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Re: [jasspa] Major mode - request for feedback

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  • Thomas Hundt
    Okay, here are some thoughts for you. ... The word mode is overloaded. I would rename modes (the list of toggles/flags) to settings . As in: the buffer
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 7, 2006
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      Okay, here are some thoughts for you.

      > Questions:
      >
      > a) In user-setup and the current buffer-setup dialogs the terms 'Search
      > mode' and 'Buffer mode' are used, should these be changed to 'Search
      > mode' and 'Minor mode' or single 'Minor Mode' or left as they are?

      > b) Should we change the current buffer-mode command to buffer-minor-mode
      > to help create the distinction between the existing buffer modes (exact,
      > wrap, justify, backup, autosv etc) and the new major mode concept?

      The word "mode" is overloaded.

      I would rename "modes" (the list of toggles/flags) to "settings".
      As in: "the buffer is SET to create automatic backups", "the buffer is
      SET to wrap words automatically".

      Then, if you want to introduce a "major mode", you can state quite
      clearly what that is. And leaves the door open to introducing "minor
      modes" for subsections of a file (e.g., a java code listing inside a
      text file). That's what you're moving towards, isn't it? (That's what
      GNU does, to my knowledge. Maybe I'm wrong about what they call a
      "minor mode".)


      > c) Given the new buffer-setup command will have all the settings
      > currently found in indent-setup (Format -> Indentation Setup ...) is
      > this command still required?

      Indent Setup doesn't look too useful, especially if you migrate its
      content to Buffer Setup.

      BUFFERS

      > d) Where should the new buffer-setup be placed in the main menu? I don't
      > think the Help menu is correct, is it a File, Format or Tools item??

      Put all the things having to do with buffers in a Buffer menu next to
      the File menu. Buffer "modes" (settings), buffer major mode setting,
      buffer minor mode setting, buffer restyle command, list buffers... all
      that stuff.

      That way, all the dynamic (temporary, not permanent) settings would be
      under Buffers, and all the permanent settings would be somewhere else
      (see below).

      If Buffer items can't be under their own menu, the second choice is
      under File. Since everything there pertains to operations dealing with
      the entire file one is currently viewing (and a buffer is just the
      window into that file), that is a logical place for buffer-global
      settings and operations.


      > Is there anything I've missed?

      PREFERENCES

      Put all preferences (all setups) in one place. Typically software uses
      Tools>Preferences or Tools>Options for this. (And by "software" I mean
      Mozilla, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office. Which probably
      accounts for 90% of software usage, in hours, worldwide today. So I
      think it's safe to say people will know to look there for setting
      preferences.) The only preference that should stay where it is, is the
      Print Setup, because that's where people know to look for it.

      Example: I never saw the Format>Indentation Setup nor the Help>Buffer
      Setup features until I read about them just now above, because I don't
      think to look in those places for settings. I've gotten used to User
      Setup being where it is, but don't really like it being there.

      HELP

      Nothing under Help should do anything but give information.

      Most especially, there should be nothing there that sets preferences.
      No popular software does so, with the exception of
      registration/activation/repair of the installation, and settings having
      to do with the operation of the help subsystem itself, e.g., that damned
      Office paperclip.

      The Help on the current major mode should say that's what it is. For
      example, mine says "View reg Help" right now, because I did the
      Help>List Registry command. If I don't happen to know what "reg" means
      and that this is where the "Give help on major mode" command usually is,
      that's not too useful.

      The Help popup is cumbersome, mainly because it can't be moved off the
      frame out of the way of the actual help text. (This is where the MS Win
      helpfile format help is a little better: one can move the search box
      away.) And also, the darn thing disappears. (How to get back one's
      search results to try the next one, and the one after that?)

      Opening a full-size help window is usually more useful. The only
      problem with that is, one can't use the Index. I prefer to run the MS
      Help format version of the helpfile just so I can get the search/index
      features and be able to view the text, at the same time, and not lose
      the search result set.

      I guess one solution would be to have the functionality of the popup in
      the top half of a split frame, and the text (from the clicked-on search
      result) appear in the bottom half. I would make this pop up in a new
      frame, and have a really nice help functionality.

      -Th


      >
      > Steve
      >
      >

      --
      Thomas Hundt <tom@...> +1-415-867-6698
    • Phillips, Steven
      ... I agree that mode is overloaded, but isn t set/setting/setup even more overloaded? Looking specifically at over buffer-mode as this is available in
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 8, 2006
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: jasspa@yahoogroups.com [mailto:jasspa@yahoogroups.com]
        > On Behalf Of Thomas Hundt
        > Sent: 07 June 2006 22:49
        > To: jasspa@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [jasspa] Major mode - request for feedback
        >
        > > b) Should we change the current buffer-mode command to
        > > buffer-minor-mode to help create the distinction between
        > the existing
        > > buffer modes (exact, wrap, justify, backup, autosv etc) and
        > the new major mode concept?
        >
        > The word "mode" is overloaded.
        >
        > I would rename "modes" (the list of toggles/flags) to "settings".
        > As in: "the buffer is SET to create automatic backups", "the
        > buffer is SET to wrap words automatically".
        >
        > Then, if you want to introduce a "major mode", you can state
        > quite clearly what that is. And leaves the door open to
        > introducing "minor modes" for subsections of a file (e.g., a
        > java code listing inside a text file). That's what you're
        > moving towards, isn't it? (That's what GNU does, to my
        > knowledge. Maybe I'm wrong about what they call a "minor mode".)

        I agree that 'mode' is overloaded, but isn't set/setting/setup even more
        overloaded?
        Looking specifically at 'over' buffer-mode as this is available in most
        editors, the phases 'overwrite mode' or 'overtype mode' (as Word's help
        calls it) seem dominant; in Big emacs you change this mode by executing
        the command 'overwrite-mode'. So given your point that the term
        'minor-mode' should be used so sections of a file (I.e. java code within
        a html file - which does seem to be what Emacs uses the term for)
        perhaps the following is correct:

        buffer-mode - to set modes like 'over', 'exact' etc. as per
        today
        buffer-major-mode - to set the buffer's file type (or 'fhook')
        buffer-minor-mode - term which could be used to refer to the
        'file-type' of the buffer at the current location.

        I think this makes sense and has the further benefit of not being a big
        change.

        > > c) Given the new buffer-setup command will have all the settings
        > > currently found in indent-setup (Format -> Indentation
        > Setup ...) is
        > > this command still required?
        >
        > Indent Setup doesn't look too useful, especially if you
        > migrate its content to Buffer Setup.

        Agreed

        >
        > BUFFERS
        >
        > > d) Where should the new buffer-setup be placed in the main menu? I
        > > don't think the Help menu is correct, is it a File, Format
        > or Tools item??
        >
        > Put all the things having to do with buffers in a Buffer menu
        > next to the File menu. Buffer "modes" (settings), buffer
        > major mode setting, buffer minor mode setting, buffer restyle
        > command, list buffers... all that stuff.
        >
        > That way, all the dynamic (temporary, not permanent) settings
        > would be under Buffers, and all the permanent settings would
        > be somewhere else (see below).
        >
        > If Buffer items can't be under their own menu, the second
        > choice is under File. Since everything there pertains to
        > operations dealing with the entire file one is currently
        > viewing (and a buffer is just the window into that file),
        > that is a logical place for buffer-global settings and operations.

        Like you I think this is a buffer operation and not a file one, after
        all it does not change a file.
        However at 80 char width (i.e. a standard terminal) there is no room for
        another main menu item, and without a 'Buffer' main menu my second
        choice would not be File, I would go for Tools. Emacs has these settings
        in a top level 'Options' menu which I think is a little limp (I don't
        like the Emacs main menu at all). I have several issues with the layout
        of the current main menu:
        - I agree with you point about user-setup and the Help menu so
        that should be fixed
        - The 'Find Tags' should be moved to Search->Goto Tag
        - The Execute & Tools menus probably should be merge

        So who fancies creating a new main menu layout? Or at least proposing a
        set of top level menu names which will fit into 80 chars?

        BTW, I understand and equally suffer with the OSD help interface,
        however I still have not managed to find a sensible solution. When I do
        I'll throw it your way,

        Steve
      • Thomas Hundt
        ... Well, if it s a question of menu space, that s an easy one: Kill off that Insert menu. That thing s pretty useless, menu-wise. Buffer or File menu could
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 8, 2006
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          > However at 80 char width (i.e. a standard terminal) there is no room
          > for another main menu item

          Well, if it's a question of menu space, that's an easy one: Kill off
          that Insert menu. That thing's pretty useless, menu-wise. Buffer or
          File menu could have the Insert File command; Edit could have the Insert
          Symbol command; and the Macro thing, why isn't it under Execute with the
          rest of the macro stuff? Done!

          Speaking of which... I never, ever, use the Execute menu, because I have
          those functions memorized from long ago. (Probably, we all do.)
          Everything in it could be
          under Tools, since macros are actually tools. Execute Buffer could be
          under a Buffer menu, Execute File could be under File... or it all could
          be under Macros somewhere... But, since Tools is getting pretty long, if
          nothing else, how about we rename Execute to Macro as the menu title,
          since that's what it's actually concerned with? (People know what a
          macro is; they may not know that one "executes" them. Many people "run"
          theirs. Especially the VB folks!)

          The Search menu is pretty useless and could all be under Edit (search)
          and/or Buffer/File (goto/bookmark). Most programs have Search/Replace
          under Edit.

          > So who fancies creating a new main menu layout? Or at least proposing
          > a set of top level menu names which will fit into 80 chars?

          To summarize: remove Insert menu; remove Search menu; rename Execute
          menu to Macro; add Buffer menu. That'd be my proposal.

          -Th



          Phillips, Steven wrote, On 6/8/2006 6:00 AM:
          >> -----Original Message----- From: jasspa@yahoogroups.com
          >> [mailto:jasspa@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Thomas Hundt Sent: 07
          >> June 2006 22:49 To: jasspa@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [jasspa]
          >> Major mode - request for feedback
          >>
          >>> b) Should we change the current buffer-mode command to
          >>> buffer-minor-mode to help create the distinction between
          >> the existing
          >>> buffer modes (exact, wrap, justify, backup, autosv etc) and
          >> the new major mode concept?
          >>
          >> The word "mode" is overloaded.
          >>
          >> I would rename "modes" (the list of toggles/flags) to "settings".
          >> As in: "the buffer is SET to create automatic backups", "the buffer
          >> is SET to wrap words automatically".
          >>
          >> Then, if you want to introduce a "major mode", you can state quite
          >> clearly what that is. And leaves the door open to introducing
          >> "minor modes" for subsections of a file (e.g., a java code listing
          >> inside a text file). That's what you're moving towards, isn't it?
          >> (That's what GNU does, to my knowledge. Maybe I'm wrong about what
          >> they call a "minor mode".)
          >
          > I agree that 'mode' is overloaded, but isn't set/setting/setup even
          > more overloaded? Looking specifically at 'over' buffer-mode as this
          > is available in most editors, the phases 'overwrite mode' or
          > 'overtype mode' (as Word's help calls it) seem dominant; in Big emacs
          > you change this mode by executing the command 'overwrite-mode'. So
          > given your point that the term 'minor-mode' should be used so
          > sections of a file (I.e. java code within a html file - which does
          > seem to be what Emacs uses the term for) perhaps the following is
          > correct:
          >
          > buffer-mode - to set modes like 'over', 'exact' etc. as per today
          > buffer-major-mode - to set the buffer's file type (or 'fhook')
          > buffer-minor-mode - term which could be used to refer to the
          > 'file-type' of the buffer at the current location.
          >
          > I think this makes sense and has the further benefit of not being a
          > big change.
          >
          >>> c) Given the new buffer-setup command will have all the settings
          >>> currently found in indent-setup (Format -> Indentation
          >> Setup ...) is
          >>> this command still required?
          >> Indent Setup doesn't look too useful, especially if you migrate its
          >> content to Buffer Setup.
          >
          > Agreed
          >
          >> BUFFERS
          >>
          >>> d) Where should the new buffer-setup be placed in the main menu?
          >>> I don't think the Help menu is correct, is it a File, Format
          >> or Tools item??
          >>
          >> Put all the things having to do with buffers in a Buffer menu next
          >> to the File menu. Buffer "modes" (settings), buffer major mode
          >> setting, buffer minor mode setting, buffer restyle command, list
          >> buffers... all that stuff.
          >>
          >> That way, all the dynamic (temporary, not permanent) settings would
          >> be under Buffers, and all the permanent settings would be
          >> somewhere else (see below).
          >>
          >> If Buffer items can't be under their own menu, the second choice is
          >> under File. Since everything there pertains to operations dealing
          >> with the entire file one is currently viewing (and a buffer is
          >> just the window into that file), that is a logical place for
          >> buffer-global settings and operations.
          >
          > Like you I think this is a buffer operation and not a file one, after
          > all it does not change a file. However at 80 char width (i.e. a
          > standard terminal) there is no room for another main menu item, and
          > without a 'Buffer' main menu my second choice would not be File, I
          > would go for Tools. Emacs has these settings in a top level 'Options'
          > menu which I think is a little limp (I don't like the Emacs main
          > menu at all). I have several issues with the layout of the current
          > main menu: - I agree with you point about user-setup and the Help
          > menu so that should be fixed - The 'Find Tags' should be moved to
          > Search->Goto Tag - The Execute & Tools menus probably should be merge
          >
          >
          >
          > So who fancies creating a new main menu layout? Or at least proposing
          > a set of top level menu names which will fit into 80 chars?
          >
          > BTW, I understand and equally suffer with the OSD help interface,
          > however I still have not managed to find a sensible solution. When I
          > do I'll throw it your way,
          >
          > Steve


          --
          Thomas Hundt <tom@...> +1-415-867-6698
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