Editor Toolbar Button Reordering

Author: Ondrej Langr

$Revision: 1.6 $
$Date: 2007/12/03 14:11:47 $


  • Comparison of Current and Proposed State
  • Open Issues & Notes
  • Problem Description

    This specification proposes a reordering of editor toolbar buttons in NetBeans 6.0. The original order of buttons was inconsitent throughout the toolbar (see Figure 1. - e.g. the reverse order of next / previous bookmark with respect to order of "Find next / previous occurence", etc .. )

    Figure 1. Current state (promo H L&F)

    In figure 1. you can see the current typical appearance of editor toolbar for code based editing. However, for editing of special files, there can be aditional panels added into the toolbar (see Figure 5.).

    Use Cases and Scenarios

    Currently following use cases are covered by the buttons in the editor toolbar:

    • back/forward navigation within editor tabs
    • search
    • bookmarking, bookmark navigation
    • text formatting
    • macro recording
    • commenting and uncommenting blocks of text

    The editor toolbar can also be extended with file-type related module dependent buttons.


    Visual Description

    Figure 2. Proposed order of buttons (in NB 6 brand) - TBD - Vertical arrows - Tomas' icons

    For any file and mode where the editor toolbar actions are of some relevance (basically any mode where the user works with a code) the toolbar should be displayed as in Figure 2.

    Behavioral Description

    For toggle buttons, there should be visual signalization of the current state (pushed / released). These buttons are:

    • Toggle Highlight Search - pushed whenever highlight search is on
    • Toggle Bookmark - current line bookmarked. This button should appear as pushed whenever the cursor is located on a line which is currently bookmarked.

    Comparison of the Current and Proposed State

    Figure 3. Before (NB 6 brand)

    Figure 4. After (NB 6 brand)


    Open Issues & Notes

    View Toggle Buttons

    There are more issues regarding the editor toolbar. E.g., there can be view toggle buttons within the toolbar if available for a particular file. It is fine as long as there are 1-3 views, but if there are more views, these buttons cause the editor toolbar to run out of the screen (see figure 5).

    Figure 5. Current state for XML projects (in NetBeans 5.5)

    Usefulness of the Editor Toolbar

    There has been discussion on how much actually users do use the editor toolbar. We assume it is not used very intensively, however, we need more data from real users to decide whether to keep it or let it go completely.

    Project Features

    About this Project

    ui was started in November 2009, is owned by Jiří Kovalský, and has 44 members.
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