The left panel is hidden while the app is running - Usability regression?

I would like the opinion of other forumers about a recent change to the behavior of the IDE I just noticed: when the app is running in split mode, the left panel is hidden, and clicking on its buttons will gray out the rest of the IDE and temporarily show the panel.

Using the IDE while the app is running in split mode is almost unusable now. I keep starting and stopping the app, while I would like to keep my eyes in the form and see how it works while I edit the code.

The App and Data (and all other) tabs are very cumbersome. I click on an item, then I need to click away to see the page that just opened, then I need to open the panel again and click on another item, etc.

The Search tab (ctrl+shift+F) is almost unusable. I usually either drag the vertical border and make it wider, or click through the results to see the full line in the editor. Now it’s impossible to drag the vertical bar and make it wider, and it’s impossible to see the match after a click, because the editor with the selected line appears under the panel. It’s faster to clone the app and do the search in PyCharm.

Perhaps this change will make users with small monitor happy, but any serious professional user has a large monitor, and this change takes the advantages of having a large monitor away. If you want to make small monitor users happy, you can make this new behavior optional, maybe adding a switch in the look&feel section, or adding a pin on the corner of the panel, but please don’t throw a wrench in my workflow.

Please restore the old behavior.

I’m able to click the
button to get a usable split, with none of the problems that you mentioned.

Where is that button?

Here is what I see when the app is not running after pressing ctrl+shift+F and typing a word:

  • I can make the search panel wider
  • I can see the word in the search panel, because it’s wide enough
  • I can click on it and see the line with the word in the editor

And here is what I see when the app is running:

  • I can’t expand the panel
  • I can’t see the word in the panel, because it’s at the end of the line
  • I can’t see the word in the editor, because it’s covered by the panel

The result is that I need to stop the app in order to use ctrl+shift+F. It is very very very annoying.

I have decreased the size of the window I usually work with before taking these snapshots, so they fit better in the post. In the real world the window I work on is double or triple the size shown in the snapshots, and there is plenty of room for the search result panel, split view with form editor and code editor and running app.

The result is tons of wasted real estate and clicks.

I think I figured out what exactly is wrong? Anvil somehow made the “Sidebar Overlay Mode” the only option when running an app in the editor.

I have a monitor that’s 2560 pixels across and 32 inches and I can confirm that this overlay mode does not resize at all compared to the rest of the windows, its just 325 pixels wide regardless of how big your browser is horizontally rendering. No fractions of the screen, nothing, just 325px.

When it’s out of sidebar overlay mode, you can adjust the size of the sidebar, obviously, but it does not carry over to the “overlay”.

(at the end of this gif I did not resize it, I just moved the recording window to read the hint text)

Yes, the left panel has been pinnable and resizable for some time, and I love it: if you have a small monitor you unpin it, if you have a large monitor you pin it.

For some reason they now decided that when the app is running, I can’t pin it any longer.
I don’t understand why.
It was already possible to unpin it if you wanted to, and it was possible to keep it pinned. Now you can’t. I don’t understand where is the added value of removing a very useful feature.

I work with a 4K 40" monitor, 3840x2160 and unpinning the left panel is just wrong.

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In your image, it’s here:

But now that I can see what you were describing, and you’ve added details, I understand; and I’m seeing the behavior you illustrated.

Setting the UI size smaller might help, but it’s not practical for everyone. I end up with a crick in my neck, from trying to get my bifocals at just the right angle and distance.

  • An unpinned pull-out should be resizable, when needed.
  • A pinned pull-out (which we can already resize) should be available, when there’s enough screen real-estate to use it effectively.

I’m aware that some (esoteric?) features don’t work exactly the same (if at all) in split-screen mode, so (having completely forgotten which features they are) I tend to avoid that mode.

I understand perfectly!! I can use bifocals (or progressive) on the laptop monitor, not on the 40" monitor. I tried, but my neck protested vehemently.

Then I got readers with the focus set at 80cm, the distance between my eyes and the monitor, and now not only my neck is happy, I also have peripherical vision!

40" monitor + readers at the right distance are a great improvement in my productivity. I have one set at home and one in the office.

(I also have another pair of readers with the focus set at 2.5 meters, to play pool, so the lines are straight, as opposed to the progressive glasses that warp the rails and I can’t aim, but that’s another story.)

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I don’t know if this should be in sneaky updates or here, but it looks like this is still a non-adjustable set amount of pixels, however it seems to be 550 now.