Jenkins UI enhancements

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domi

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Dec 14, 2011, 3:32:47 PM12/14/11
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Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve Jenkins' UI.
We think it's been pointed out by many as a weak point in Jenkins, and it just so happens
that I might be able to get hold of some user experience designer to spend some time
on this.

So we'd like to collect ideas from you about what kind of things you'd like to see changed
in the Jenkins UI. We'll try to consolidate them, and run them by UX designers to make
sure we can get informed decisions.

Please also be reminded that the changes we can make is constrained by the compatibility
requirement.

Some of the thoughts that came up during the meeting are:

  • splitting config to multiple tabs, using more AJAX to update data in the page without reload
  • make fonts bigger and use less borders
  • background color changes in different regions to group things together
  • the handle in the config page that lets you reorder steps is apparently very hard to find
  • I find the "delete" button to be confusing where it belongs to, for certain build steps

But let's brainstorm!



Perrier, Nathan

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Dec 14, 2011, 3:52:58 PM12/14/11
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·         Add config link to core UI in job list (one less mouse click)

·         “Advanced” plugin button expanded in config page by default if master config param set

·         Add the ability to custom order job list tabs (currently it seems to be alphabetic)

grayaii

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Dec 14, 2011, 4:00:55 PM12/14/11
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I only have a few ideas (but I did send this question to the rest of my team,
so I may have a few more later on)

1) Whatever change happens, it would be nice to have the option to configure
it ourselves. Some sort of UI that allows users to change colors, fonts,
maybe even layouts, maybe even icons, etc.etc. would be nice.

2) Currently, the webpage does a good job at maximizing its real-estate.
Meaning that banners and graphics don't take up too much space. But, when
the amount of views/jobs/etc grows, jenkins has a hard time displaying that
information. I remember that Dean Yu gave a presentation on how to handle
displaying 100+ views, but it would nice if that sort of functionality is
built into jenkins. (I don't remember if there is plugin for this or not) Or
at least take this into consideration when re-doing the graphics.

3) This is minor, but I posted a question a while back about changing the
icons of the view folder. Here is the
http://jenkins.361315.n4.nabble.com/Different-Icons-for-Different-Views-td3649489.html
link

4) I'm not a big fan of having tabs in the config page, since I'm always
finding myself hitting "Ctrl + f" to find things on that page. With tabs,
I'll have to visit each tab to execute my search...

5) Overall, IMHO, the layout does its job quite nicely, so if changes are
coming, hopefully they will not be too disruptive (The microsoft Ribbon
comes to mind... I don't think I met anyone who liked that UI...)

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Slide

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Dec 14, 2011, 4:07:07 PM12/14/11
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Would be very nice if some of the "Save" buttons "floated" as you scrolled the page so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom of a very large config page to save something you changed at the top.

slide

--
Website: http://earl-of-code.com

Salim Fadhley

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Dec 14, 2011, 6:48:19 PM12/14/11
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My biggest UI problem -

The slave-list on the left gets cluttered with mostly irrelevant information. I'd like to see online nodes at the top, offline nodes at the bottom. I'd like an option to disable the display of non-active executors to save space.

The views-list on the top is also a source of clutter. My project has about 20 views - it makes the screen look terrible. Could we have an alternative method to access the views, for example from a heirarchical pop-down menu? That would make things
a great deal better.

Sal

Nick Leaton

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Dec 14, 2011, 8:22:44 PM12/14/11
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How about providing some standard widgets for graphs etc. That way they are consistent between the different plugins that track numbers over time. 

Nick
--
Nick

Terry....@csiro.au

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Dec 14, 2011, 9:32:29 PM12/14/11
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Better plugin support for multi jobs. Can you summarise the multi job data better within a plugin?

 

“build now here” option (for testing new slaves).

 

Slave info page – have a “your slave.jar is not up to date” message. And probably in the connection string “connected via XXX, with version YYY, on arch (x32|x64).”

 

“run elsewhere” option/button for queued builds.

 

Regards,

Terry

Les Mikesell

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Dec 14, 2011, 10:28:13 PM12/14/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM, domi <do...@fortysix.ch> wrote:
> Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve
> Jenkins' UI.

How about an easy way to convert a working single target job to a matrix build?

--
Les Mikesell
lesmi...@gmail.com

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

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Dec 15, 2011, 12:56:25 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Les Mikesell
On 12/14/2011 07:28 PM, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM, domi<do...@fortysix.ch> wrote:
>> Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve
>> Jenkins' UI.
>
> How about an easy way to convert a working single target job to a matrix build?

I hear you, but that's not really an UI change, isn't it...


--
Kohsuke Kawaguchi | CloudBees, Inc. | http://cloudbees.com/
Try Nectar, our professional version of Jenkins

Nord, James

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:08:02 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

Strange – I have to say I think the Jenkins UI is a strong point!

 

I’ve used nexus (I dislike – overly complex can’t see what’s saved vs what’s in progress – due to the mix of tabs & tables)

I’ve use CruiseControl (ok a long time ago but well ‘nuff said)

 

I think depending on who you ask you will get conflicting reports of what works/doesn’t – I haven’t herad anybody at work complain about the UI in Jenkins.

(apart from where its’s broken or displays badly in IE – plugin descriptions I’m looking at you!)

 

But having said that there are areas for improvements – such as

1)      View tabs – having a lot makes them less useful (moving to folders instead has helped here – but removed the dashboard views L)

2)      Load performance (certainly in IE8 is not brilliant in a few pages)

3)      Graphs – IMAPs don’t work in IE8 but do in chrome (JENKINS-6879).

 

But only one of the above is really for a UI designer.  Sure there is always pixel pushing and colours that a UI designer would be good at – but that’s not throwing the baby out with the bath water J

 

/James

 

From: jenkins...@googlegroups.com [mailto:jenkins...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of domi
Sent: 14 December 2011 20:33
To: jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Jenkins UI enhancements

 

Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve Jenkins' UI.




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Grégory Bougeard

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:15:06 AM12/15/11
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Ability to have common options for all jobs (like columns, timestamping, ...)
When you have a lot of plugins, the $JENKINS/configure page is really big and the button save is far away at the bottom of the page. Maybe this page should be redesigned.
The autorefresh thing is nice but it should be "ajaxified" to not refresh the whole page and just widgets which could be autorefreshed.

I'm not aware of which web technology is used for Jenkins GUI but today great things can be done with tools like GWT or Primefaces (JSF2) or jQuery to have a really nice UI.
I would have a look on it :D

thx for your work Jenkins team ;)

Nord, James

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:24:21 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

I would throw into the mix in IE8 the matrix based security – the groups and names of permissions are printed vertically which is much better than on chrome where they are printed horizontally taking up much more real estate forcing you to scroll left/right to see the full list.

 

/James

nicolas de loof

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:25:12 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
From my understanding, the idea here was to get UX designer to help improve look and feel, usability and such things, not to fully redesign the UI framework :)

As a side note, GWT can't be used on Jenkins as it requires all UI code to be available at compile time, so can't handle plugins to contribute UI.

Fred G

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:29:41 AM12/15/11
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Hi,

I think it would be a good idea to create a wiki page to collect all ideas.

The Jenkins UI is not bad, but it could be more consistent in certain areas:
-Unique Icons for different actions. (Right now the same icons get reused in core and also in plugins for different actions, eg. Build History, Script Console, Changes all share the same icon)
-On the main configuration page settings should be grouped together and put in better order (eg. settings related to plugins should be in one group)
-Navigation between jobs could be improved. (If you select a job which is part of a view or a matrix configuration, links to the next and previous job of the same view/matrix would be nice.)

Here some comments on the already proposed ideas:

@Nathan Perrier
A config link in the job list is already available if you use the "configure project column" of the Extra Columns Plugin. If this is what you want
and more people find it useful maybe it can be pulled up to the core.

@Salim Fadhley
Have you tried out the DropDown ViewsTabBar Plugin yet? It replaces the view tabs with a drop down menu.


Regards,

Fred

Ferenc Kovacs

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:45:16 AM12/15/11
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2011/12/15 Grégory Bougeard <gbou...@gmail.com>

+1
please use fieldsets + borders for separating the configuration blocks a little bit more.
it would be also really nice, if I would be able to collapse/expand the blocks (we already do that for some stuff, like advanced options).
I would also miss the option to jump quickly to various parts of the admin area, it would be really nice if we could have some quick navigation bar or something, so that I don't have to visit the Manage Jenkins page every time when I want to go to Manage plugins or Configure System. 

--
Ferenc Kovács
@Tyr43l - http://tyrael.hu

Paul Weiss

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Dec 15, 2011, 7:17:29 AM12/15/11
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Views have "Filter Built Queue" and "Filter Build Executors", but
"Filter Build Executors" shows me executors that _could_ run jobs in
my view. Instead, I'd like to filter them to only show executors that
_are_ running jobs in my view.

-P

Vojtech Juranek

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Dec 15, 2011, 7:35:12 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

> splitting config to multiple tabs
+1
and lazy loading, as jobs with a lot of config load very long time to show
config page

vladimir sedyshev

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Dec 15, 2011, 7:46:12 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
On 12/14/11, grayaii <georg...@rsa.com> wrote:
> I only have a few ideas (but I did send this question to the rest of my
> team,
> so I may have a few more later on)
>
> 1) Whatever change happens, it would be nice to have the option to configure
> it ourselves. Some sort of UI that allows users to change colors, fonts,
> maybe even layouts, maybe even icons, etc.etc. would be nice.
>

I am against tabs myself - please keep everything on one page.

And I second Slide's proposal about floating "Save" button.

Ferenc Kovacs

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Dec 15, 2011, 7:56:52 AM12/15/11
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On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 1:46 PM, vladimir sedyshev <vla...@gmail.com> wrote:
On 12/14/11, grayaii <georg...@rsa.com> wrote:
> I only have a few ideas (but I did send this question to the rest of my
> team,
> so I may have a few more later on)
>
> 1) Whatever change happens, it would be nice to have the option to configure
> it ourselves.  Some sort of UI that allows users to change colors, fonts,
> maybe even layouts, maybe even icons, etc.etc. would be nice.
>

I am against tabs myself - please keep everything on one page.

+1 

Daniel PETISME

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Dec 15, 2011, 7:57:09 AM12/15/11
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Hello,

As said, with a lot of plugins the job configuration page can be very long. The save button is really far far away every time !
Tabs are a good idea, but if we use it in jobs config, they must be used in every config pages.

What about a expand/collapse sections mechanisms ? The sections could be lazy loaded (Load a section if the user ask to expand it).
The configurations are XML  trees, why not use Tree views as UI ?

Slide

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:04:57 AM12/15/11
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This is why I thought a "floating" save button would be nice. In reality, something like the floating ToC in some Wiki implementations might be nice to, so that you could quickly switch between different config sections, and have the save button handy. I think that Trac has the floating ToC option.

slide

Nord, James

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:14:07 AM12/15/11
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Why are people so afraid of <ctrl>+<end> (works on Linux and Windows – surely Mac has an equivalent)  ;-)

 

Personally I find floating buttons annoying as they always end up getting in the way of something (which leads to more scrolling, subverting the original reason for it), or grabbing focus when they shouldn’t.  I’m yet to see one done well, where a fixed button would have worked just as well.

 

/James

 

From: jenkins...@googlegroups.com [mailto:jenkins...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Slide
Sent: 15 December 2011 13:05
To: jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Jenkins UI enhancements

 

 

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 5:57 AM, Daniel PETISME <daniel....@gmail.com> wrote:

Ferenc Kovacs

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:16:33 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 2:14 PM, Nord, James <JN...@nds.com> wrote:

Why are people so afraid of <ctrl>+<end> (works on Linux and Windows – surely Mac has an equivalent)  ;-)

 

Personally I find floating buttons annoying as they always end up getting in the way of something (which leads to more scrolling, subverting the original reason for it), or grabbing focus when they shouldn’t.  I’m yet to see one done well, where a fixed button would have worked just as well.


you can also click into an input field, and hit enter, at least this is what I'm doing, when I too lazy to scroll.

Ann Campbell

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:19:56 AM12/15/11
to Jenkins Users
Agree that Jenkins' UI is already strong.

+1 on floating save buttons
+1 on expand/collapse sections in job config with lazy load and expand/
collapse all options at the top for those that use ctrl-F to jump to
what they need

I'd like to see "Advanced" sections expanded by default if they
contain non-default configs.
I'd like to be able to re-collapse an Advanced section

I'd love to be able to configure on a job-by-job basis what the
"build" link said. We have many jobs that are pure "deploy" and this
sometimes causes confusion.

I can set a description on a view-by-view basis, but sometimes I need
to be able to set a system-wide message that would appear on every
view (and project and build?) It would be really spiffy if the area
reserved for this message did an auto refresh - on a configurable time
limit - the same way the build queue does.

Les Mikesell

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:59:31 AM12/15/11
to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, jenkins...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Kohsuke Kawaguchi
<kkawa...@cloudbees.com> wrote:
> On 12/14/2011 07:28 PM, Les Mikesell wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM, domi<do...@fortysix.ch>  wrote:
>>>
>>>  Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve
>>>  Jenkins' UI.
>>
>>
>> How about an easy way to convert a working single target job to a matrix
>> build?
>
>
> I hear you, but that's not really an UI change, isn't it...

Well, you'd have to add something visible to enable it. As for
overall UI, I'm probably unusual this way, but I really hate things
that hide sections behind tabs or don't expose options until you push
the right button. Would much prefer a way to see every option in one
big page so I can use the browser's search feature instead of having
to google for instructions on which tab to open or which button to
click to get a screen with the option I want to change. Color coding
active/non active sections would be nice, though. And when I see a
bunch of stuff at once, then I want a way to enter a regexp to make
changes across everything instead of having to move to every form
field and repeat it - this might be particularly useful after copying
an existing job to a new one.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmi...@gmail.com

Vojtech Juranek

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Dec 15, 2011, 9:25:48 AM12/15/11
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> What about a expand/collapse sections mechanisms ? The sections could be
> lazy loaded (Load a section if the user ask to expand it).

I'm perfectly fine with expand/collapse (maybe even better than tabs), my main
point was lazy loading as waitng for a page to load is quite annoying for me

Al

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Dec 15, 2011, 9:59:30 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
A better way to manage views would be helpful.
some thing I can't seem to find:
1. a way to hide/delete a view
2. a way to add an existing build to a populated view (an empty view has links to add projects)
 
Al

From: Vojtech Juranek <vjur...@redhat.com>
To: jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 6:25 AM

Subject: Re: Jenkins UI enhancements

Brian J

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Dec 15, 2011, 10:24:52 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Improve page load times. Running tools such as Yslow against certain key pages may give some hints for how to improve in this area. Some preliminary tests suggest there might be some room for improvement in how js/CSS is handled. 

Settings in "Advanced"/collapsed areas are often difficult to find, and even if you know where the setting is, it takes several clicks and scrolling to get to it. In many cases having everything expanded would make it easier to find a setting.

Splitting long configuration pages into separate pages or tabs would prevent a lot of scrolling to get to the item you want to configure. It also may result in quicker page loads. It seems faster to me to be able to click a tab rather than having to scroll for a few pages to find what you want.

+1 to Slide-o-mix's idea about floating buttons. It would be even better if it could keep you on the page in the same location, as in "save" versus "save and exit". In particular, the job configuration and manage jenkins page could use something like this. 

The Available Plugins page has also become rather long, assuming most people have more plugins not installed than installed. Possible solutions would be a search mechanism, a second set of tabs by category, or links to jump to a certain category.

It seems there are differing opinions on the most efficient navigation. Perhaps we can address both with enabling a couple different view styles. So far it looks like I'm seeing "more tabs, expand everything" and "no tabs, more collapsing". We won't please everyone, but perhaps a small number of styles would take care of most. 



On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM, domi <do...@fortysix.ch> wrote:

Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve Jenkins' UI.

We think it's been pointed out by many as a weak point in Jenkins, and it just so happens
that I might be able to get hold of some user experience designer to spend some time
on this.

Costin Caraivan

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Dec 15, 2011, 11:13:21 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
1. Add icons to the status balls. Advantages:
- great help for color blind users
- easier to notice for regular users too
Suggestions: x (cross) for red, v (check mark) for green, !
(exclamation) for yellow, - (dash) for disabled/aborted.

2. Consistent and nested bread crumbs. The Jenkins bread crumbs are
all over the place. And especially for the Manage Jenkins part, they
should be nested.
For example:
http://jenkins.bc.corp.adobe.com/manage -> "Jenkins" should be:
"Jenkins -> Manage"
http://jenkins.bc.corp.adobe.com/pluginManager/available -> "Jenkins >
Plugin Manager" should be: "Jenkins > Plugin Manager > Available
Plugins"

Want more? :p

Mark Donohoe

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Dec 15, 2011, 11:52:14 AM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
This is a great discussion! Here is my list:

My biggest peve is stale pages. The job has been finished for 1 hour
and the build page button is still blinking!
I configure a job and the page is stale, I refresh, it's good, I save
and get the dreaded can't find class error, do it again
and hope it works. If you turn on auto refresh (I have mine set for 7
seconds) you can't read reports as a refresh takes you to another page.
This is the only application I use that has this problem. Is this a
java thing? (I don't code in java).

+1 for fixing the save button, I don't care what method is used as long
as I can easily find it with out a lot of scrolling.

The ability to define your own report page. For example, my users want
colored indicators next to reports. My reports may report errors in the
run, so those reports get 'red'. Reports that show a clean run get
green, reports that have some other problem show yellow, modules with no
tests show orange. I can to this now by creating a directory with my
own index.html in it with the reports, but it would nice to have some
sort of template system that could be used.

+1 for fixing the admin page, it is an issue to have to got to manage
jenkins to get to manage plugins, etc...

+1 for making it easier to delete a job using the shelved projects plugin.

Overall the UI is a good first cut as is. It's not bad, but it's time
to consider the next iteration as the product now has a lot of use and
some scaling issues in the UI are starting to surface. This is a great
community. Looking forward to the next UI.

--
---
Mark Donohoe
OSPO, HP
FOSSology.org

Gergely Nagy

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Dec 15, 2011, 1:20:44 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
A better way to manage views would be helpful.

1) oh, yes: I have simple issue with them: ordering.
The view tabs seems ordered alphabetically.. So to get a specific order (of importance, for example), a workaround is to add numbers as prefixes in the names.. a bit clumsy.
Could we support manually ordering as well?

2) also about views: I have several list/sectioned views with same column layout.. however this is a bit tedious to set up and to keep consistent.
So, it would be great to define the tables columns once (eg. one with build button, preference button, etc) , then refer to that definition in all the views.

my 2 cents, Gergo

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

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Dec 15, 2011, 1:55:53 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Perrier, Nathan
On 12/14/2011 12:52 PM, Perrier, Nathan wrote:
> �Add the ability to custom order job list tabs (currently it seems to be
> alphabetic)

This is an extension point, so all we need is a plugin that offers more
controls to the user.

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

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Dec 15, 2011, 1:57:33 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Slide
On 12/14/2011 01:07 PM, Slide wrote:
> Would be very nice if some of the "Save" buttons "floated" as you
> scrolled the page so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom
> of a very large config page to save something you changed at the top.

Anyone knows how to do this easily with CSS/JavaScript?

The same problem exists with the update center.

Slide

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Dec 15, 2011, 2:01:12 PM12/15/11
to Kohsuke Kawaguchi, jenkins...@googlegroups.com

One example I found [1]. I believe that trac does this with the toc as well.

[1] - http://www.fiendish.demon.co.uk/html/javascript/layerfloat.html

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

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Dec 15, 2011, 2:01:18 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Nord, James
On 12/15/2011 03:08 AM, Nord, James wrote:
> Strange � I have to say I think the Jenkins UI is a strong point!
>
> I�ve used nexus (I dislike � overly complex can�t see what�s saved vs
> what�s in progress � due to the mix of tabs & tables)
>
> I�ve use CruiseControl (ok a long time ago but well �nuff said)

>
> I think depending on who you ask you will get conflicting reports of
> what works/doesn�t � I haven�t herad anybody at work complain about the
> UI in Jenkins.

Thanks!

> (apart from where its�s broken or displays badly in IE � plugin
> descriptions I�m looking at you!)

This is good to know. We encourage more people to report these issues.
We seem to have more problems with IE than with any other browsers...


> But having said that there are areas for improvements � such as
>
> 1)View tabs � having a lot makes them less useful (moving to folders
> instead has helped here � but removed the dashboard views L)
>
> 2)Load performance (certainly in IE8 is not brilliant in a few pages)
>
> 3)Graphs � IMAPs don�t work in IE8 but do in chrome (JENKINS-6879).


>
> But only one of the above is really for a UI designer. Sure there is

> always pixel pushing and colours that a UI designer would be good at �
> but that�s not throwing the baby out with the bath water J
>
> /James
>
> *From:*jenkins...@googlegroups.com
> [mailto:jenkins...@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *domi
> *Sent:* 14 December 2011 20:33
> *To:* jenkins...@googlegroups.com
> *Subject:* Jenkins UI enhancements


>
> Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve
> Jenkins' UI.
> We think it's been pointed out by many as a weak point in Jenkins, and
> it just so happens
> that I might be able to get hold of some user experience designer to
> spend some time
> on this.
>
> So we'd like to collect ideas from you about what kind of things you'd
> like to see changed
> in the Jenkins UI. We'll try to consolidate them, and run them by UX
> designers to make
> sure we can get informed decisions.
>
> Please also be reminded that the changes we can make is constrained by
> the compatibility
> requirement.
>
> Some of the thoughts that came up during the meeting are:
>

> �splitting config to multiple tabs, using more AJAX to update data in
> the page without reload
>
> �make fonts bigger and use less borders
>
> �background color changes in different regions to group things together
>
> �the handle in the config page that lets you reorder steps is apparently
> very hard to find
>
> �I find the "delete" button to be confusing where it belongs to, for


> certain build steps
>
> But let's brainstorm!
>
>
>

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Kohsuke Kawaguchi

unread,
Dec 15, 2011, 2:02:38 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Ferenc Kovacs
On 12/15/2011 03:45 AM, Ferenc Kovacs wrote:
>
>
> 2011/12/15 Grégory Bougeard <gbou...@gmail.com
> <mailto:gbou...@gmail.com>>

This "I want to reduce the number of clicks" seem to be a common theme.
Maybe some kind of drop-down menu or something to provide quicker
nagivation or something.

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

unread,
Dec 15, 2011, 2:04:39 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Fred G
On 12/15/2011 03:29 AM, Fred G wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I think it would be a good idea to create a wiki page to collect all ideas.
>
> The Jenkins UI is not bad, but it could be more consistent in certain areas:
> -Unique Icons for different actions. (Right now the same icons get
> reused in core and also in plugins for different actions, eg. Build
> History, Script Console, Changes all share the same icon)

This is because we draw from the Tango icon set and hence the choice is
limited. I still think it's better than us pulling icons that feel
different from all over the place.

But if we have someone interested in writing icons in the same theme,
that's entirely different story...

> -On the main configuration page settings should be grouped together and
> put in better order (eg. settings related to plugins should be in one group)
> -Navigation between jobs could be improved. (If you select a job which
> is part of a view or a matrix configuration, links to the next and
> previous job of the same view/matrix would be nice.)
>
> Here some comments on the already proposed ideas:
>
> @Nathan Perrier
> A config link in the job list is already available if you use the
> "configure project column" of the Extra Columns Plugin

> <https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/Extra+Columns+Plugin>. If


> this is what you want
> and more people find it useful maybe it can be pulled up to the core.
>
> @Salim Fadhley
> Have you tried out the DropDown ViewsTabBar Plugin

> <https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/DropDown+ViewsTabBar+Plugin> yet?


> It replaces the view tabs with a drop down menu.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Fred

Slide

unread,
Dec 15, 2011, 2:07:39 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

Could look at the famfam silk icon set, its very nice and has a very large set of icons. Not sure on the available format though.

Jesse Farinacci

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Dec 15, 2011, 2:26:49 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Greetings,

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM, Slide <slide...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Could look at the famfam silk icon set, its very nice and has a very large
> set of icons. Not sure on the available format though.

http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/

The license looks right, but the icons appear to only be in 16x16 format.

-Jesse

--
There are 10 types of people in this world, those
that can read binary and those that can not.

Gergely Nagy

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Dec 15, 2011, 3:22:01 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Personally I find floating buttons annoying as they always end up getting in the way of something 

Good point. 

How about supporting keyboard shortcuts? Granted  they're more for power users, but those tend to be the ones who would need to change/save configs too frequently.
Eg. 'c' to configure current job,  '<Tab><Enter> - save job, Tab or 'p'/'n'  : prev/next configuration group*.

* About config editing: it would be great if parts of the big config page could be expandable/foldable. Eg. hide details under bigger blocks like Build Steps, environment.. similar to how webmail and google Reader works. You can always 'Expand all' to make Ctrl+F addicts happy:)
Of course foldable options are already there but only under "Advanced" buttons of specific details.
I'd assume the loading of the page can be much faster, only loading unfolded options parts.

A few more ideas related to navigation:
 * a "Save & leave open" button would be great. When experimenting with jobs configs, I currently have 3 browser tabs open: 1) config editor 2) job page, for just the Build button,  3) console page.. Currently the Save button closes the editor, so have hit configure to go back to it straight away.
 * for parametrised builds, currently the build Button navigates away from where you pressed it, to set parameters. It would be better if that could be a simple non-disruptive popup, especially for the above use case.
 * less clicks required would be great in general

The above might sounds nitpicking, or over ambitious.. Of course Jenkins UI is still amazing compared to similar tools.
Thanks for listening, Gergo

Kohsuke Kawaguchi

unread,
Dec 15, 2011, 4:19:55 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Nord, James
On 12/15/2011 05:14 AM, Nord, James wrote:
> Why are people so afraid of <ctrl>+<end> (works on Linux and Windows �

> surely Mac has an equivalent) ;-)
>
> Personally I find floating buttons annoying as they always end up
> getting in the way of something (which leads to more scrolling,
> subverting the original reason for it), or grabbing focus when they
> shouldn�t. I�m yet to see one done well, where a fixed button would have
> worked just as well.

Inspired by JIRA (where the issue caption stick to the top of the page),
I've added the sticky bottom botton in
http://ci.jenkins-ci.org/job/jenkins_main_trunk/1366/

In this build it only does this for update center. Does this pass the bar?

>
> /James
>
> *From:*jenkins...@googlegroups.com
> [mailto:jenkins...@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Slide
> *Sent:* 15 December 2011 13:05
> *To:* jenkins...@googlegroups.com
> *Subject:* Re: Jenkins UI enhancements


>
> On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 5:57 AM, Daniel PETISME
> <daniel....@gmail.com <mailto:daniel....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> As said, with a lot of plugins the job configuration page can be very
> long. The save button is really far far away every time !
> Tabs are a good idea, but if we use it in jobs config, they must be used
> in every config pages.
>
> What about a expand/collapse sections mechanisms ? The sections could be
> lazy loaded (Load a section if the user ask to expand it).
> The configurations are XML trees, why not use Tree views as UI ?
>
>
> This is why I thought a "floating" save button would be nice. In
> reality, something like the floating ToC in some Wiki implementations
> might be nice to, so that you could quickly switch between different
> config sections, and have the save button handy. I think that Trac has
> the floating ToC option.
>
> slide
>
>
>

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> **************************************************************************************

Ferenc Kovacs

unread,
Dec 15, 2011, 5:01:04 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com, Slide
On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 7:57 PM, Kohsuke Kawaguchi <kkawa...@cloudbees.com> wrote:
On 12/14/2011 01:07 PM, Slide wrote:
Would be very nice if some of the "Save" buttons "floated" as you
scrolled the page so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom
of a very large config page to save something you changed at the top.

Anyone knows how to do this easily with CSS/JavaScript?

The same problem exists with the update center.


position:relative

AFAIR IE6 doesn't support it, but there are js based workarounds.

Charles Murray

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Dec 15, 2011, 5:12:25 PM12/15/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
Certainly a keyboard shortcut would be nice for saving the config. If you have such a long config page that scrolling is an issue you could always do control f and search for save. 

I would have to say though what would really be nice is if the search bar would allow us to search through all of the config files, especially for when we have to branch the pipeline that would be a really life saver. Find and Replace for config files.

Greg Moncreaff

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Dec 15, 2011, 6:54:22 PM12/15/11
to Jenkins Users
Don't most people put in their ideas as new features or improvements
via

https://issues.jenkins-ci.org/secure/CreateIssue

?

Ann Campbell

unread,
Dec 16, 2011, 8:25:07 AM12/16/11
to Jenkins Users
+1 to "Save and Leave Open" !!

Recently saw discussed in some other tool the ability to "View
as" [user/group], which I have craved in Jenkins but didn't know how
to say it. As an admin I often have trouble understanding what other
users can/can't see without hanging over their shoulders. It would be
nice if I could verify their experience before I told them to "go look/
do..." Ditto as a plugin writer w/r/t the view/execute perms I put on
features.

Didier Durand

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Dec 16, 2011, 8:35:04 AM12/16/11
to Jenkins Users

+1 to "Save and Leave Open" as a floating button

didier

John Vacz

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Dec 17, 2011, 3:32:43 PM12/17/11
to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
With many plugins installed, sometimes it is hard to tell which section on configure pages (both global and job) is introduced by which plugin (or by core). In some extreme situation, the only way to find out is to uninstall some plugins and see which configuration is gone. Maybe a tooltip over the configuration label with plugin name?


On 14.12.2011 21:32, domi wrote:

Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve Jenkins' UI.
We think it's been pointed out by many as a weak point in Jenkins, and it just so happens
that I might be able to get hold of some user experience designer to spend some time
on this.

So we'd like to collect ideas from you about what kind of things you'd like to see changed
in the Jenkins UI. We'll try to consolidate them, and run them by UX designers to make
sure we can get informed decisions.

Please also be reminded that the changes we can make is constrained by the compatibility
requirement.

Some of the thoughts that came up during the meeting are:

  • splitting config to multiple tabs, using more AJAX to update data in the page without reload
  • make fonts bigger and use less borders
  • background color changes in different regions to group things together
  • the handle in the config page that lets you reorder steps is apparently very hard to find
  • I find the "delete" button to be confusing where it belongs to, for certain build steps

    But let's brainstorm!




    Sami Tikka

    unread,
    Dec 18, 2011, 3:14:32 PM12/18/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    2011/12/17 John Vacz <mailing.lis...@googlemail.com>:

    > With many plugins installed, sometimes it is hard to tell which section on
    > configure pages (both global and job) is introduced by which plugin (or by
    > core). In some extreme situation, the only way to find out is to uninstall
    > some plugins and see which configuration is gone. Maybe a tooltip over the
    > configuration label with plugin name?

    + 0.5 for the nifty idea.

    You'll get my other 0.5 if you can explain why this feature would be
    useful to you.

    -- Sami

    Sami Tikka

    unread,
    Dec 18, 2011, 3:29:50 PM12/18/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    Many people seem to want a floating Save button for config page. I
    myself always just hit enter or the key to jump to end of page. But
    I'd appreciate a keyboard shortcut, like in Jira.

    Many people want to see tabs take less space. Someone already
    suggested installing the
    https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/DropDown+ViewsTabBar+Plugin.
    It works.

    My personal wish list for Jenkins usability improvements would be:

    1) Find ways to pack more information into the browser window. A
    serious Jenkins site with lots of jobs and slaves requires one to
    scroll too much. Make sidebars shrink when mouse is not over them
    (like Gmail's label list). Make executor list smaller.

    2) More keyboard shortcuts for faster navigation: E.g. I'd love a key
    to take me to the Jenkins search box at the top. The search box should
    allow fuzzy matching for job names. It should search for job
    descriptions too. It would be great it if allowed me to jump directly
    to a certain build of a job too.

    In other words: I want to see more without scrolling and I want to
    navigate without reaching for the mouse.

    -- Sami

    2011/12/14 domi <do...@fortysix.ch>:

    Ullrich Hafner

    unread,
    Dec 19, 2011, 8:58:04 AM12/19/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    On 12/15/2011 02:16 PM, Ferenc Kovacs wrote:


    On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 2:14 PM, Nord, James <JN...@nds.com> wrote:

    Why are people so afraid of <ctrl>+<end> (works on Linux and Windows – surely Mac has an equivalent)  ;-)

     

    Personally I find floating buttons annoying as they always end up getting in the way of something (which leads to more scrolling, subverting the original reason for it), or grabbing focus when they shouldn’t.  I’m yet to see one done well, where a fixed button would have worked just as well.


    you can also click into an input field, and hit enter, at least this is what I'm doing, when I too lazy to scroll.

    --
    Ferenc Kovács
    @Tyr43l - http://tyrael.hu

    That actually is a feature that I would like to get removed from Jenkins. It's always quite annoying for me to navigate to a field, select a value from my Firefox auto-completion list using the RETURN key and then the dialog is closed automatically by Jenkins even though I want to continue editing :-( I think having a shortcut like Jira (ALT-S) would be much better than changing the semantics of RETURN.

    Ulli

    Matthew...@diamond.ac.uk

    unread,
    Dec 19, 2011, 9:18:04 AM12/19/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    >> Why are people so afraid of <ctrl>+<end> (works on Linux and Windows – surely Mac has an equivalent)  ;-)

    If your cursor is within an input, this takes you to the end of the field, not the page.

    >> It's always quite annoying for me to navigate to a field, select a value from my Firefox auto-completion list using the RETURN key and then the dialog is closed automatically by Jenkins even though I want to continue editing.

    This is standard web browser behaviour (RETURN/ENTER submits the form), and yes I agree it's very annoying. Some people think that the standard behaviour should be overridden, others think you should not change standard behaviour.

    Ullrich Hafner

    unread,
    Dec 19, 2011, 10:31:11 AM12/19/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

    I don't think that this is a standard if you select from a drop down
    list. It only is a standard if the text in the textbox has focus.

    E.g. in Jira if you select from a drop down box with ENTER then the
    selected value is chosen but the form is not closed.
    Or in any login dialog (e.g., gmail), when selecting your user name from
    the auto-completion in the user field then that value is copied to the
    user field on RETURN. The form is not submitted with an empty password
    if you press ENTER in the user auto-completion.

    Ulli

    Sami Tikka

    unread,
    Dec 19, 2011, 3:27:34 PM12/19/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    Chrome and Safari allow you to choose an auto-completion using return. Only if you press return twice, is the form submitted. Maybe there is a bug in Firefox? Or you are not supposed to use return to choose from auto-completion list?

    -- Sami

    Florian R.

    unread,
    Dec 27, 2011, 11:54:38 AM12/27/11
    to Jenkins Users
    On Dec 14, 9:32 pm, domi <d...@fortysix.ch> wrote:
    > Today on the IRC channel we where discussing some ways we could improve Jenkins' UI.
    > We think it's been pointed out by many as a weak point in Jenkins, and it just so happens
    > that I might be able to get hold of some user experience designer to spend some time
    > on this.

    there are some improvements which could make work much faster: less
    clicks to go to the pages I need often:
    * I am in the job page and see some failed builds in the list. To see
    the reason, I have to click on the build, and then on the show console
    message. I hate failed builds, not because they are failed, but
    because I have to click twice to see the console. There is a plugin to
    add the latest console to the views, but not to the job build list
    * Every time I make config changes to Jenkins, saving the config will
    lead me to the main page and not to the admin page. So when testing
    something which needs serveral config changes, I always need two
    clicks to get into the jenkins config again.
    * There are two jobs running, and I want to see both console outputs,
    but the jobs are in another view. Strg-Click on the little blue
    progress bar does not open the console in a new window, so I have to
    open both jobs with Strg-left-Click and then I can click on the
    progress bars. Two clicks to much ;)

    Best Regards,
    Florian

    Mirko Friedenhagen

    unread,
    Dec 27, 2011, 2:51:05 PM12/27/11
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    Hello Florian,

    I submitted a patch a while ago, which will jump to the console
    immediately. Clicking on the status icon (blue, yellow, red) of a
    build will go directly to the console output (see
    https://github.com/jenkinsci/jenkins/pull/93).

    Regards Mirko

    Tony P

    unread,
    Dec 28, 2011, 3:03:14 AM12/28/11
    to Jenkins Users
    Hi,

    Another 2c. Not sure if these are all strictly UI so ignore if you
    don't feel relevant.

    Views
    Could this be more customizable for default behaviour. I don't think
    many of my users set personal views and I would like more control over
    what the default views are. Change the order of the views - seems
    alphabetical, possibility to remove "All", permissions for particular
    views would be nice too.

    Artifacts
    I would like to have more control over this. We generally spit out a
    handful of artifacts and it would be nice if they were able to be on
    the job screen. The names of the artifacts change for any given build
    and I always end in a situation where you have to drill down a little
    bit to get to them

    Also when displaying artificats it seems if there is only a small
    number the widget or whatever it is, works and you can just get to the
    artifact by clicking on "+" - great. If the number of artifacts is too
    big this completely disappears and you have to drill down several
    pages. This cutover is not for thousands of files but what seems to be
    a relatively small number.

    Copy Project
    When copying projects you have to put the name of the project you want
    to copy. Would be nice if this was a dropdown.

    Otherwise UI is definately a strong point of Jenkins, keep up the good
    work it's appreciated.

    cheers

    Florian R.

    unread,
    Dec 28, 2011, 2:11:39 PM12/28/11
    to Jenkins Users
    Wow thats great, thank you very much for pointing me to this, it makes
    my life much easier :-)
    Does anyoone remember times before "<img ... border=0>" with all those
    blue lines around images. Good old time ^^

    Best Regards
    Florian

    On Dec 27, 8:51 pm, Mirko Friedenhagen <mfriedenha...@gmail.com>
    wrote:

    Lee Meador

    unread,
    Jan 3, 2012, 1:36:23 PM1/3/12
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    Tony P,

    When you are copying a project, you have to type a letter (at least in Firefox) in the "to be copied" field to get a drop down list of all the existing projects with names beginning with that letter. I don't know how to see the whole list of existing projects. Maybe there is a way.

    I can think of several ways to make that easier when there is a large list of existing projects. Something to click that brings up a popup window (sort of the way calendars pop up). That window shows the whole list or lets you select a view and shows only those projects or, maybe, you type something and the list shows matching project names.

    It sure isn't a major problem though.

    -- Lee
    --
    -- Lee Meador
    Sent from gmail. My real email address is lee AT leemeador.com

    Lee Meador

    unread,
    Jan 3, 2012, 1:43:42 PM1/3/12
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com
    It would be nice to indicate a particular view that was able to be viewed by everyone (without them logging in). It would be up to you to make sure that view didn't include any options you didn't want exposed to the world.

    This would let me set up particular status views that show projects of interest to non-advanced web users. I put a link on their phone or computer and they click to see how things are going.

    Notice that it fools with the security model that says the project itself decides who can see anything about it. In this case, the view would do that. I haven't thought through the implications so just ignore me quietly if it introduces a security hole that isn't fixable. What I don't want is to make these folks log in but I don't want to open all the project info the the world at large. The view can limit what is seen about all the projects in that view.

    -- Lee

    Johnny Prewitt

    unread,
    Jan 3, 2012, 2:00:32 PM1/3/12
    to jenkins...@googlegroups.com

    Jenkins users and CI professionals:

     

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    Refer someone we hire for this Santa Ana, CA. based role and we will be pleased to donate $2,500, in your name, to the charity or cause of your choice..

     

    Who should we be speaking with regarding this unique opportunity?

     

    Johnny Prewitt

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    MSC.Software Corporation

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