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Merge of buffer-switching plugins

Motivation

There are now many plugins for buffer selection around. While having options is good, the options are spread out over too many plugins. It would be better for everyone if the developers of these plugins combined their efforts into a few highly configurable plugins. This would keep all current features, but make them more accessible and easier to find, particularly for new users.

Benefits:

Drawbacks:

Idea

Ideally we would combine plugins as follows: (where nested items are rolled into the parent)

Future plans and steps

  1. : Merge the plugins under Buffer List? into one plugin. Name maybe Buffer Switcher??

Communication ideas between plugin

Maybe this should go to wishlist !?

How about introducing dragīnīdrop between: File System Browser -> Project Viewer certain project Buffer List? -> Project Viewer Of course this is only possible if both plugin windows are visible! Currently it is not possible to have more than one plugin on the same docking side!

User comments

Brad Mace - 27 Aug 2003

There doesn't seem to be anyone maintaining Buffer Tabs, so I'd encourage the developers of Buffer Tabs-like plugins to go ahead and work their changes into the main Buffer Tabs plugin as options.

Richard Urwin - 27 Aug 2003

Code Browser should use Buffer List? instead of providing its own switcher. I'm not sure if I'd want to see them both as a single plugin though.

Martin Fischbach - 27 Aug 2003

  1. I totally agree, Code Browser 's own switcher should be replaced by Buffer List?. Somehow I prefer the tree view of Buffer List?.
  2. Maybe this is a too hard merge: I would like to see a general plugin, which provides a merge between Project Viewer and Buffer List?:
  3. Buffer Tabs should be merged with Buffer List?. Both they do the same, but with a different GUI. The clickable tabs of Buffer Tabs should be an option for Buffer List?. As an alternative, one could add Buffer Tabs to build-in buffer selector of jedit.
  4. Fast Open should also be added to Project Viewer

Pete Prodoehl - 27 Aug 2003

I had forgotten that Code Browser even had a switcher, as I had hid it from view.

I tend to use Buffer List? only to show me the recent files list, and again, ignore the open files list by hiding it.

As far as the Project Viewer, I don't think of it as a switcher in the same way I do the others, as it's a list of files, that may or may not be open, which the others show me what files are open right now.

Hmmm, the differences in how people work is going to make this tough. What I'd like to see, at a minimum, is a merging of the various Buffer Tabs enhancements into one version, as Brad states above.

Martin Fischbach - 27 Aug 2003

On point 3 of my list, I really meant Buffer List? and not Buffer Selector.

The merge of Buffer Tabs and Buffer Selector is clear, since they seem to be 95% identical.

What I want you to think about is: Buffer List? provides a tree view of open files. An option where one could tabs instead/additonal like Buffer Tabs already does, should be no problem. Nearly all routines/methods Buffer Tabs needs are already there. Or are there any features of Buffer Tabs I don't know about?

Sorry; I didn't see Buffer List? as being that similar to Buffer Tabs, so I thought you meant Buffer Selector. It's hard to keep them all straight, which of course is the whole point of combining them

-- Brad Mace - 27 Aug 2003

smile

Richard Urwin - 27 Aug 2003

I don't think you need to merge Project Viewer and Buffer List?. It seems identical to the Code Browser / Buffer List? situation. So Project Viewer should, or might, make use of Buffer List?, but they don't need to be the same plugin.

Martin Fischbach - 27 Aug 2003

I think Richard is right with Code Browser, Project Viewer and Buffer List?, so I updated the main list ....

Another remark: why is Fast Open a "sub" of Project Viewer? I would like to see it as a sub of both Project Viewer and Buffer List?! Depending on the situation Fast Open could select open files (Buffer List?) or project files (Project Viewer)

Brad Mace - 27 Aug 2003

Fast Open depends on Project Viewer because it makes use of projects, so putting it into Project Viewer makes sense. I don't think we want to make other Buffer Switching plugins depend on Project Viewer though, even though I'd assume most people have it installed.

I think the current plan looks pretty good, so we need to see if we can get the developers of these plugins on board.

Martin Fischbach - 27 Aug 2003

Okay, I also think, the current layout is fine!

Brad, since Iīm new to this community, I would suggest that you pull the developers on board. I hope it won't be too hard to convince them .... smile

Marcelo Vanzin - 08 Sep 2003

(i) Project Viewer x Fast Open: it's been suggested before to merge the two into one plugin, but after some thought I think it's better the way it is... not everybody uses Fast Open (me included), and I think Jiger is doing a good job with it. Trying to have it inside PV would make it needlessly more difficult to manage releases. I'm trying not to mess up PV's api so I don't break Fast Open (and others). smile

(ii) Buffer switching. Somebody said something about PV having a tab for open files - as a matter of fact, it already does (it's called the "Working Files" tab). One nice feature for buffer switchers would be only show buffers from the active project in the view, instead of all buffers. I don't use many views (generally), but I can see how useful that could be.

Jiger Patel - 09 Sep 2003

As regards PV + Fast Open integration, I second Marcelo's views and that is what we had in mind ever since this topic has come up. I think we don't have to merge everything into one just because one depends (more or less) on the other. Having seperate developments allows adding more features at will, not that it won't otherwise but gives the additional ability to release the Plugin at will instead of waiting for the whole bunch to be released. I can add more features to Fast Open and keep releasing version instead of waiting for PV to be also released. So I think lets keep it the same way smile

Martin Fischbach - 09 Sep 2003

Marcelo: Working Files are the files to work, not necessarily all open files. (A file which is not added to any project will never appear in working files)

Currently I don't know the concrete argument, why to integrate Fast Open to Project Viewer (maybe Brad can answer!).

Maybe you are right, what concerns "releasing versions". But what we had in mind:

Jiger Patel - 09 Sep 2003

Hi Martin,
Yes I too carry this view that there are a lot of "buffer switching" plugins and those that are "almost" the same with some icings here and there SHOULD BE merged. But my contention with merging Fast Open and PV is that they two are NOT the same (obviously) so no point in merging their development efforts. 2. The goals/facilities of Fast Open vis-a-vis other buffer switching plugins are different so whom do we merge it with now. So we (I and Marcelo) decided to keep the development seperate for this reason and the points I noted above. As regards some of the other "buffer" based plugins being merged, well their Authors can carve their future better.

-Jiger

Alain Robert - 10 Sep 2003

I agree too that buffer switchers could be merged. Here some ideas on how it could be done:

What do you think ? did I forget a feature or a plugin ?

I was testing Fader Tabs and it seems like it could be a good candidate for generalization. All the features are there despite some limitation it looks like an interesting evolution smile

Alain

Martin Fischbach - 10 Sep 2003

To Jiger:

I agree, that Fast Open and Project Viewer are not the same smile

Concerning Fast Open and Project Viewer: Fast Open provides very useful (perhaps not everybody would need) features which expand the Project Viewer. In my opinion thatīs a reason, why to merge them. But if you say, release management, code merging etc. makes things more difficult you are probably right. I currently made no thoughts, how we could manage the release issue.

Concerning Fast Open and Buffer Switching. For non project-centric buffer-switching there is the plugin Switch Buffer.

So, apart from release difficulties I see no reason, why not to merge Project Viewer and Fast Open!

To Alain:

Your ideas are fine, I think. Can you please add your ideas to the entries under "idea" ?

To all:

A added Future plans and steps. Please add/comment!

Jiger Patel - 10 Sep 2003

Hi Martin, Hmm that sounds reasonble but as I said, there are some aspects with regards merging Fast Open and Project Viewer which thankfully have been well understood and accept by you all so thats nice. With regards Buffer Switching, I won't really put Fast Open as a buffer switching plugin though with 0.8(or 0.9) it does allow Non-Project file switching too. But Fast Open is primarily a File switcher rather than open buffer switcher so I think we need to merge "Buffer" plugins more... they have really grown too many.

-Jiger

Martin Fischbach - 10 Sep 2003

To Jiger: Hi Jiger,

didn't know Fast Open could do switching of non-project files. Ouch smile Iīm sorry, but I didnīt get the point: what do you mean with "FastOpen is a File switcher rather than open buffer switcher" I only used Fast Open for project file switching: which buffer can you switch? "all open"? What is a File Switcher?

Concerning your statement "we need to merge "Buffer" plugins more..." what is your intention? Whatelse and how would you merge???

Jiger Patel - 11 Sep 2003

Hi Martin, Ya Fast Open can also show you files open in the view but are not part of the Project (Non-Project files basically). What I meant by "File Switcher" vis-a-vis "Buffer Switcher" is that Fast Open can "open" files in your project that you don't neccessarily have it open already. "Buffer Switching" plugins allow you to open/switch only between "currently open" buffers/files. Thats the difference if you can get it.

Regarding your third point "Concerning your statement.....", I wanted to point out the big picture with regards merging some good buffer switching plugins with some good features into one. Nothing adverse to anyone's feelings.


-Jiger

Martin Fischbach - 11 Sep 2003

Hi Jiger,

sorry that I didn't look closer at Fast Open, to see what it is able to do!

What are your concrete ideas concerning the merge of some good buffer switching plugins with some good features? Do you agree with current Buffer List? merge plans? (chapter idea) Where would you like to see Fast Open placed? (and if) Design ideas (like Alain started!)? Any further ideas?

Best regards

Martin

Jiger Patel - 11 Sep 2003

> sorry that I didn't look closer at Fast Open, to see what it is able to do!

No Problem :)
Well I have not really thought about Buffer switching plugins a lot though I have seen some good ideas like Fader Tabs or ideas like showing/highlighting frequently used buffers or buffers by mode type color in FSB etc. I personally use Buffer Tabs with Fast Open(obviously :)) and I am very happy with it.

But if you want my Feature Request if that helps us come to "ideal" features that a Buffer Plugin must have then I think it should be the one that occupies least (ideally no)screen space, it should highlight current buffer distinctvely in its GUI, must have the capabilities like transversing the Buffer in particular order (some people have suggested MS Visual Studio style), now since I cannot see the buffer tab there should be a good and intutive way to see the buffers without much bells and whistles in an intutive fashion without having to scroll thru the list if you have large no. of buffers. It may optionally also provide a list of recently used buffers but should be optional since the rationale is that if I use a file more, then I will keep it open, atleast for that session. since I use Fast Open, I hardly need recently used buffers since either I keep a buffer open if I am going to need it on and off, or transverse back to my previous search results using Fast Open, but many people may have different style of working so they may need it...
I will add more ideas for merging/adding features to Buffer Switching Plugins.

-Jiger

Harpreet Singh - 11 Sep 2003

Jigger, I agree with all the features you've suggested and would like to add one more. The plugin should allow the user to switch buffers without having to use the mouse. I'm currently using Switch Buffer and I think it is the best buffer switcher jedit has. It is extremly simple to use and doesn't take up unnecessary space on screen and above all its fast. Its not complete but is the best out there.

If we do end up with a new buffer switcher I hope it allows the user to do things as simply and as fast as Switch Buffer does.

Anthony Roy - 06 Feb 2004

I personally prefer the tab-like views as I am used to them from using Mozilla, and I find it a relatively space efficient way of seeing exactly what you have open without the need to open a new window or dock.

As far as tab-like switchers go, it seems to me that Buffer Tabs and Buffer Selector should be deprecated in favour of Fader Tabs. Having tried all of these, (I was previously using a version of Buffer Selector that I had hacked to close with a middle mouse click), Fader tabs has all of the functionality of the others, and more (including eye-candy, middle-click close and choice of toolbar or dockable position).

It makes sense to me to roll the different types of view into one plugin, where the user has the option of dockable list, tree or tab views, and the option of buffer switcher like functionality. A useful enhancement (and a pretty trivial one I should think) would be to have a couple of actions defined "Next Buffer" and "Previous Buffer" which would move to the next/previous tab in the tab ordering.

I think gains would be made in rolling together these components - it would allow for a cleaner Plugin menu, and smaller download, as I should imagine that most of these share a good deal of common ground code-wise.

Topic BufferSwitching . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.28 | > | r1.27 | > | r1.26 | More }
Revision r1.28 - 06 Feb 2004 - 10:41 GMT - Anthony Roy
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