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Directional window navigation hotkeys -



  • Something I've always missed in modern IDE's is hotkeys that allow you to switch between tiled panes directionally; in emacs there' s the "wndmove" extention for doing this (and of course tiling window managers)

    I personally first encountered the feature in 'brief', using chords F1-left, F1-right.. furthermore it provided 'split'/'adjust'/'close' chords too (F2-cursor..)
    In my emacs setup, when I split a window directionally it automatically toggles source/header in the new pane so its' very easy to keep src/header side by side.
    To this day those hotkeys are burned into my skull despite not having used brief/codewrite since about 1999. This keeps me going back to emacs, bouncing between environments.

    The reason I like this feature.. is it's easier to remember one hotkey for 'move-window', then use the cursors that your fingers already remember for movement. It's a lot easier than alt-tabbing between different panes.
    Another intuitive option is to use alt-cursor or something. Its especially nice for C++ where you have to navigate more to do things (because of source/headers..)

    It would be amazing to have this in a modern IDE alongside all the project navigator and debugger windows reachable through the same means, and having all the informative presentation.

    Would it be possible to retrofit this to the QtCreator IDE ?
    Is it already possible? (does it have scripting/extentions/plugins).

    You might think there's ambiguity in 'T' shaped splits but it isn't a problem, you could just make it choose the largest pane or actually use the current cursor position to choose accurately (which wndmove does).

    I think from what I remember it does have a straightforward 'next active pane' window but it just isn't the same.

    this is a 'mouse vs keyboard' thing... swapping hands between keyboard & mouse always feels laborious to me but its' still nice to have a GUI showing you options (in an ideal world, guis would be just as useable with keys, but they only tend to support 'tab'/'shift-tab' forwrd/reverse navigation between elements rather than something directional)

    Could anyone who knows the source base comment on how much effort would be involved in implementing his.

    I haven't used the Qt frameworks themselves, but have been interested to use QtCreator as a plain C++ IDE, it seems to be the best I've found on linux, and its' nice to have a cross platform IDE.

    There are of course tiling window managers but its' not quite the same having it at the OS level, the OS doesn't know anything about your project context, I've not seen one of those that can walk tiles within an application window.

    Also I wonder if it could be done at the OS level -
    Q2 can QtCreator support 'focus-follows-mouse' , for its internal tiling - then you could get a similar result by just using cursor movement hotkeys in the window-manager.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi and welcome to devnet,

    Qt Creator architecture is designed around plugins so it's probably possible to do that. However I can't tell if the task would be easy or not. What you can do is bring these questions on the "Qt Creator dedicated mailing list":http://lists.qt-project.org/mailman/listinfo/qt-creator You'll find there Qt Creator's developers/maintainers (this forum is more user oriented)



  • thanks for pointing me in the right direction, i'll take a look at the mailing list



  • seems like qtcreator does have floating windows at least, which can be navigated by the window manager.
    (flux-box has these directional movement keys).

    So it would seem a couple of more general features could help:
    (i) a hotkey or shortcut for opening a source in a new window (x-xcode lets you set an action for double-click .. open in new tab or new window.. currently making it float is accessible by some popup menu) -
    (ii) and something to just set the floating window title to the source in that view (so window manager tab-bars/alt-tab menus can deal with it)
    (iii) maybe generalise options for floating project-window, output windows,etc


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    You can always make a feature requests and if you can help implement them :)


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