Simplifying the MPS UI for End Users


For a while now, we have been working on trying to simplify the MPS UI (not the languages, but the tool "chrome") for use by end users: our experience has been that end users are intimidated by the large number of "stuff" in the menu and especially the context menus. Removing actions that are perceived as unnecessary by end users goes a long way in making the tool look more friendly.

A new language extension can be used to customize the actions. Every single UI action (main menu, toolbar buttons, context menus for nodes, roots, models and solutions) can be removed. The extension supports the interactive customization through a preference page, the definition of different action profiles that can be changed at runtime as well as the definition of such profiles as part of plugin solutions (so they can be shipped with a set of languages).

We are also working on customizing the New Model, New Solution and New Project dialogs, and we are thinking about how to easily plug in additional or other project structure views. Together with the existing ability to change splash screens and icons, we are positive we'll have a good solution for "RCP-style" MPS variants in the very near future.