Toolbox App 1.17 is Out: Quality Improvements Arrive with a New Build Completely Rewritten in Kotlin

Posted on by Victor Kropp

TL;DR Focusing on the quality of the Toolbox App, we have completely rewritten it in Kotlin. We’ve introduced a new Settings page, updated system requirements, and fixed dozens of bugs.

Toolbox App 1.17 Released

In this update, we’ve focused on bug fixes and on the overall quality of the Toolbox App.

The story

The Toolbox App began as a Hackathon project, though it had a different name. The state of the technology was very different at the time, however. Java was still in version 8, and Kotlin had not been released yet. We decided to try something new, so we implemented the core of the application in C++, and for the UI we used React with our own Ring UI library. This latter part has stayed with us through all these years and has proved itself to be successful. The elegant and polished interface is not only pleasing for the eyes, but it is also easy to develop and allows us to effortlessly present rich content in the “What’s new” notes for our products.

On the other hand, the core written in C++ is different. C++ is a powerful language (sometimes too powerful for our use case), and it often requires a “gloves-on” approach. Every time we switched to it from other projects that used Kotlin, we weren’t as productive as we had been before. It was also impossible to share code between the IntelliJ Platform and the Toolbox App, which would have benefitted both parties. The tool landscape has also changed. With the arrival of modular JDK, it is now possible to bundle a very small runtime with the app or even compile it to native code with Kotlin/Native.

With all this in mind, we made a decision last year to rewrite the core of the Toolbox App in Kotlin, and we are now happy to present the result. In this first iteration, we deliberately made as few changes as possible and stayed close to the original codebase, except, of course, for some third-party dependencies that we needed to replace with their JVM counterparts. Luckily there is no lack of high-quality Java libraries out there. You can easily find one for every purpose.

We didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes though, so when we needed to rewrite something from scratch, we fixed some bugs in the relevant components, as well. Below is a brief overview of the changes we’ve made.

Download the Toolbox App

Bug fixes

Depending on your preferred operating system, we’ve reimplemented the system tray icon (on Windows), menu bar icon (on macOS), and appindicator (on Linux). It now correctly appears in most cases and is no longer blurred on HiDPI screens. Improved screen detection also fixes a number of issues with incorrect application scaling. Many performance issues have been resolved, as well.

On Linux, JetBrains Account credentials are now stored correctly and the app handles SSL certificates better.

You can find the full list of resolved issues here.

Proxy servers

Previously, the Toolbox App always used the system proxy if it was set. It wasn’t possible to change the proxy address or to turn it off. There is now a dedicated page in Settings for setting up a custom proxy server and enabling and disabling it when necessary.

Proxy Settings

Settings

Speaking of settings, we’re happy to introduce the revamped Settings page. We’ve regrouped all options and made the most important categories available at a glance.

Toolbox App 1.17 Settings

System requirements

As we’ve previously announced, we are dropping support for 32-bit Windows. We are also updating the minimum supported OS versions to Windows 8 or newer and macOS 10.13 or newer. This change brings our system requirements into alignment with those of all the JetBrains IDEs which will not run on older OS versions. For Linux, we generally support only the latest regular and LTS releases.

Even though there might be not so many visible changes in the application, this update builds a solid foundation for future improvements. We are already working on some of the suggestions you shared with us on New Year’s Eve.

Thank you for your collaboration and your helpful feedback! We are listening!

Download the Toolbox App

Stay home, stay healthy, and stay tuned!
The Toolbox App team

Comments below can no longer be edited.

30 Responses to Toolbox App 1.17 is Out: Quality Improvements Arrive with a New Build Completely Rewritten in Kotlin

  1. Christopher Rucinski says:

    April 24, 2020

    Nice change, and I hope that this will let us see more improvements over the year.

    Please add support for software dependencies! PyCharm needs Python installed on your system. WebStorm could use Node.js, NVM, Yarn, etc. IntelliJ IDEA needs the JRE and JDK.

    These all have different versions that can be installed at the same time and they can be a pain install and slows down new projects.

    We always need these to use your IDEs. Every OS has a different way to install them. Yet, these required products have no support and are all decentralized (wastes time googling instead of coding)

    • Edem says:

      April 27, 2020

      Managing all these tools is a bit more than the app is designed for, because there are tons of approaches to these. Just for one, should these installed natively, or in a container environment? If the latter, would it use vmware, or docker? Should it be installed globally or just for the user? It would also need to support all major OSes as well. Then comes the different configuration per team, per person, per project…

      While it sounds nice, this request is a bit unrealistic.

    • Victor Kropp says:

      April 28, 2020

      Thanks for the suggestion, Christopher!
      In their latest releases IntelliJ IDEA has added support for downloading and installing JDK and PyCharm added support for downloading Python. At the moment we think this is the way to go, with technology dependent tools supported by the respective IDEs.

  2. Jennifer Kuiper says:

    April 24, 2020

    Is it possible to chache the tool images on MacOS? Starting the ToolBox the first time, the images take some time to load.

  3. Jennifer Kuiper says:

    April 24, 2020

    Is it possible to cache the tool images on MacOS? Starting the ToolBox the first time, the images take some time to load.

  4. Bob Neffer says:

    April 25, 2020

    Crashes on update Xubuntu Focal

    • Victor Kropp says:

      April 28, 2020

      Hi Bob, we’ve just released an update, could you give it another try?
      If it still doesn’t work for you, please file an issue in https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issues/TBX

  5. Tomáš Myšík says:

    April 26, 2020

    Does not work for me _a lot_, see the [reported issue](https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/TBX-4701).

    Thanks.

    • Victor Kropp says:

      April 28, 2020

      Hi Tomáš, we’ve just released an update, could you give it another try?

      • Bikal says:

        April 28, 2020

        Just tried the latest. Doesn’t work for me on red hat linux 8.1

  6. Thomas says:

    April 26, 2020

    Is it possible to hide the toolbox icon in the dock when starting the MacBook.
    Before the update, the icon never showed in the dock.
    Or add a feature that hides the icon from being displayed.

  7. Edem says:

    April 27, 2020

    The most important question (for me): does this version keep the app icons in the mac dock working after an update, or do they still break?

  8. Frieder Bluemle says:

    April 28, 2020

    Previous versions of the toolbox app were significantly smaller. This new version added around 20 MB per platform. On Linux and macOS, the app is almost at 100 MB now 🙁 Memory footprint has increased similarly.
    On top of that I’ve had some odd issues with the regenerated shell scripts for apps (e.g. WebStorm).

  9. Dmitrii says:

    April 28, 2020

    246,8 MB vs 62,8 MB of RAM? May I get old one?

  10. Andrey Efanov says:

    April 29, 2020

    Ring UI link does not work

    • Marina Kovaleva says:

      May 18, 2020

      Thanks for noticing, it should work now.

  11. tvtfree says:

    May 1, 2020

    246,8 MB vs 62,8 MB of RAM? May I get old one?

  12. pp3345 says:

    May 1, 2020

    – uses 350 MB of RAM
    – still no Wayland support on Linux (the same goes for the IDEs)
    – uses AppIndicator (i.e., won’t show anything in GNOME, the most widespread Linux desktop)

  13. iFish says:

    May 4, 2020

    Where can I get previous version of toolbox app? I’m running toolbox app on windows 10 x64, version 1.17 was slow responsive and just always stuck on checking for update without any more reaction. I have no idea weather it was a network problem or just toolbox app’s issue.

  14. TheBrokenRail says:

    May 6, 2020

    Great update! Are there any plans to make it open-source (like the browser extension)?

  15. ADEV says:

    May 7, 2020

    300mb for launcher….
    JVM need to stay in old servers.. wasting energy like that is not a good thing
    please use kotlin native instead of JVM if you want to show off kotlin

  16. Jorge Flores says:

    May 14, 2020

    Using the Jetbrains toolbox 1.17.6856 on linux I am no longer able to login using my account, there is an empty OAuth error.

  17. Krzysztof Palka says:

    May 25, 2020

    Additionally, I believe the upgrade of proxy does not work as intended – after Toolbox App update to version 1.17.6856 it cannot connect to server anymore when behind corporate proxy – so for me most of the time and be clear I saw the new proxy section, I enabled it and still no connection. Furthermore, the same settings works without problem directly in the IntelliJ IDEA.
    The sole WARN in the logs looks like this:
    “Unable to download feed from –jetbrains feed several URLs– unexpected end of stream on unknown”

  18. Ni says:

    May 27, 2020

    I can use the version of 1.15.5796, but when I update it to the version of 1.17.6856, I cannot open it anymore , the Win10 system seems can’t start this application, why?