Revamping Spoon

Dear Kettle fans,

Together with the Pentaho UI engineers we’re trying to address a number of usability issues in Spoon. This is what we’ve come up with so far:

You can minimize, maximize, hide or show the execution results panel with a single mouse click.

Let us know what you think of the changes so far. So far we’ve been focusing on the right side of the screen. Next on the agenda is the left side panel.

Until next time,
Matt

8 comments

  • Jim Block

    Hi Matt,

    the only thing, I really don’t like in Kettle is, that the Canvas on which all the steps and hops etc.
    were painted on has no grid like you have it on other “modelling” tools to adjust steps in line…

    Well, why would you change the current left side panel. I like the “outlook”-touched style of the current
    version. I think, clicking on a small plus sign is not really a usabilty boost.

    Regards,
    Jim

  • Well Jim, I guess we don’t have a grid because I always found it limiting and overly restrictive.
    It’s quite easy to implement and we even have a feature request open for it, but nobody got round to making that optional.
    The left hand panel is very confusing for a lot of people and hence we’re changing it.
    We want to reflect the different modes that people work in:
    1) View mode : see what’s inside)
    2) Design mode : edit / preview / debug)
    3) Manage : ETL life cycle management.

    The “Outlook” style you refer to was modified because it was incredibly slow on Linux/OSX and flickered like crazy on Windows (a native widget). The tree that’s in there at the moment is certainly not final, but even then you don’t really have to hit the + 🙂

    Matt

  • Nils

    The new ui design is totally confusing. Why is the toolbar in an editor window? I have never seen something like your new design.

    Regards,

    Nils

  • Nils, “totally confusing” seems a bit over the top for moving a toolbar a few pixels down. The toolbar is different for transformations and jobs and for that reason alone it should go into the editor window.
    Most people that worked with it seem to find it a huge improvement over the previous version, so I’m going to invite you to try it out for yourself in 3.1.0-M1 : http://www.ibridge.be/?p=109

    Matt

  • hi matt! well, it very catchy 🙂

    do you have a extra documentation on pdi server (carte).
    i need to import it to our existing server and it’s really paintfull to see through all the source code.
    so, if there is one, it will helpfull.

    i just wonder to build web base GUI for spoon….
    so, every ETL development will be place in one server.

  • Mike

    Hey Matt,

    I don’t like the new design! The green panel in the upper left is very distracting from the
    main panel. I do agree with “Nils”, that the toolbars new position is not very ergonomically, because
    toolbars usually are not placed in an editor window. I mean every other program has is menubar beneath the
    menubar even my firefox browser does 😉

    What I really like is the new zoom function!

    Mike

  • Mike, like I said, the left panel should get a change-over in the coming days.
    I’ll pass the toolbar comments to the UI and ergonomics designers at Pentaho 🙂

  • Esteban Sancho

    Hi Matt,

    I would suggest to split the toolbar:

    1) One for the common stuff (New, Open, Save, Print, etc), which is expected to be under the Menu bar.

    2) Another toolbar with smaller icons and no text in the transformation/job editor (Text being shown as tooltips). This toolbar could also include a couple of missing tools that one could expect in a visual editor: Select Tool, Pan Tool, Zoom Tool, etc. Moreover, it could be a nice place to put the “Hop tool”!

    Another suggestion is to use a tabbed panel for the left panel. I can think of the “Main Tree” as a “Project Explorer” and the “Core Objects” as the Object Palette. It could be even better if you can detach the palette and place it anywhere you want. Is it too much Netbeans inspired?

    I really think this is a great tool and thanks a lot for it!

    Kind regards,

    Esteban