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Re: New start up splash screen annoyance...

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: New start up splash screen annoyance...
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 07:45:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> I don't think an echo area message can do the job, because there
> is not enough room.  An extra level of indirection would be far
> less effective.

I completely agree that this is far less effective, and it is so by
design: it leaves the decision of when to peruse the startup screen to
the user when the user starts Emacs with a command line.  If we grant
that reducing effectiveness to this level (which hopefully is
acceptable to most people) might be appropriate (and I strongly think
it is), we can think about how to replace

!) make sure that the user can't avoid getting a splash screen,
against his explicit wish to start editing a particular file

with the following:

a) make sure that the user will be aware of the startup screen and
certain how to get it
b) make it obvious to the user that it would be in his best interest to
peruse it if he has not already done so.

I believe that we can achieve this with either a somewhat persistent
echo area message or a tooltip popup, either timed for about 30
seconds.  We use such echo area messages for teaching keybindings, and
they are effective for that purpose.  We use tooltips for conveying a
number of other information, and they also are doing a reasonably good
job without being annoying.

> The idea of popping up two frames seems worth trying.
> Would someone like to try it?

Tooltips are frames designed to be unobtrusive but noticeable, so it
would be a good idea to use them.  However, the splash screen would be
too large for a tooltip, and links would not be followable in a
tooltip, and it is a bit too ephemeral for such a bunch of
information.  So while we already have an interface for an information
popup, it would be appropriate to use another indirection level when
using it.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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