UI Design and Consultation – Komodo 6 Projects Debacle

I’ve used ActiveState Komodo as my IDE for Python and Ruby for a while, starting when I found Eclipse and PyDev irritating especially for debugging.

They recently decided to significantly redesign the Projects feature within Komodo, as part of version 6, and it serves as a great negative example of what happens when you don’t consult your users or put out prototypes but just inflict a design on people. For many users, including myself, the new approach loses functionality and makes the program significantly more painful to use, as you can see in the discussion forum.

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Right-justification, Page Counts and Abstractions

The design of rbrw basically follows that of the OOFILE report-writer, specifically the Windows environment:

  • specify a report layout using a few classes pointing to data sources
  • choose an appropriate environment that acts as a factory to create renderer classes that mirror each of the layout classes
  • renderers generate output as a series of Drawing Elements, collected into pages
  • draw a single page on a preview window, or multiple pages to a printer.

The current task is to create a right-aligned page count eg: Page 1 of 3 for a report.

This poses two large and one small problems: Continue reading