We all know by now that Real Software is redesigning the Real Studio IDE. For better or worse it’s coming whether we want it or not. It would really be nice if they changed the debugger to be more useful. Real Software last changed the IDE for the 2005 release and, in my opinion and many others, the debugger was a huge step backwards in usability.
In my opinion, and the feedback I get from other users, is that the Stack popup menu is not intuitive at all. In the old IDE it was a listbox which let you see, at a glance, what the call stack was that got you to the current breakpoint or exception. The popup menu is not intuitive. It confuses users. I say bring back the listbox.
As Merv pointed out in my last blog post, setting a breakpoint is sometimes an exercise in futility. The area to set the break point is maybe 8 pixels wide? Why not double the size? The UI shouldn’t be designed for 800 x 600 windows any more. Most monitors have much more width space than they used to. Make this more user friendly.
Many, many people have begged for Watchpoints in the debugger. In fact, the Feedback <feedback://showreport?report_id=1095> is currently at #13 and was entered in 2008.
An even bigger request is to have the debugger show a value tooltip while debugging. This means that if you hover your mouse over the variable ‘i’ the tooltip will show the current value. This one is at #7 and was entered in 2009. <feedback://showreport?report_id=10536>
Make these feedback items part of your Top Cases and show Real Software we really need them. My bitching about it won’t change it. Only your votes can give them any indication what you want.
Now, I have no idea what changes they have in store for the debugger. What I do know is that they’ve already said the first release will not have ANY changes to it. This is too bad but I don’t want to wait five years for a better debugger!
So my question is why do we have to wait for so long to get needed and wanted changes? What else do you think should be part of the debugger?