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Browser like features in inspector

Discussion in 'Editor Workflows' started by tristan-unity, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. tristan-unity

    tristan-unity

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi all,
    We'd like your feedback on new the browser like feature for the inspector. Following is a video showcasing the features:



    It adds a toolbar to the inspector with back/forth buttons, a history menu and a favorites menu. All of it can be used to navigate to previous selections.
    You can download an experimental build to try it by yourself:

    Mac Version : https://oc.unity3d.com/index.php/s/d0F5YsVqeA7lpok
    Windows Version : https://oc.unity3d.com/index.php/s/I332RFtedMeQirs

    Please let us know what you think !
     
  2. pvloon

    pvloon

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    Super glad to see this might become a feature! I think this will be super helpful. The current implementation, however, is not great.

    Most importantly: really need to support mouse button 4 & 5 for navigation. I can't remember the last time I clicked a back arrow in my browser.

    The favorites are clunky for a bunch of reasons:
    • Can't add multi selections. Adding groups of related objects is really needed. Would also need to be able to name these groups.
    • No hotkeys to select favorites.
    • Related to those two: The goal of favorites seems to be the same as for Edit->Selection->Save/Load selection. These concepts definitely need to be merged. Could then also reuse the existing Ctrl-Shift / Ctrl-Alt hotkeys
    • Adding scene objects like in the video just doesn't seem to work at all for me?
    • The favorites should not be stored in editor settings, it is not related to the other settings there at all. This will also be confusing serialization wise if scene objects ever work. I also don't think favorites should be on version control as people will have different selection needs in a team. I think a selection section in Preferences would be more appropriate.

    Some other tidbits:
    • Some way to open a saved selection in new inspector would be great - maybe do a popout if you hold alt?
    • Some way to add to a selection - maybe hold ctrl/shift while clicking the item?
    • Interaction with locking the inspector is a little weird. Doesn't seem to respect locks. Should probably popout a new inspector if current one is locked.
    • Feels like this system should not just be part of the inspector, but be unity wide, as it also handles scene view & project browser navigation. I would really want to be able use MB 4 & 5 to navigate regardless of where my inspector is or whether it is even open. This will make navigating the project browser much easier.
    • Can add same object multiple times to favorites. Seems like that shouldn't be allowed.
    • When deselecting - it does add an entry to the history, can undo the deselect, but can't use the browser arrows.
    And then it's just generally buggy:
    • Sometimes when multi selecting it shows up as a single selection in the history. Vica versa, single selections can show up as a multi select. Sometimes it just straight up lists the wrong object.... Just select a bunch back and forth with two objects sometimes multi selecting, sometimes clearing history, and you'll get all kinds of strange behavior.
    • Clear history leaves last selected object in, even when that object is not selected anymore.
    • When selecting folders the history gets really buggy. Doesn't list some folders, only selects root assets sometimes, or only 1 level deep sometimes
    • Select some stuff -> Undo all the way back -> Select something new. Can't undo that selection.



    So yeah, great idea, but feels like a rushed implementation. Here's hoping for a V2.0 build :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  3. Wahooney

    Wahooney

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    I've only seen the video, and while your steps are in a good direction, a feature that's sorely missing is some kind of search/filter.

    Being able to fill in a search field with a (partial-)component name (ie. I only want to see my Colliders, not the 20 other components on this game object"). This can be done with a custom inspector now, but it'll be very at home in your browser.

    On top of that, searching for exposed fields (ie. "Show me all fields with radius in the name") would be great. (this is similar to a UE4 feature and it's super helpful in full inspectors.

    This can be a single input field with a drop list of types "Components, Fields, etc."

    Good luck!
     
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  4. DanTreble

    DanTreble

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    OMG 1000x yes!

    We have our own, presented slightly differently as we couldn't hack in the arrows in the unity inspector, without injecting code.

    SelectionHistory.PNG
     
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  5. Neo-Dragon

    Neo-Dragon

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    I think the History feature is a great idea.

    Favorites will be handy when working with big scenes but it seems a bit difficult to use in it's current version.
    I think having a simple "Star" icon that is a checkbox that you can select or deselect to add an item to the list is a way better way to go.
     
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  6. coshea

    coshea

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    Nice looking feature, only via video not tried it.

    When you select the object from this new menu, could you make the editor camera jump to make it visible? Or at least make that be an option in the settings?

    I used to use this asset called Scene View Bookmarks that lets the editor camera jump to various fave views/objects, but alas not available now:

    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/22302
     
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  7. Farelle

    Farelle

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    I would prefer it as an own window instead of using a dropdown menu :) something similar to photoshop history visually, maybe even with some "favourites" star like Steam has for games, so that it would "pin" the favourites on top of most recent used gameobjects while other recent ones stack up beneath :)
     
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  8. xHumphrey

    xHumphrey

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    Really like the browser-like features. Well done! I'm sure there are more you could implement too. Also, much like websites, I'm holding out hope that you might allow game objects to be tagged with more than one tag. I would love to apply multiple tags to a single game object.
     
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  9. JDMulti

    JDMulti

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    Idea is good, the actual video showing the implementation can be a lot better, here some suggestions.

    Adding this feature to small dropdown menu's is somehow a bit dodgy. It's too small and you need quite some muscle memory to master that. However it would be a nice feature to have in a separate window which would also be easily expanded / collapsed, like Photoshop history.

    For example, everything you click (game objects, materials and such) get recorded into the history with also icons in front based on what it is. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you click a lot on the same object, so you can favorite it. When it's a favorite object, this will appear in a section under the history log with a certain icon in front. So the icons can be a visual guide for muscle memory actions and you don't need to read the text of the list.

    While this history is being recorded, you can also search / filter that list if it's too long to scroll trough. You can for instance filter on materials, objects or whatever and when you continue, this filter can stay active or being deactivated again.

    If you don't like the recorded list, you can collapse it and leave only a list of favorites, but also that one can be collapsed if you want to.

    At last, the favorite list is also reorder-able, you can change it with custom icons (also history list can have custom icons) and it saved together with the project settings (just not the history, only favorite list).
     
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  10. Novack

    Novack

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    Looks awesome, have missed this a lot. Please add back/forward to the Project View as well, that is the actual browser, where the toolbar should be, not the inspector!

    And while you're at it, please allow custom Project Views in the same way that custom inspectors are allowed, to this day making elaborate editors involving multiple asset files is hugely limited by not having access to instantiate and mod Project / Files views.
     
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  11. Leslie-Young

    Leslie-Young

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    I want to be able to add Player Settings, Physics Settings, etc type Inspectors to Favourites.
     
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  12. cstooch

    cstooch

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    Oh wow, I love the idea as is.
     
  13. arielsan

    arielsan

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    I have my own as well here,



    I love to have the browser like features in inspector, maybe you could consider all the good and bads of each of our implementations. In my case for example, I can drag objects from the custom window to/from the other windows and works like for example assigning a public field from a component, etc.



    Features:
    • Stores history of selected objects (custom count).
    • Selects objects from the history (with left click).
    • Pings (focus) objects from the history (with right click or Ping button).
    • Drag objects from history to other object fields to link them.
    • Drag assets (folders, scripts, etc) from history to the project browser to move them.
     
  14. habsi70

    habsi70

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    Great idea. As mentioned before a seperate window could be nice. A modifier key plus click could allow to focus the selected element within the Scene. It would be nice to be able to freeze and store the state of the history. That would allow to switch between different groups of selections. But that would not be a history of selected objects anymore :D
     
  15. mcmorry

    mcmorry

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    Nice idea... already addressed for a long time by very good plugins on the asset store.
    For example, instead of reinventing the wheel you could give a look and acquire them by contacting the developers (as you did with Text Mesh Pro).
    This is a great one: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/4237 (from @Flipbookee ) that also integrates well with https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/14032 (from @thienhaflash )
    Unity editor really needs a huge fast forward improvement on this subject. Is unbelievable that a developer should search and buy additional assets to have access to this core and mandatory features. Is like having to buy the alignment feature for a word processing software.
    At every new project is like to feel naked until you import at least 3 or 4 core plugins.
     
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  16. Flipbookee

    Flipbookee

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    Yes, there should be back, forth and history buttons in the Project view to select most recently selected assets only, but also in the Scene and Hierarchy views to select most recently selected game objects only.
     
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  17. Player7

    Player7

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    haven't tested the preview build I tend not bother ...just throw it in the beta builds or at least chuck it in 2017.2 beta's...

    I would personally cram in little minitabs to provide clickable buttons to past history selections more directly much like the way I have it with.. https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/u...d-artist-workflows.467951/page-5#post-3056699

    Still as shown demonstrated video ...having the < > nav arrows, and also 2 dropdowns for history and favorites is good for me... but if the inspector width was expanded.. then that empty space could be filled by allowing the user to have those minitabs.. which makes it quicker to see and jump back to a specific earlier selection... or maybe another dropdown menu for the project setting stuff and make it so project setting windows also show up in that history...
     
  18. GennadiyKorol

    GennadiyKorol

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    Huge thumbs up for this feature, it's been on my list to implement something like this for our team for a very long time!

    The big important bit on top of making this easy to use and convenient (things like easy access from hotekys, separate between assets/hierarchy so you can clearly see which selections were assets and which not, being able to quick type to filter and find what you want, etc) it's important to expose good API so that we could show history views using our custom tools when it makes sense.
     
  19. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

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    @tristan-unity: Some suggestions:

    1. Support back and forward mouse buttons (buttons 4 and 5) like pyloon said
    2. If the entry in the History/Favorites list is a gameobject in the scene, show which scene that object belongs to. It's useful if there are multiple scenes loaded. Also have an icon to indicate what type of asset it is. (see attached screenshot)
    3. Have a separate dedicated editor window to show the settings for the History and/or Favorites (instead of it being inside the Editor Settings window), but keep the Inspector's browser UI. Because I like the quick-access of it being always present in the Inspector.

    Icon that indicates what type of asset it is (window, scene file, folder, etc.) If it's a game object in the scene, there's an indication what scene it belongs to. I have two scenes loaded here "Test1" and "Test2".
     
  20. tristan-unity

    tristan-unity

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
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  21. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

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    Maybe it's just from my internet connection, but I can't access the link:
     
  22. tristan-unity

    tristan-unity

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    Sorry, theses links are internal to unity, I forgot to transfert the files. Let me upload the files and give you a correct link.
     
  23. tristan-unity

    tristan-unity

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    I've edited the links they should work now.
     
  24. ImperativeGames

    ImperativeGames

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    O. M. G. Why it isn't implemented in main build?!
     
  25. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    finally!
    history isn't really needed since holding on the arrow already shows the history
     
  26. LightStriker

    LightStriker

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    Great idea... but feel clunky.

    In a browser, I would do Back/Forth mouse button to navigate.
    Since those buttons are unaccessible in Unity, we used CTRL+Left/Right Arrow as shortcut.

    It also feels weird that those controls are on the inspector. Shouldn't a back/forth icon be in the top toolbar and not related to a single window?
     
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  27. Peter77

    Peter77

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  28. smcclelland

    smcclelland

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    Internally we felt the Inspector was the right home for this as it's where the users focus often is when interacting with objects but you raise a good point about other areas such as the Hierarchy etc. The intent here was to provide a quick way of bouncing back/forth between objects so if you were making changes you could easily get between them without sifting through the hierarchy.

    The mouse buttons are interesting but not everyone uses a 3-button mouse (myself included) so if we were to assign hotkeys to this it would need to be a global hotkey that's useful across all setups. Open to input here.

    A few more questions I have:

    Are we solving the right problem with this in the Inspector?
    Functionality wise is there anything we're missing that would cause you to not use this?
     
  29. dadude123

    dadude123

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    I want support for the side buttons on the mouse as well (mouse button 4 and 5, like in this image).
    Most people use a mouse with side buttons, the project window should support going forwards and backwards using them as well.

    In my opinion that's a must have.
     
  30. LightStriker

    LightStriker

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    Maybe not everybody, but most people. Which is why it should have a keyboard shortcut AND the mouse support (like most software really)

    I really don't think it's at the right place in the inspector, conceptually and visually. A dropdown list of the history and favorites are cool... but too contextual. For something I might use once every week or so, and is probably different for everybody in my team, it takes quite some space. I assume those favorite are not saved in the project?

    One might say everybody has an inspector window open. But I really fail to see how those functionality should be dependent on that window.

    If the Inspector Window had a toolbar, I would put there a LOT of other functionality that the inspector is lacking; hiding flag, read only, isolation, nested prefab breadcrumbs and functions, etc.
     
  31. smcclelland

    smcclelland

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    This is an interesting point. Where would you see this functionality residing or making the most sense? Does it feel like this is solving the problem of selection management for you?
     
  32. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    two tiny black triangles left of the padlock
     
  33. Matthew-Schell

    Matthew-Schell

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    This would be reallllly good to have. Plus one to this functionality please. Also for me the Inspector is where I would be principally interacting with this so I'd be happy to have it there.
     
  34. Xarbrough

    Xarbrough

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    I love the idea and the demo looks good to me!

    Of course, it should have re-bindable hotkeys (also mouse keys). In general, I think, this is one area of improvement for the editor experience: all commands should be re-bindable and every single feature should have a hotkey; it's standard in Maya, Blender, Photoshop, and probably many other applications.
     
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  35. Baste

    Baste

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    Yes! A back/forward button would be convenient pretty often. I often find myself struggling to find a GameObject or Asset that I just had selected - especially when I need to click my way through folders in order to find the material I want to assign somewhere.
    I really like the idea of a forward/back button.


    Make the hotkeys editor in Unity not be horrible? Somebody had a good idea once and put in Edit->Preferences->Keys, but it's way underdeveloped and contains pretty much nothing. It's also awkward to have hotkeys spread between that menu and the MenuItem interface.
     
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  36. Gooren

    Gooren

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    I made a plugin for Unity called "History & Favorites Ultimate" dealing with both these subjects at the same time. You could use that in the meantime :oops:

    Some of the features you mentioned here guys will be rolled out in the next patch and the other feedback from this thread looks super cool as well. I will make it my responsibility to deliver the best History and Favorites experience until Unity takes my place :D

    Pardon me for necroing this thread.
     
  37. Novack

    Novack

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    Would be interesting to know what happened with this, and how it relates to the announced editor changes.
     
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  38. benoitd_unity

    benoitd_unity

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    Hello everyone,

    Sadly we had to remove this feature at the very last minute for breaking other features. We're looking at some solutions to re-introduce it at a later time.
     
  39. Xarbrough

    Xarbrough

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    That’s too bad, but I’m still hoping for a builtin solution. Is this back on the roadmap and being worked on? Usability and easy navigation is so important when you work with Unity 8 hours a day. Please, don’t neglect that. :)
     
  40. Player7

    Player7

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    I kinda like that as an optional history panel to have, but still prefer the setup of this for above the inspector...
    gWc2vgs.gif
    frankly it should be built in, but seems to have been forgotten about again.. along with the project setting buttons.. which no longer work at all with 2019+ as they've change things, and not for the better... project settings window is just oversized, left side menu should be able to go on the top as tabs, then the width would still be fine to average side bar width where the inspector panel is... right now you have to have it as floating window or put the project settings tab in a different view area.. where it fits better for its overbloated width.
     
  41. LightStriker

    LightStriker

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    You have one major fat bar of emptiness around the Play buttons.
     
  42. chrisk

    chrisk

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    I'm sick and tired of looking for assets that can fill the basic missing features. History and Favorite is such a fundamental feature yet we are still missing more than 10 years. There is just too much back-and-forth and I often waste lots of time in Unity looking for stuff if you misclick on something.

    If you can't do it, why not just support go backward/forward with mouse backward/forward button(no UI need and it's ok) while you ponder with the out-of-the-world solution that will shock everyone?

    You already have Undo, and I'm sure this is a few minutes job(a few hours at the most with testing) if you really want to implement it. Give us something so that we can save us from the hellish UI. There are many assets out there doing it already, why can't you, Unity? You are not only incompetent but lazy and stubborn. No better words to describe better than the 3 words.
     
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  43. LightStriker

    LightStriker

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    Missing features? How about copy/paste... Try to copy a position. Or an audioClip.

    AH!
     
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  44. Novack

    Novack

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    Yeah vectors... and Curves cannot be copied either.
     
  45. LightStriker

    LightStriker

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    Or AnimationClip in the Animator.
     
  46. SisusCo

    SisusCo

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    Hi everyone! Here's my take on bringing browser-like features to the inspector...

    Navigation buttons:


    Filterable navigation history is opened by right-clicking the back or the forward button:


    I also added copy-paste:


    And a filter field:


    The asset is called Power Inspector and is available from the asset store.
     
  47. Novack

    Novack

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    Ah yeah, per-field copy paste is also really needed, specially for tranform members.
     
  48. TextusGames

    TextusGames

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    This is most joyfull thing since arriving of nested prefabs. Thanks.
     
  49. TextusGames

    TextusGames

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    Very good point.
     
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  50. areepen

    areepen

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    I feel like this could address some of the major weak points of the current Unity Editor.
    Unfortunately there is not activity here and the topic is not mentioned in the recent blog post concerning the Unity Editor UX :(
     
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