[Geany-devel] Ideas on increasing quality of plugins

Matthew Brush matthewbrush at xxxxx
Wed Mar 9 15:27:06 UTC 2011

On 03/09/11 03:42, Frank Lanitz wrote:
> Hi,
> Am 23.02.2011 01:10, schrieb Matthew Brush:
>> Another thing could be to make mandatory that documentation is existent
>> and current, up to some standard.  I mean for README, manual, and also
>> doc-comments in code (ex. each function/global must have a comment or
>> something).  Some other items where documentation could be enforced; new
>> keybindings, preferences, menu/toolbar items, tabs.
> I agree in a general view. According to code comments I'm not sure. But
> can you give me some more details what did you think about when you
> referred to the keybindings, preferences etc.?

Sure!  The perfect example, although I haven't tried it in a little bit, 
is the Debugger plugin.  You load the plugin and see the tab in the 
Message Window, and it looks really cool and useful.  Obviously I wanted 
to try it out right away, so I start to hover over the GUI elements 
hoping for some tooltips to guide me to what to do, but nope.  There was 
nothing in the README (at least when I tried).  So then I tried to just 
figure it out.  Finally after about 10 minutes I figure out that 
"Target" means the binary executable you want to debug, which seems 
kinda obvious now, but at the time the wording alone of "target" didn't 
seem to cut it.

So after that now I want to run it.  I spent another 10-15 minutes 
looking through the Toolbar, Build menu, Tools menu, etc looking for 
where I can invoke the Debugger.  There was nothing in the README.  
Finally I looked under the Keybindings preferences and saw there was 
keybindings to run it, and there was no default keybindings selected.

Point of that story is that *all* I needed was a few hints about what 
the plugin added to the GUI and what I needed to do to invoke it.  
Things like the new keybindings, their defaults, etc.  Personally, after 
using some other IDEs, I would have expect a toolbar menu button with 
"step into", "step out of", etc.  So I guess what I mean is, if you add 
a keybinding, or a preference, or a menu item or toolbar item, it should 
be documented.

I don't mean to pick on the Debugger plugin, I think it's *really* cool 
and I can appreciate that it's still under development, but this is 
specifically what I was thinking of when I wrote that in my previous 

> I know its not possible for everybody and useful in every case, but I
> did try to make on geanyLaTeX docu [1] what I'd like to have for every
> plugin.
> Cheers,
> Frank
> [1] http://frank.uvena.de/files/geany/manuals/geanylatex/geanylatex.html
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Matthew Brush (codebrainz)

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