IDE oddities (was Re: Error Messages Are Evil)

Devin Asay devin_asay at
Wed May 14 14:55:06 EDT 2014

On May 14, 2014, at 12:41 PM, Peter Haworth <pete at>

> One thing that confused the heck out of me at the start is how the menu bar
> changes depending on whether a stack or the script editor is in front (this
> is on OSX).
> When in the script editor, the menu bar shows File, Edit, Debug, Handler,
> Window, Help and the File menu has no entries to open a stack, etc.  When
> on a stack, it shows File, Edit, Tools, Object Text, Development, View,
> Window, Help.
> So if I'm in the script editor and close all the open stacks, there is no
> way to open another stack without opening either the application browser or
> the Tools palette (and maybe other IDE stacks), neither of which I use.
> I'm sure this is a result of Apple's HIG but I have to say things work much
> better in this regard on Windows, where the script editor related menus are
> in the script editor itself.

Good one, Pete. I trip over that all the time. Keep 'em coming, folks.

Here's another one of mine:

By default closing a stack window keeps the file open in memory. This is one of the biggest sources of confusion and frustration for new users. It is too easy to save and close a stack window, then inadvertantly open an older version of a stack and then make the wrong choice on the confusing Save-Purge-Cancel dialog. Often the new user is convinced that all of their recent work has simply vanished, when in reality they just opened the wrong version of the stack. The default behavior should be that when a stack window is closed it is also removed from memory. I realize there are good and valid reasons for the current behavior, but it is confusing and offputting for new users. Experienced users can easily change the behavior.


Devin Asay
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