment/help for each item in the config files.
Some preference window for editors are just lists of checkbox and combo with incomprehensible caption and you need to look at the hint to barely understand their use.

Snippets editing could be better but a plugin like this (http://www.sublimetext.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2501&start=0&hilit=snippet) could be enough.
bizoo
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:53 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby kakubei on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:14 am

Code: Select all
Second, you'll get nowhere with devs using blanket statements like "every other OS X app in the world"

Wasn't my intention to come across as dismissive or confrontational. I know it's a lot of work, especially to maintain different platforms. However, that shouldn't be an excuse. For a paid program, if you're supporting a platform and charging the same as the other platforms, then a statement like:

"I'm not building a GUI for preferences because the app is supported in different platforms and that would be too much work" simply doesn't fly.

What I was trying to say was that I'm guessing the pref files are the same across all platforms (if they're not then it's really not a discussion is it?) and if you're already building native features on that platform (you've had to use Interface Builder to create the windows, buttons, etc) then building a GUI to write the prefs shouldn't be such a big deal. It would be daunting for me because I'm not such a good developer as the ST2 team, but if it's your bread and butter I really don't see it as such a big deal.

What am I missing?

Also, when I say GUI for prefs, I'm really thinking Keyboard shortcuts (I think this is a must), Color themes (simply a nicer window to choose them would be sufficient, like in Textmate or Xcode) a couple of major File Settings (again, Textmate, BBEdit, etc) and I think that should do it.

natebeaty, are you an ST2 developer?
kakubei
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:19 am

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby jbrooksuk on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:26 am

When you say ST Team, you're on about one person, Jon. Don't forget this. He does all development by himself. An extremely smart man.

Anyway, although I'm not fussed for a GUI either way, I do like how Chocolat App have done theirs. Especially the Themes window, because I hate editing themes in text mode.
jbrooksuk
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:37 am
Location: England

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby bizoo on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:29 am

kakubei wrote:For a paid program, if you're supporting a platform and charging the same as the other platforms, then a statement like

Actually one license cover ALL platforms and you're free to install it on ALL machine you like for your personal usage.
Difficult to find a more permissive license.

And please stop whining about paid program must have features xxx, It's so tiring...
bizoo
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:53 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: GUI for preferences

Postby kakubei on Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:50 pm

bizoo wrote:And please stop whining about paid program must have features xxx, It's so tiring...

Read the post again, I never said a paid program should have xxx feature, I said that to say it doesn't because it's multi-platform was not an excuse. If the dev decides not to put it in (for whatever reason) that's his prerogative.

In any case, I was just asking and, so far, have been * attacked* by two people. Interesting. Either you guys are really protective of this software or are very prickly, chill out a bit, this is a forum to help make the software even better than it already is. I don't think I was whining, nor do I think I was being dismissive of the developer's effort.

jbrooksuk: that is very impressive that it's only one person, I thought there would be at least one person per platform developing this, my hat's off to Jon, it is a massive undertaking.

But I still want my GUI prefs :mrgreen: (whine).
kakubei
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:19 am

Next

Return to Technical Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], mwb1100, Yahoo [Bot] and 14 guests