Java News from Friday, November 13, 2009

JetBrains has released YouTrack 1.0 a $1200 payware web-based "keyboard-centric bug and issue tracking tool". I'm afraid they've made a major design blunder with this product, although perhaps it's recoverable. Keyboard-centricity was a crutch for 30 year-old green screen applications like Emacs for computers that didn't have the horsepower to provide real menus and a discoverable UI. And even in those environments keyboard interfaces only really worked for folks who spent every day, 9-5 in that one application; but no one spends their entire workday inside a bug tracker. No one's going to want to memorize all the keyboard commands for this. For instance, would you rather click a button marked "Close Issue" or type fixed, and then press Ctrl+Enter? And just what are you supposed to do on a keyboard with neither Ctrl nor Enter keys? We've known for decades that "see and choose" beats "remember and type" every time. It's sad to see JetBrains never got the memo.