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1233Re: [jasspa] CUA support - update

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  • Thomas Hundt
    Oct 17, 2004
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      >> Would standardizing the GUI key bindings be sufficient ?

      Well that would help, a lot. I care about these MUCH more than what key
      does copy and what key does paste (as, after all, I can change those

      Tabs should move between grouped elements
      (tab order!), arrow keys between controls in the group (except text
      boxes, where you have to tab out of them), ctrl-tab moves between tabs
      on a tabbed dialog, space selects radiobuttons and checkboxes, enter
      equals "OK" and dismisses the box, Esc equals "Cancel" and also
      dismisses the box. (Since this is Emacs, ^G should do the same.) Users
      have suffered for years while Microsoft got this right. (Well,
      okay, I think Microsoft actually stole most of it from Apple and Xerox,
      who spent a few bucks developing it.)

      Example of a text-based dialog: 'edit' under Win2k et al. Menus are
      very similar to ME, (only, Alt works and Esc gets you out of them, and
      "..." is the cue for menu items that pop up dialogs, and when I hit Alt
      to get to the menu [F1 in ME] I can actually see where the cursor is);
      have controls like Windows ( "(.)" for radio buttons, "[X]" for checkboxes
      that are familiar to users -- no Y/N boxes.) Compare their color setup
      to ME's scheme editor, which I don't fully understand and am afraid to
      use. (Does "Install" save the changes? Where?? How does that differ
      from "Save"? What does the "[ Text ]" button do and why do colors
      change when I click it? Why does navigation involve not hitting Alt?
      Which items are dropdown lists -- there is no cue?)

      The Jasspa work on building dialogs is most impressive; it just needs to
      be cleaned up a bit to be more user-friendly. I don't think it's a good
      idea to throw it away, at all!

      >> Should we consider a move to a native GUI for dialog boxes etc. ?

      I don't consider it necessary. You still have to support the non-GUI
      user (and in fact, this is a big reason why I use the thing, because it
      ALWAYS works).

      >> b) Would MicroEmacs become "BloatedMicroEmacs" or "MegaEmacs" ?

      Don't let this happen!

      >> c) Would it be more frustrating to use ?

      With a GUI? Yes. Just fix the dialog behavior and it will be
      un-frustrating for everyone.

      > Probably. I'm usually using it when there is no GUI running yet.

      I count on it being available with or without a GUI. Reliability and
      availability are more important than anything else.

      >> d) Would it make it more usable ?

      GUI -- no. We're not talking pretty fonts and Photoshopping here.
      We're slinging code! (Though I would not object to boldface fonts for
      language keywords ;-).)

      >> I guess the real basic questions I should be asking are:-
      >> Why do you use MicroEmacs ? What do you want as a user from
      >> MicroEmacs ?

      I really want to have the functionality provided by GNU Emacs, but don't
      want to actually use it. It's bloated, I don't know how to program it,
      there's a million things going on in the background, and all those
      hamsters running in cages behind the scenes make me nervous. At heart
      I'm an engineer, not a "computer scientist", and so Lisp makes me crazy.

      ME does provide most of that functionality, works everywhere, and is
      more or less transparent in its program structure. (Well, except for
      the OSD code, which I haven't delved into yet.)

      > They one thing I would like to see is that in NE/ME that the key
      > bindings that are not already spoken for match those of FSF/GNU
      > Emacs.

      The key word here is "Emacs". I want all "Emacs" editors I use to have
      the same keybindings, if at all possible. I have spent a lot of time
      getting ME to act more like GNU. Any discrepancies are a waste of time.

      (Example of a bad sitation: Outlook uses ^N to start a new e-mail.
      Mozilla uses ^M to start a new mail. Drives me crazy! Thankfully both
      use ^Enter to send.)

      If I'm going to memorize a key binding, I want it to work in as many
      places as possible! I want to pick and choose what bad habits I get
      into. For example, GNU does not seem to support Alt getting to the
      menus. But all of Windows does, so I'm pretty happy to have them in ME.

      > IE: Meta-% gets Quire-Replace Ctrl-SPACE sets the mark

      Yes, I set both of these too, a long time ago. And undo! (^Z) And
      Shift-Insert! I have about 60 lines of key binding code in my ini file.
      Many of them are unbinding of dangerous functions from keys I might
      hit, expecting a different command. (Example: Esc ^K. Especially if you
      hit ^G next.) Or just ones of dubious value (^X-x, ^X-w). In looking
      at them just now, I have to say Jasspa has gotten a lot better and
      closer to GNU over the years. A lot of my rebindings are no longer

      > Yes, it is easy enough to do myself in the config files but if their
      > not already used when not try to match FSF/GNU Emacs? Might get more
      > converts that way.

      Similarly we can start talking about mouse behavior. Try Ctrl-clicking
      in GNU; it brings up a menu of buffers. ME has that functionality in
      the (much harder to navigate)
      rightclick on the modeline and then navigate a menu to get to the list
      of buffers. I haven't learned how the whole mouse/menu (OSD) structure
      works yet and so can't program this myself, but I'm sure it's possible.
      And without a GUI!

      Thomas Hundt
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