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Equinox/p2/User Interface

< Equinox‎ | p2
Revision as of 16:46, 19 June 2008 by Susan (Talk | contribs) (Scenario 6: What's wrong with my configuration?)

This page captures user scenarios in the p2 User Interface and discusses problems and issues in the workflow.

Original Goals

Most of the goals were derived from problems observed/reported in the previous UI (Update Manager). See Equinox p2 UM workflows for the equivalent scenarios.

  • Reduce click/decision counts
  • Move advanced concepts out of main workflows
    • required software details (automatic resolution)
    • repo management (alternate views of content)
    • mirror selection (automatic)
    • install locations (not supported)
  • Automatic updating should not interrupt workflow
  • Make it easier for users to get content they find on the web
  • Integrate "what do I have" with "what can I get"
  • Integrate "what do I have" with "what updates are available"
  • User-oriented error messages, higher level explanations
  • Code structured for multiple levels of integration (pluggable policies, different host dialogs, building blocks)


Scenario 1: Check for updates

  • Help >
  • Software Updates...


  • select Installed Software page
  • Update...


  • Next


  • I accept...
  • Finish

Click/decision count

  • 7 clicks/decisions (vs. 14 for UM)
  • Can reduce to 5 once a license has been accepted/remembered (vs. 12 with UM automatic mirror selection)

Scenario 2: What add-ons can I get?

  • Help >
  • Software Updates...


  • select Available Software page
  • expand each site, then categories, and checkmark desired items
    • P2BySite.jpg
  • OR view by categories, expand categories, and checkmark desired items
    • P2ByCategory.jpg
  • OR view by name, checkmark desired items
    • P2ByName.jpg
  • OR filter by name from any view
    • P2Filtered.jpg
  • Install...
  • Progress dialog followed by Install dialog
  • Scenario continues similar to update completion

Click/decision count

  • 3 clicks/decisions to get to browsing mode (vs. 7 for UM)
  • alternate ways to find content (UM by site only)
  • ability to find by name
  • once items are selected for install, 3 clicks to finish (Next, I accept..., Finish) as in update scenario. One click if license was previously accepted. (UM is 4 clicks)

Scenario 3: Found something cool on the web

Setup: User finds software with an update site reference on the web

  • Help >
  • Software Updates...
  • select Available Software page
  • drag URL from browser to list (this adds the site and expands it)


Click/decision count

  • 4 clicks/decisions to get new content shown in UI (vs. 14 for UM)
  • once items are selected for install, 3 clicks to finish (Next, I accept..., Finish) as in update scenario. One click if license was previously accepted. (UM is 4 clicks)

Scenario 4: What do I have?

  • Help >
  • Software Updates...
  • select Installed Software page


Click/decision count

  • 3 clicks/decisions to see high level of what user installed (vs. 4 for UM)
  • No way to get more detail (UM provides drill-down detail)
  • No link from installed view to more detailed Help > About information

Detailed feature view of what's installed

  • Help >
  • About Eclipse SDK
  • Feature Details


Detailed plug-in view of what's installed

  • Help >
  • About Eclipse SDK
  • Plug-in Details

Scenario 5: Automatic Updating

Like Update Manager, p2 defines preferences for the user to set up automatic update scheduling on every startup of Eclipse, or at daily or weekly scheduled times. Users can also set a preference so that updates are automatically downloaded before the user is ever notified that updates have been found. In addition, users can set reminder options so that they can ignore update notifications and be reminded later.

Setup: User is working and updates have been discovered and/or downloaded

  • Popup notifies user of available updates. User can keep working.


  • User can click on the popup to review the updates when ready. This will result in the update dialog shown in Scenario #1
  • User can ignore popup until ready to deal with it
  • User can dismiss popup and retrieve the update list again by clicking on the update affordance in the status bar

Click/decision count

  • Work is not interrupted, user can ignore updates until ready or dismiss popup until ready
    • After clicking on popup, 3 clicks (or 1 if license has previously been accepted) to install the updates (vs. 7 for UM)
    • If popup is dismissed, 4 clicks (or 2 if license has previously been accepted) to reactivate and complete update dialog (vs. 14 clicks/decisions to manually recheck for updates with UM)
    • Reminder options allow the 3-click (or 1 if license has previously been accepted) option at specified intervals

Scenario 6: What's wrong with my configuration?

p2 currently does not provide any diagnostic tools to help users when plug-ins they expect to be installed are not there, or if there are compatibility conflicts with plug-ins. Users must currently activate a capability to enable "Classic Update Manager" and use the Update Manager manage configuration dialog.

Scenario 7: What sites am I using


  • Implementation has same performance problems as UM did (user may have to wait a long time for content to fill in or for resolution to take place).
  • Original modeless ("dashboard") design forced modal due to implementation problems with progress reporting, keyboard handling, inconsistency with rest of Eclipse
  • Too much repo management forced on user
  • We haven't improved error reporting (some find it worse) - need to decipher resolution errors and report in user-friendly way
  • We removed detail about software requirements/underlying libraries. Some users want to know. Inconsistencies remain due to late-breaking issues (need to show licenses for all things even though user doesn't see those things anywhere else).


  • tweak the problems or step back?
  • unfolding of detail

Milestone plans

UI planning information has moved to Equinox p2 UI Plan

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