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Re: Design Suggestion 2: Dired In The Drop Down Menus


From: David Masterson
Subject: Re: Design Suggestion 2: Dired In The Drop Down Menus
Date: 25 Sep 2001 10:10:37 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

Gee, after all these years, you still don't use supercite...

>>>>> "Richard" == Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

[...I wrote...]

>> I still think it would be good if a mouse click in the minibuffer
>> area could be bound to (newline).

> If this is some obscure mouse click, such as C-M-Mouse-1, it would
> do no harm and little good--few people would use it.

Agreed.

> If it were an ordinary mouse click, it would be a major
> incompatibility, and would make it hard to do some ordinary
> operation in the minibuffer.  So I think this would be a bad idea.

"Major" incompatibility?  Select and Paste (ie. button1 and button2)
wouldn't work in the minibuffer, so, yes, that's problematic.

Could an "OK" button (a la Customize or browse-url) be put in the
minibuffer when any operation asks for input and provides a default
value?  If you button1 click on *that* button (as opposed to elsewhere
in the minibuffer), then the default is accepted (of course the
operation is free to reject the default and again ask for a value).

I suppose you would also need a "Cancel" button to complete the
functionality, though.  Perhaps documentation in the Emacs splash
screen could say something like "if you see *this* button, mouse
button1 activates it while mouse button2 cancels it".

> Fortunately, it is easy to type RET.

Actually, this is a false assumption and that is why this issue came
about.  The basic reasoning of the original poster (as well as myself)
is that, to minimize context switching, a mouse-based operation should
be completed, as much as reasonably possible, via the mouse.  Thus, as
the Subject line states, the suggestion is to bring up a Dired buffer
on "File|Open" menu operation in an attempt to complete the Open
operation via the mouse (just click thru Dired to the file you want to
open).  My suggestion is simpler in that, since find-file requests a
pathname and offers a default of the current directory, all you need
is a way of accepting the default without using the keyboard.  I think
this could apply to all operations that ask for input with a default
value as well (like dired).

As someone with a touch of RSI, overly switching between keyboard and
mouse can be painful to me (and, I suspect, others).  Therefore,
well-designed operations should take this into account and design
themselves accordingly to minimize the need (you can't eliminate it,
but you can cut it down).

-- 
David Masterson                dmaster AT synopsys DOT com
Sr. R&D Engineer               Synopsys, Inc.
Software Engineering           Sunnyvale, CA



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