Questions and bugs after initial ET for 'Add Package Reference' dialog

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:19 AM
Edited Sep 20, 2010 at 1:13 AM

After doing some initial exploratory testing (ET) on the 'Add Package Reference' dialog, I have some questions, and I want to mention some noteworthy bugs.

Strategy

First, let me discuss the strategy for the ET session. As an initial session, it was mostly to test the core user stories. I also explored likely user interactions that weren't necessarily part of a user story (for example, fiddling with the console alongside the dialog).

Questions

Q1. Is 'Add Package Reference' the right text to use in the Project menu for this dialog? I understand using that text on the Reference context menu, but since you can add, update, and remove packages in the dialog (at least, once all the bugs are fixed), the text doesn't seem right. 'Manage Packages' or something similar seems like better text in the Project menu to me.

Q2. How can I install solution-level packages with the dialog? Because it's exposed via the Project menu and References context menu, there isn't a way to add a solution-level package except via the project context.

Q3. Given Q2, should the dialog show solution-level packages when invoked via a project context? Should we have to different contexts for the dialog, depending on from where it was launched?

Noteworthy Bugs

#73: Adding a package through the dialog removes the prompt in the console. This is interesting. When you add a package in the dialog, it still writes in the console. Only, it takes the prompt away when it does. You have to fiddle with it to get the prompt back. Considering that, for now, you have to update and remove via the console, even if you added via the dialog, this is a pain and will confuse folks. This should be added to known issues.

#80: Installing packages is often slow, and there's no visual feedback. It is at least several seconds after clicking 'Install' before you see any change in state, once the installation is done. It can be much longer if there are dependencies. Even disable the 'Install' button would help.

#81 Trying to add a solution-level package fails. Related to Q2 and Q3 above, the only way to add a solution-level package right now is through a project context. Only, that doesn't work.

#82: There is no way to discover which of my installed packages have available updates in the dialog.

#83. There is no way to update an installed package in the dialog.

Raw Notes

The raw ET notes are here: ET: Initial ET for Add Package Reference dialog

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Oh, I missed:

#62: The dialog shows fake, static data in the 'Recent' section.

#84: There is no way to uninstall an installed package in the dialog.

Sep 20, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Oh, and another question:

Q4. Should we support switching package source in the dialog, or is it okay that it will always use the default source?

Sep 20, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Q1: agreed, "Manage packages" works better once inside the dialog

Q2: you can't, and it's semi by design.  The reasoning here is that solution level packages like MvcScaffold or NUnit typically bring in new commands that need to be run in the console.  So we may as well force you to install the packages via the Console.  So not really "By Design", but at least a plausible explanation for the behavior :)

Q4: there is a Settings button there, but it's quirky as it just takes you to the Feed Management UI and dismisses the dialog.  I agree that ideally there would be a drop down in the dialog.  Either that or it would honor the console's drop down?

Coordinator
Sep 20, 2010 at 2:32 AM

Re: Q4: The plan is to have a list of package sources in the left pane and allow you to switch between them. Just hasn't been implemented yet. I logged bug 88: http://nupack.codeplex.com/workitem/88 for this.