Feature request: improved visibility of node information in the editor

I do most of my flow development on a laptop and often close both sidebars to get more screen real estate. It would be helpful to be able to hover the cursor over the body of a node (or right click) and get information like the following:

  • Core nodes (mostly) and contributed nodes - the help text
  • comment nodes - the comment text
  • function nodes - the "On Message" JavaScript

This could save many clicks to open and close nodes or the sidebar. Apologies if this has been proposed/considered elsewhere.

Sorry, I don't agree.
I am also using a laptop.

In the palette sidebar there are popovers which prevent you seeing if you have actually inserted a node. It's worst for inject nodes which are inevitably placed on the left under the popover and by now I have learned what an inject node does.

In the Monaco editor there are popovers to obscure the code you are trying to write/edit.

Please no more popovers!

Sorry, forgot to add that the feature should be optional under the User Settings dialog in the editor. :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh, in that case...

1 Like

Get a bigger laptop! Or more screens! :rofl:

Seriously though, doing development for me requires multiple screens. I can use just a laptop screen if I have to and I'm on the road, but when getting serious, I need a desk. I currently use a tiny PC on my desktop that has an NVIDIA Quattro card giving up to 4 big monitors. I have 3 currently and will get a 4th if I can get my hands on one of the surplus ones from work. I have 2 on their standard stands and one on a pole mount. When I was using a laptop, I had 2 external monitors and the laptop monitor (all that I could have using a USB-C hub).

For development of uibuilder, I'll typically have VSCode on my big monitor, the Editor on a 2nd and the 3rd split in 2 with a test webpage on 1 half and the dev tools on the other. My "big" monitor happens to be a 34" ultrawide which means that VSCode shows 4 horizontal panels, the explorer on the left, the main editor window next, then some reference info such as the typedefs and finally the outline for the main editor.

For me personally, I would prefer it if you could tear off the other right-hand panels in node-red like you can the debug panel, that would be far more use to me personally.

Though I'll admit that if there was an option to have a node in a flow show what the pallet shows (first para of the help), I'd probably use that. Same might be done for comment nodes I suppose.

In fact, if anything, I'd rather see the first para of the embedded comment panel of a node if it existed, that would be useful.

I've asked Santa for the bigger laptop. Unfortunately, I do most of my work (coding and otherwise) away from my desk. The desk has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (my preference), but the two very different styles of work can leave my muscle memory in a state of amnesia.

1 Like

I seem to remember that Lenovo have some nice mobile external monitors :sunglasses: Though admittedly space on the train (or wherever you find yourself) might be an issue.

Well, I used to regularly work on a 17" laptop when I was a roving consultant and that was a monstrosity of a gaming laptop. Great for programming and big spreadsheets though. Try to get one with a standard keyboard layout, not an abbreviated one like some laptops. I like having one with a numpad as well.

I've just been spoiled for the last 10 years as I've always been working somewhere with USB hubs and monitors and, for the last 2 years, working mostly at home with 3. :slight_smile:

Now you have just made us all jealous :star_struck:

So many lifestyle issues...

We don't do trains in the States (except standing up), and the airplane seats keep getting smaller and closer together.

and some of us don't do Windows...

1 Like

... well thars yer mistake right there ... :rofl:

1 Like

Getting back to the OP....

you do know there is a shortcut ctrl-space to toggle the siderbar and ctrl-p to toggle the palette ?
(under menu - settings - keyboard)

1 Like

Yes, I do, although I had to change the default shortcuts to avoid conflicts.

It's just a personal preference, but I'd rather use the keyboard only to enter text and do everything else with the mouse or trackpad. Toggling the sidebars is less of an issue than switching back and forth between mouse and keyboard. If you keep both hands on the keyboard and can remember some fairly obscure key combinations, you probably can do everything with the keyboard, but it's not my style.

Ah well - we try to help... never mind.

1 Like

Always appreciated.

1 Like

Slight longer answer - we are not going to fix right click or hover on a node to anything "fixed" right now - especially when there are already other ways of doing it - in this case both via mouse and keyboard - as then if something better comes along we will be stuck in a corner, and can't "undo" that choice easily without upset.

1 Like

Makes sense.

Indeed 3.0.2 already does have right click context menu... and there is possibility for that to be more "dynamic" - eg to be even more context aware - so who knows what could be added to that menu list (but it would be as a menu item and not just right click -> opens help.)

That's a good idea, since now you get the same menu regardless of where you right click. Items could be added or removed without causing big problems.

Well the menu does change slightly depending on where you are currently. But yes. Work in progress

Thanks for reminding me about the right click context menu. I've played a bit, and although not a fan of scrolling/searching through the Action List, I've changed how I do a few things. It might be a good idea to promote the Select Connected Nodes item to the main menu (just above or below Select All Nodes), eliminating the need for a shift-click.