you Konstantin for your detailed feedback.
I have included the developer, Sarika
Sinha, in this email chain.
see my responses in green
love seeing improvement in this area and
workflow like the one described would be a
big usability improvement. Having said
that, I am concerned that there isn’t
sufficient time left in Mars.1 development
cycle for adopters to fully test, provide
feedback and get bug fixes. I’d rather see
this iterated on in the Neon release.
idea behind the fix is to ensure existing
server adapter providers are not broken
and that they do not need to react to this
new change. If the providers choose to
react, then their changes will get picked
up. If not, then nothing will be broken
(e.g. their server adapter will still show
up and install as before).
I understand that this is the intention,
but there are a lot of details and corner
cases to get right here. If UX isn’t quite
right or there are caching/network
glitches, then adopters are going to be
dealing with user support cases when users
aren’t able to installer the adapters.
What is the driver for rushing this out in
Mars.1 without taking the time to ensure
that the feature is robust and polished?
Mars SR1 is still a release that allows
for enhancements. By providing a method of
reverting to the old behaviour, we ensure
the corner cases and glitches can be
resolved. In addition, as users are
exposed to this enhancement, the feedback
can be used towards improving this
enhancement in SR2 and beyond.
feedback and questions:
The wiki only mentions the New Server
wizard. Is it safe to assume that similar
changes would be made to the New Runtime
this feature will not be in the Runtime
wizard. Having it in the New Server Wizard
provides a better flow for the user, as it
is easier to access. To access the Runtime
configuration page (as there is no Runtime
wizard), the user has to open the
Preferences page. This preference page is
less visible than creating a new server
as the Servers view is opened by default
in the Java EE perspective, so the user
can more easily create a server than a
I see this disparity causing a lot of user
confusion as this page of the New Runtime
and New Server wizards has before looked
and behaved the same. This feature should
be extended to the New Runtime wizard.
Having the two wizards be the same sounds
like a much larger enhancement, which is
outside of the scope of this particular
enhancement. Even before this enhancement,
I would argue that the two wizards are not
the same. The New Server Wizard would link
back to the Runtime preferences page for
server adapter that already exists. If it
does not exist, there is no linkage.
Install feasibility validation should not
be performed on selection of item in the
tree. No expensive operation should be
performed on this event as users have a
habit of clicking around while exploring.
A better approach would be to always
enable the Next button and only validate
when user elects to move forward. Wizard
progress bar should be used while
validation is in progress. If successful,
the user gets the license screen. If not
successful, the user gets a page with
failure details. The current approach of
directing user to the Error Log is not a
good practice. The Error Log should not be
used for communicating expected failures.
for your suggestion, Sarika will try and
implement this tomorrow.
This issue has been fixed. Clicking on
the tree item no longer performs the
validation. Once the user clicks on the
desired downloadable server adapter, the
user would click "Next". Only then, will
the server adapter perform the
validation. If there is an error, the
error message (which includes the
diagnostic information) will be printed
out to the user on the wizard page.
When is the list of downloadable adapters
initially fetched and is there visible
feedback that fetch is in progress?
list of downloadable adapters initially
fetched is a snapshot created at the time
of this feature's development (mid August
2015). This cache is used to ensure the
New Server wizard loads quickly.
Having a pre-fetched cache in WTP
distribution does avoid the problem of the
initial fetch, but what is the process for
updating the static snapshot? Is someone
going to have to remember to do this for
every WTP release?
For Mars SR1, this method of using a
snapshot is the current approach. For Mars
SR2, I have confirmed with the developers
that they will work on an approach that
will do an automatic cache update to avoid
this stale cache problem. Currently, if
the user does click on a downloadable
server adapter, that particular entry will
be refreshed automatically (without
requiring the user to click the "Refresh"
button). That is, if the server's update
site has an updated version, this new
version would be installed (not the
timestamp and version that is stored in
the "Refresh" button is pressed, there is
progress in the Progress view showing the
fetching. The progress is not in the
wizard, but the user will see a background
process showing up in the progress bar on
the lower right corner.
If user initiates an action, especially
from within a dialog, the progress
feedback needs to be more obvious than the
jobs progress indicator. A typical UX
pattern employed elsewhere in Eclipse is
to run the task in the progress dialog
that has a “run in the background” button.
I agree that showing progress would be
better. Currently, the "Refresh" button
becomes disabled while the refresh is
occurring. The behaviour is similar to
when the user modifies the compiler
settings (e.g. validation). The job will
be kicked off in the background and if
the user closes the preference page, the
progress dialog will appear with the
"Run in background" button. I will bring
up this concern to the developer. I feel
like having the progress bar in the
wizard (instead of a separate dialog)
would be more ideal.
Is there feedback when downloadable
adapters list could not be downloaded?
We need to ensure that we avoid user
confusion when they don’t see their
server listed due to network issues.
failure, there is a message in the Logs
view to help the user diagnose the issue.
Using the Error Log view for expected
failures messages is a bad UX practice. In
the case of a failure of a
manually-activated action, any failure
should be displayed in a message box.
This issue has been fixed and the
explanation of how it works is seen on
What exactly is cached? These details are
needed to help evaluate the likelihood
that the cached data will be stale when a
new version of an existing adapter is
cache contains the following information:
feature description, feature id, feature
name, feature provider, and feature
version. For example:
description="Tools for developing
applications for Oracle WebLogic Server
(versions 12.1.x, 10.3.x, 10.0 and 9.2)."
name="Oracle WebLogic Server Tools"
What is the purpose of caching the
version? This bit of data will grow stale
the quickest. What happens when the cache
contains an older version than what’s
The version is cached in order to allow
for future validation and discovery of
downloadable adapters. By having the
framework in place with this extra
information, it will also help with the
automatic refresh of the cache in the
future. Currently, the version in the
cache does not have any effect.
Is there a policy for updating cached
data without having the user click on
the refresh button? I would recommend
triggering a refresh job when server
tools is initially activated as well as
after certain number of days have
expired in case the user keeps Eclipse
open for a long time.
currently there is no policy for updating
the cache without having the user click
the button. Kicking off the job in the
background can take more than one minute,
so it is more ideal to have an initial
cache (a snapshot from mid August 2015)
and provide a way for the user to update
the cache themselves (by clicking the
Automated cache refresh can happen in the
background on Eclipse startup and provides
a better user experience than requiring
the user to hit the refresh button
manually, especially once the distribution
is a bit older and the cache is so out of
date that every new installation _requires_
the user to hit refresh before they can
use the feature.
The automatic caching mechanism will be
examined as part of Mars SR2 by the
developers. The fix will remove the need
for the "Refresh" button and out-of-date
The installation seems to use a separate
progress dialog box. It would be best to
use the built-in progress bar of the
separate progress dialog existed before.
To add this into the wizard would be
something to investigate after Mars SR1.
There is a terminology mismatch caused by
mixing feature names and server names in
the same tree. Whereas all entries should
be a server type, some are “X Server
Adapter” or “X Tools”. This could be
solved by adding metadata to the adapter
repo so that it advertises the list of
supported server types.
terminology mismatch is caused by the
server adapter's metadata. It will be up
to the server adapter providers to provide
the correct metadata (but we are not
forcing them to do so right now).
You are using feature name in place of
server name. The two will never match.
It’s not something that adapter providers
can fix on their own. For instance, the
dialog needs “WebLogic Server”, but the
feature name will always be “WebLogic
Server Tools” or “WebLogic Server
Adapter”. Additional metadata properties
need to be defined to allow adapter
providers to supply you with server names
as opposed to feature names.
For comments #8-10, thank you for
elaborating on this metadata issue. I
will talk with the developers on this.
In the future, the metadata to provide
the correct labels and what server would
be installed would be there. However,
even in the future, the need for showing
the downloadable server if the server
adapter does not react still needs to be
in place. By using the currently
existing metadata, it can populate the
New Server wizard with its best effort.
Many of the downloadable adapters support
multiple server versions. This leads to
the contents of the tree changing after
the install is completed. Ideally, only
downloadable indicator icon would change.
This can be solved with additional
metadata like #8.
the metadata provider can change how the
server appears in this list.
I don’t understand this answer. I am
looking for a solution for the case where
one adapter feature handles multiple
server versions and the provider wants to
keep it as one feature.
How is vendor/category determined for
vendor/category is taken from the metadata
retrieved from querying for the server
adapter. For point #5, I have pasted an
example of a query where we get the
feature provider (in that case, it is
Oracle). That is used as the
That sort of works. You are conflating
adapter vendor with server vendor. The two
don’t have to be the same, even if they
are the same for all current examples.
Ideally, the user should be able to resume
where they left off in the wizard after
the download completes and Eclipse
restarts. Upon the restart, the wizard
should restart with the desired server
type pre-selected and page advanced to the
next page, as if the download didn’t need
to happen. This requires #9 in order to
know which server type/version the user
intended to create.
issue is more of a limitation on the
Eclipse platform. It's definitely a nice
to have and would bring convenience to
this item. However, this feature would be
outside of the scope of this fix for SR1.
Without ability to resume, the UX strikes
me as unfinished. It contains the promise
that the user can install as part of the
wizard flow without actually allowing the
flow to resume properly after restart.
This UX issue didn’t exist in the old UI
as the action to install the adapter was a
separate command outside the main flow of
Getting back to the New Server wizard
after a refresh is tricky. As mentioned
before, this seems to be a limitation on
the Eclipse platform. For instance, I
know of an extender of WTP, which will
bring up a dialog on startup (in some
situations) or a different welcome page.
As a result, the New Server wizard
automatically coming up again would
create multiple wizards shown at the
same time. I believe something needs to
be changed on the Eclipse platform side
to create a proper snapshot of what's
happening and then bring up the exact
same snapshot on a restart.
What happens to the “New Server”/”New
Runtime” wizard if the user chooses not
restart is required whenever the user
installs a new server adapter (e.g.
Eclipse marketplace or through the Install
New Software). Otherwise, the server will
not show up in the New Server Wizard.
new server type feature is marked as
installed in the current configuration
only after a restart. As a result, the
server will show up in the wizard as
"downloadable" and allow users to install
(again). The behavior is similar to the
old behavior if you don't restart - the
newly installed Server Type will not be
available until restart. If the user
selects and installs it again, it
successfully completes and ask for restart
(this time around it goes faster as the
artifacts are present locally).
My question pertains specifically to the
wizard? Does the wizard exit?
yes, the wizard exits when the
installation has completed and requires
Why is there a hyperlink on “Show
additional server adapters”?
hyperlink exists to provide the old
behaviour. In case the user wants to go
through the old flow, the user can uncheck
the checkbok. The hyperlink will be
enabled and click on the hyperlink will
launch the old wizard
That’s pretty confusing UX. Why is it
necessary to preserve the old UX? In my
mind, if the new UX is working properly
there is no need for the old one. Multiple
UX paths will only serve to confuse users.
At least for the initial release in SR1,
preserving the old behaviour is desired
in case the user does not like the new
approach. By getting feedback from the
initial release in SR1, these issues can
be addressed in SR2 and beyond.
The “Show additional server adapters”
checkbox and the refresh button take up
valuable prime real estate in the wizard,
yet most users should not have a cause to
interact with these controls. I suggest
moving these to preferences.
real estate of this dialog has not changed
significantly with this change. The old
dialog had a hyperlink at the top of the
New Server wizard too:
In the old UX, the hyperlink was essential
to access the install facility. Once UX
and caching issues in the new approach are
smoothed out, users aren’t going to need
to interact with those controls except in
very rare cases. As such, there is little
need to continue to take up the space in
This issue will be fixed as described in
to the Preferences page is a lot harder to
find for the user and the "Refresh" button
approach is still preferred, so it makes
more sense to keep these features in the
New Server Wizard.
The user should not have to hit Refresh
button at all, except in some very rare
corner cases, so there is no need to have
it in a prominent location.
This issue will be fixed as described in
for your consideration of this feedback.