Friday, September 19, 2008

Plans for changes in the Java EE perspective

The Java EE perspective hasn't changed much in the last years. There were only minor tweaks that surely make the things better, but nothing special yet.

Recently a discussion started on how to update the default layout in the Java EE perspective. The first suggestions came from Mik Kersten. They are related about better integration with the Mylyn project. This includes:

  • adding the Task List view

  • replacing the old Problems and Tasks views with the brand new Markers view

This started tickle my mind. I have an old usability problem with server management in the Java EE perspective. When I use an application server that produces logs in the standard output (like all open source servers), whenever I execute a start, stop or deploy operation, the Console view suddenly pops up and pours tons of logs on the screen. It nice to have a view on the logs, but this hides the Servers view where I can see what's happening at a glance. In such situation I always decide to change the docking location for either the Servers view or the Console view.

So, why don't we just change the default docking location of the Servers view? I find it very comfortable on the left-bottom side - under the Project Explorer view. This way I can see both the server status and the console output without any tab switching. Another benefit is that both views, which deal with projects, are on one and the same side and I can easierly drag-and-drop a project on a server instance.

Here is how the new Java EE perspective layout would look like:
Java EE Perspective

Other thoughts that cross my mind are:

  • why do we have the Data Source Explorer view by default?

  • isn't it better to have the Snippets view docked on the right next to the Outline view rather than at the bottom?

If you have any wishes that the Java EE perspective should meet, feel free to comment in the Eclipse Bugzilla where the discussion currently happens. The community feedback is the best guarantee that we will come to great ideas!