Saros/I 0.1.0 Release Notes

This is the first alpha release of Saros/I, so expect it to be a bit rough around the edges. There are still some restrictions that apply to the usage and some basic features are still missing. This release is not compatible with any other Saros plugin/version (like Saros/E).

The GUI used in Saros/I is only a placeholder providing the minimal, necessary functionality. We are currently working on a replacement in the form of an HTML GUI that can be used across all Saros versions.

Disclaimer

Saros/I does not include sub-modules when sharing a module (see module restrictions). As a consequence, such sub-modules might not be present for all session participants. If a participant deletes a shared directory that contains a sub-module in the local setup of another participant, this sub-module will be deleted without any notice.

Installation

Saros/I 0.1.0 requires

  • JDK 8 or newer
  • IntelliJ 2018.2.7 or newer

Saros/I can be installed from the JetBrains plugin repository or from disk. A detailed guide is given here.

Features

This alpha version provides most of the basic functionality of Saros. You can

  • add existing XMPP-accounts
  • start a session with another person
    • Sessions in Saros/I are currently limited to two participants (host and one client)
  • share exactly one module through Saros; the shared module must meet the restrictions set here
  • transfer the initial content of the module shared by the host to all participating clients
  • work on shared resources
  • create, delete, and move resources in the shared module
  • interact freely with non-shared resources
  • follow other participants of the session (follow mode)

Restrictions

Some of the implemented features are still subject to some restrictions:

Working with Multiple Projects

Saros/I works with multiple projects open but does not allow the user to actively choose which project to use. By default, the first opened project will be used by Saros. As the current solution is only a workaround while a complete fix is implemented, we would advise against opening multiple projects when working with Saros.

If you are still determined to work with multiple projects open, please have a look at the details of the workaround to understand its restrictions, how to share a module of a specific project and how to recover from a headless state.

With the current workaround introduced in PR #417, Saros/I always holds a reference to a specific IntelliJ project. Only modules of this project can be shared.

The held project is determined on runtime as follows:

  • Initially, the first opened IntelliJ project is used.
  • Whenever a new project is opened, Saros checks if the held project object is still valid (if the project represented by the object is still open). If the object is no longer valid, it will be replaced with the newly opened project. As a result, you can now only share modules of the newly opened project.

If you only have one project open at a time or always open the project you want to share modules of first, this restriction should not be a noticeable.

If you want to change the shareable project, you will have to close the currently shareable project and then open the project you want to share modules of. If you have a hard time figuring out which project is currently selected as shareable, you can resort to closing all open projects before opening the project to share.

The functionality described above still leaves the possibility of entering a headless state: If you close the currently shareable project and then don’t open a new project, Saros is left in a headless state where it does not have a valid reference to a project. Trying to start a session in this state will lead to exceptions. This headless state can be resolved by opening a new project.

Module Restrictions

You can currently only share a single module. A module has to adhere to the following restrictions to be shareable through Saros:

  • The module must have exactly one content root.
  • The module must be located under the project content root.
  • The module file of the module must be located in the base directory of the content root.
  • The module must not be a project module.
  • The module file for the module must not contain absolute paths (or paths in general that can’t be resolved by other participants, like network drives).

Sharing a module will only share resources belonging to that module, not resources belonging to sub-module located inside a content root of the module. Creating such a sub-module during a session will lead to an inconsistent state that can not be resolved by Saros.

Working with newly created modules

To share a newly created module, you will have to have saved your project at least once before trying to start a session. This is necessary as the module file for a new module is only written to disk the first time the module is saved.

You can check if the module file was written to disk by looking at the base directory of the module. It should contain a *.iml file with the same name as the module.

Number of Participants

Currently, Saros/I is restricted to two-participant sessions, meaning you can only create session containing the host and a single client.

Missing Features

As this is only the first alpha release, there are still a lot of main features that are not yet implemented:

  • Multi-user sessions
  • Sharing multiple modules
  • Sharing whole projects
  • Selecting where to create modules when starting a Saros session
  • Display viewport annotations
  • Display file awareness annotations
  • Display cursor annotation
  • Display user color in Saros view
  • Adjustable Saros settings (like user colors, etc.)
  • Creation, management or deletion of XMPP accounts

Missing Secondary Features

These are features that are part of the functionality provided by Saros/E but are not seen as a crucial aspects of the plugin and are therefore have a lower priority:

  • Partial sharing
  • Saros help entry in menu-bar
  • Whiteboard
  • Chat

(Both the chat and the whiteboard will be available in Saros/i with the introduction of the new HTML GUI.)

Known Bugs

There are some bugs in the alpha version of Saros/I that we are already aware of and that are going to be fixed in a later release. Some notable bugs are mentioned here. For a full overview, you can have a look at our issue tracker.

  • #116 - The position of local text selection is not updated correctly for closed files when text edits are received through Saros.
  • #223 - Deleting and then re-creating a file with the same name (or moving a file and then moving it back, etc.) causes the session to de-synchronize irreparably, requiring a session restart.

Report a Bug

If you encounter any other bugs not mentioned above, we would appreciate it if you would report them to our issue tracker (after checking that they have not already been reported).

Our current bug tracker can be found on our GitHub page. Please make it clear that the issue is dealing with Saros/I.

When reporting a bug that concerns the plugin behavior, please provide the Saros log file (or all relevant excerpts) for a session where the bug was encountered. The log files can be found in the IntelliJ settings directory, which usually resides in the home directory under ~/.IdeaXXXXXXXX/ (“.IdeaXXXXXXXX” designates the used IntelliJ release; for IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2018.2, this would be .IdeaIC2018.2). The log files are located in ~/.IdeaXXXXXXXX/system/log/SarosLogs/.

If you are encountering IntelliJ IDEA errors connected to Saros (which will be displayed by a red, blinking symbol in the bottom right corner of the IntelliJ project view; the error can be viewed in more detail by clicking the symbol), please also include the IntelliJ IDEA logs. They are located in ~/.IdeaXXXXXXXX/system/log/ and are named idea.log (the log will be truncated at some point and older logs will be moved to idea.log.1, etc.). Please have a look at the contained timestamps to provide the correct file.

Before attaching any log files, please make sure to redact any private information that you do not wish to make publicly available.