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Re: Visual cleanup for customize buffers

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: Visual cleanup for customize buffers
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 18:44:36 -0600 (CST)

Kim Storm wrote:

   > (And some basic, often needed, things like resetting one
   > single option to its standard value would get very complex and clumsy.)

   So what.  I bet that most people are used to click "Cancel" and start
   over if they mess things up too gravely.

Suppose I save 10 different complex items in a Custom buffer for
future sessions.  Some sessions later I want to reset one of these to
its standard value.  I do not want to reset the other nine and redo
them, because they are complex and would take a lot of work to redo,
even if I actually could remember the values.  How could I handle this
without individual State buttons?  How is your magic whole buffer
"Cancel" button supposed to help me in this situation?

   >                                            If it were implemented one
   > would definitely need to be able to hide options from the whole buffer
   > buttons. 

   Why?  They would just "save all options" -- just like any other GUI
   applications do when you click "Save" or "Appy" or "Ok".  I honestly
   don't see why emacs has to be different here.  Being different (be
   default) is just confusing.

Two reasons:  firstly, that interface has serious flaws and secondly,
programs that use it take special steps to minimize the consequences
of these flaws, which Emacs does not take at all, quite to the contrary.
The example I gave above illustrates both reasons.  In the
"Apply-OK-Cancel" interface I can not even reset anything to its
standard value to begin with, once I have OK'ed it.  I can not even
easily figure out what the standard value is.  This is a major nuisance.

The fact that you have to Apply or OK everything at once or completely
punt, click "Cancel", loosing _all_ your edits and closing the
application and then start it up again and start from scratch is
another major (and very irritating) nuisance.  But most applications
with such an interface would limit customizability to simple
enable-disable toggles and radio buttons, so at least you do not lose
anything complex.  This is not the case for Emacs customizations
(except in the Options menubar item).

Basically, the "Apply-OK-Cancel" interface becomes completely
disfunctional once you apply it to a customization buffer containing
several options that can be set to complex values.  That is also why
the Custom whole buffer buttons are completely disfunctional in
multi-option buffers.



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