KNIME Modern UI Preview

Hi team KNIME.
I just looked at the new UI, and just want to say…loving it. Looks so elegant, I cannot wait till full functionality is available. This UI will turn a lot of heads if you ask me.

Love the table view at the bottom. As data engineer I always look at the data when working with it and now so much easier and better looking.

2 Likes

Move the node buttons to the top and display the configuration window on the left when selecting a node.

Really dig the feel of the new UI! my biggest issue picking up Knime was just navigating the clunky UI. I think this will help people pick up the concepts much quicker but a power user would end up needing to swap back to the old UI until more features are brought over to this new one.

Agree with many other wish list items in this thread so adding mine here as well.

  • Need to be able to edit node annotations
  • Wish there was a way to group nodes together so they can always be moved around the canvas in a group easily without creating a metanode. I do this now by putting them in giant Note boxes but they aren’t attached so once you move one, you have to resize everything.
  • Bring back the node alignment tools
  • Bring back the double click node inserts it connected to the selected node (helps build workflows quickly)
  • ctrl+space should quick search the new repository, not bring up the old one
  • Need a way to pin ‘Favorite’ nodes. Perhaps another section on left side tool bar just for favorites?
  • Knime should auto-connect the new node when you dragged and dropped near another node on the canvas.
  • Should be able to sort and filter the data preview window for quick checking (love that you can now select and copy data from here btw)
  • Bring back workflow outline viewer
4 Likes

Just tried it. There’s a lot of potential, but my immediate criticisms are:

  • The list of nodes is horribly cluttered, with no apparent structure to it. If looking for a node from the community, you’re presented with a massive jumble. Some grouping by vendor, node type (source, loop, input, output) etc. would help a lot. I realise you provide filters, but once I’ve installed all my usual plugins I’m presented with >100 filter options in no particular order.

  • Native molecular structure rendering in the node output table is 100% essential for your biotech customers. We need to be able to view resizable structures. We also need to be able to copy the underlying object (e.g. SMILES) from the table, as we can currently with the old UI. I can’t recommend to my team that they use the new UI until proper chemistry support is in place. I hope it’s on the roadmap, since losing this functionality would be a >10 year retrograde step!

2 Likes

Dear :knime: @knime team,

congratulations, the new UI looks great already!

You might be aware of it already, but nodes that are auto-generated e.g. by the #imagej #image-processing extension currently don’t show up in the node repository of the new UI.
In particular, I’m missing all the nodes of the FMI KNIME Plugins (that do show up fine in the standard UI).

Cheers,
Jan

thanks. i guess I don’t need to try it out then at all because the concerns you mention would impact my work in the exact same way.

I quote this part because in every application that did a redesign, this was the outcome. The old, somewhat ugly looking but functional UI got replaced by something better looking but generally much less usable. Like Windows 8 or Windows 11 (task bar…), pgadmin4,…
The only real thing the current UI is lacking is a fuzzy node search but else a tree view that uses little space is just so much more usable.

1 Like

Thank you for your valuable feedback – we will make sure that your feedback will be considered for the next releases, however promises can not be made as of if and when they will be implemented. The preview was released to be able to gather feedback in order to incorporate necessary changes. This prevents a situation whereby products and features (like described) were released without sufficient community feedback, which would make our products less usable and functional.

We are currently in the middle of the development process and will further improve it with the upcoming releases.


I categorized the feedback into different topics and tagged you.

Modern and current user interface

The current user interface will still be around for some time. You will maybe also be able to switch between the current user interface and the future web based interface back and forth – but someday in the future the current user interface will not be maintained anymore. @John-k @richards99 @kienerj

Workflow bench

  • Node labels and workflow annotations will be added in the future @denzilsdn @leftyhyzer16

  • We also have ideas to add some similar functionality like the current bendpoints/handles on the curved connections. But currently there are other things that are more important for now (like opening multiple workflows, having an embedded KNIME Explorer, Workflow Annotations …).

  • Currently we have a default grid (based on 5px), that is for now not configurable and can not be switched on/off by the user. But there is a hidden feature to move nodes around without the grid snapping by holding the “Option”/“Alt” key after starting with the drag – then you can move it around based on 1px. @EvanB @mlauber71 @leftyhyzer16 – Aligning and arranging nodes and annotations like now is on the list but has at the moment not the highest priority. For us it would be good to know what exactly you are looking for. Is the current auto format option all you need?

  • We are reworking the metanodes, so they will have some solid background. @EvanB @mlauber71 @Experimenter

  • Until now there is only a first proof of concept implementation about the workflow outline for the Modern UI. But also this has for now, as far as we received the feedback not the highest priority @Thiemo.Kellner @leftyhyzer16 — For what exactly you are using it? Are you using it to navigate around in huge workflows?

Table Output View

  • The current table view at the bottom, is for now the first iteration – we are currently working on an enhanced version of the table view to enable more renderers e.g. images, chemical structures. We would be happy to present it to you once it is ready so that you can try it out and see if it works for your use cases. @richards99 @Experimenter @witschey @leftyhyzer16 @rsherhod

Node configuration

  • In the future we want to have all of our dialogs do appear in the new style. As we have a lot of nodes this will take some time, but we will definitely work on that as we need our dialogs to based on web technologies… There are some ideas about opening/displaying them at the side, for the current select node without any additional modal dialogs @EvanB, @tgb417 @Christopher41 — but, it will take some time to develop all the necessary pieces.

Copy and paste

  • @sahak08 we have already started with the development of copy and paste for nodes and also, later on when the annotations are editable, to copy and paste annotations.

Node repo

  • We already considered additional views like they are now available (the tree view, the list view, when someone is searching via the fuzzy search) and also different filtering options. But also this is at the moment not scheduled for development @rsherhod

  • We already had a similar idea, to add favourite nodes on top of the other nodes within a dedicated category or some additional filter options somewhere in the node repo. @Christopher41 @leftyhyzer16

  • The workflow coach itself is not implemented yet. @AngusVeitch1 @leftyhyzer16

  • Auto wiring nodes with the current selected one after double clicking it in the node repo is on the list and there is an internal ticket for it – but it is not yet scheduled for development. NXT-1083

General ui feedback

  • Additional panels e.g. like the KNIME Explorer …, will be added in the future and are not in the current released preview @denzilsdn

  • Panel management will be more important for us and also for the users, when we have more than two panels. The current ui is completely configurable – what we will provide in the future is not clear yet. There is nothing planned, but we are already aware of this. @denzilsdn

  • We will optimise the dedicated space of the top app header in the future as soon as we will have the possibility to open up multiple workflows with tabs. The app header just provides the necessary space for the future to display these future tabs here. @Experimenter

  • We are already thinking about a dark theme for the future, but for now it is not scheduled for development. I think the complete workflow bench needs to be optimized for that, right @Ema ?

  • For “Execute and Open View” there is already an internal ticket. We are not sure if it will make it into the next release. – NXT-1123. One question about that is, do you really need two different buttons (or like it is now two different context menu options)? I think this could be optimised and the logic if there is an execution needed or not, should be handled via the user interface – so the current plan here is, just to have one activated button, that will change its state depending on if the view the view is executed or not, but in the end it opens up the view. @EvanB

Problems

@brkylmz Could you please give us more details about your installation or the workflow that you tried to open up. Have you tried it also with a new KNIME Analytics Platform installation?

@Experimenter node lockup? Sorry I don’t get this completely, could you please give me some more details about that.

@imagejan – I have created an internal ticket for it – NXT-1161, regarding your problems with the nodes that are not shown up in the node repository.


Current KNIME Analytics Platform

@kienerj Fuzzy Search is available in the current user interface by activating the button near the current “Node Repository Search” input field. In the Modern UI we are using in the node repository fuzzy search by default.

2022-06-27-Fuzzy-Node-Search


If you have any additional feedback or questions, feel free to reply.

6 Likes

The auto-align function is great to help organizing a workflow. What I would really like (for quite some time now) is that the text beneath the node would be taken into consideration when aligning the nodes. I very often use the text beneath the nodes to document and describe what is going on so that hopefully no further boxes are needed but the texts would overlap if they are too large. So just (?) take them into account when aligning the nodes.

instead of like this:

It (taken from here) might look like this:

Also it would be great to be able to form groups of nodes that would be handled together (I can imagine the concept is not so eays) but it would be great to help with the organization and also acceptance of workflows. I do get the feedback that KNIME workflows do look crowded and not very intuitive (I am not sure pages of pure code are more intuitive but anyway). One will always have to put some effort into arranging and organizing. If KNIME could further help with that that would be great.

Maybe start with combining boxes and groups of nodes that can be grouped together and be then automatically organized. That would make my life much easier :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Thanks for the update.

I’d certainly be happy to look at any new renderers, particularly for chemical structures, as when they’re developed.

Re. the node repo. I can see that this new UI presents an opportunity to improve the way users navigate installed nodes, beyond the typical tree structure. In the current UI, you mostly have to know where something is, or exactly what it’s called, to be able to find it. That’s not ideal. Maybe if plugin developers could assign their nodes a series of common key words, which could have an ontology applied to narrow down browsing, e.g. assigning “Converter”, “Chemistry”, “RDKit” to all its RDKit to and from nodes. It sort of looks like that’s where you’re going, but I think you’ll need help from the node devs to tidy up their plugins.

2 Likes

I haven’t had a chance to use the Modern UI preview much as yet but I have been reading with interest other’s comments which in many cases reflect my views from what I have seen. I fully intend to give more detailed feedback on the good and the not-so-good, as I think this is very exciting, and in my quick plays there are some great new features (and many existing missing features that I am sure (hope!) will be added).

There is one thing though (probably not an obvious thing) that right now got me so excited that I thought I’d share it:

One thing that really bugs me in the existing/old UI when dealing with large workflows in KNIME is the ability to move a node or a group of nodes easily around the workflow when they go “off screen”. The choices are to either select the group of nodes, then zoom out, and drag them (but on large workflows you can kind of “lose your place” in terms of where you want to drag them to), or you can drag them a bit, then scroll, then drag a bit more, then scroll and so on until you get to where you want to drop them.

I was hoping that the modern UI would resolve this by giving us the ability to drag off screen and have the workflow scroll automatically as we do. I was disappointed to find this still doesn’t behave that way… BUT… one other thought was that they keyboard cursor keys can scroll the scrollbars, so wouldn’t it be nice if whilst dragging with mouse, the cursor keys could activate the scrollbars?

Well, on the old UI, it doesn’t work that way… but in the modern UI preview… It does! :slight_smile: So I don’t know if this is intentional, or a side-effect but whatever it is, please don’t lose that new functionality.

I have now found that when working on a large workflow, if I want to move a node or group of nodes “off screen” and place it precisely, I switch to the modern UI, select the nodes, then drag them off screen and whilst continuing to drag I use the keyboard cursor keys to scroll the desktop beneath them… Happy Days! :wink:

2 Likes

For anyone wanting to learn more about this newly improved UI, please join the webinar we’re hosting for a quick overview and Q&A on recently released KNIME Analytics Platform 4.6.0 & KNIME Server 4.15!

July 14, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM UTC +2 Berlin
10:00 AM - 11:00AM -5 Chicago

Register for the webinar and get highlights on the latest version:

  • A preview of the sleeker UI
  • Better Python scripting
  • New visualization nodes
  • An improved Snowflake integration
  • …and more!

Followed by a summary of the community feedback and a Q&A with our experts, @carstenhaubold and @roberto_cadili. Come prepared with your questions and get a sneak peek into what’s coming next.

Register here

4 Likes

The modern ui is quite intuitive and sleek… while geek would find more tools at sight while preparing the work flow. I couldnt find the example workflow link in the modern ui…and how we can open the hub workflows in new ui.

Thank you for taking the time to respond! Adding all my comments below.

The auto formatting piece works pretty well so that would be a good middle solution, but I do like the other options (spacing and align) as the auto formatting doesn’t always react the way I want it to.

Workflow Outline - Yes for massive workflows, it is super helpful for quickly navigating to certain parts of it.

Table Output - I don’t have any science or render use cases, but would be happy to review any new iterations as you work through them.

Favorites - Yes! That would be awesome.