Wednesday, June 28, 2006

StarTeam Productivity Hints

If you've spent 5 minutes in a room with me, you know that I'm almost fanatical about keyboard shortcuts. Don't get me wrong, I love the mouse. I need it to play UT. However, when it comes to just about everything else, I always feel more productive the less I use the mouse. Micheal Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and part-time productivity guru, once blogged:

"I have never met anyone really productive who relied on the mouse. It’s just too inefficient. ...few people take the time to really learn the standard operating system shortcuts (Mac or Windows). If you haven’t learned these already, I would urge you to do so. Over time, you will see a major boost in your productivity."

So today I was asked indirectly about how I use StarTeam. I was able to mention a shortcut or two, but there just aren't that many. StarTeam is a great system, but the UI is grotesque and not very customizable. And yet I can get 99% of what I need done accomplished without the mouse. Here is a list of shortcuts that really increase my productivity in StarTeam:

Ctrl+F6 - cycle through open projects
Ctrl+Shift+F6 - reverse cycle through open projects
Alt+W, num - Takes you to the project by its number in the Window menu
Tab - cycle through open panes
Shift+Tab - reverse cycle through panes
Ctrl+Tab - cycle through tabs in current pane
Ctrl+Shift+Tab - reverse cycle through tabs in current pane

Alt + i, i - Add files
Ctrl+g - Check out files
Ctrl+i - Check in files
Ctrl+l - Lock File

When you check in or add a file, StarTeam requires that you fill in a comment on the Check In dialog. I often just use a space. Pressing the Enter key doesn't close the dialog. It acts like a word processor and sends you to the next line. To combat this, I use the following combination of keystrokes. I don't even think about them anymore. Its all muscle memory now.

Ctrl+i, [space], Shift+Tab, Shift+Tab, [space]

One of my biggest problems with the StarTeam UI is that there is a button on the toolbar with no matching menu item or available shortcut. Of course, I'm talking about the "All Descendants" button. It's the only thing I haven't figured out how to do without the mouse. This has disturbed me to the point of insanity. There. I am insane now.

If you know how to accomplish this, please let me know.

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