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NSTableView incompatibility MacOSX/GNUstep

From: Andreas Höschler
Subject: NSTableView incompatibility MacOSX/GNUstep
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 18:11:43 +0200

Hi Fred,

I just had the attached discussion on address@hidden about an NSTableView incompatibility issue between MacOS 10.2/GNUstep and MacOSX 10.5. After thinking this over for a while I feel that we should consider to adopt the new behaviour in GNUstep. It's different but it has a real (may be even important) advantage.

If we indeed adopt that we should at least allow the user to choose one of the two behaviours with a user default.



we are in the process of migrating our software from MacOSX 10.2 and GNUstep to MacOSX 10.5 and figured out a bunch of weird issues [modifications to AppKit we dislike to say the least, or that we don't understand yet] that prevent our apps from working properly.

Our apps build NSTableViews programmatically (based on a property list) and sets the columns to editable or not using [tableColumn setEditable:flag]. All our tableviews also get

        [tableView setDoubleAction:@selector(performDoubleActions)];
        [tableView setTarget:self];

The behaviour we expect and are used to since the old OPENSTEP days (the same on MacOSX 10.2 and GNUstep) is that a doubleclick in an editable column starts editing the cell, a doubleclick on a non-editable column invokes the doubleaction of the tableview. On MacoSX 10.5 the action is always invoked, no cell is editable anymore whether setEditable:YES was invoked or not. :-(

That's probably not correct. Initiating an edit has changed on 10.5 though. You have to single click the cell in the selected row to edit, rather than double click. This means you first have to select the row, then wait at least the double-click time, and then click again.

I checked that and can confirm this behaviour. However, editing the cell is started only whit a short-single-click on the cell. Editing is not started when it takes me more than half a second to release the mouse button again!?

So it works like changing a file name in Finder.

I personally also feel this is annoying, but it's something we'll have to get used to, as it's now the reality.

On the other hand, this allows you to have both an editable cell and a double click action for the same cell.

I see the ratio. Thanks for the explanation. I would prefer to be able to modify this (switch back to old) behaviour in System Preferences though. :-(

The new approach has the above mentioned advantage but is simply less efficient. :-(

Is this supposed to be a feature? If so I don't understand the reasoning. Or am I missing anything.

Yes for both questions.

We commented out the line that sets the action for now. Now the columns that got a setEditable:YES are editable. However, one has to do a direct hit on the text to start editing. If one doubleclicks slightly to the right of the text (but still within the cell) editing is not started anymore. This is pretty annoying!! :-(

I also think that the need to click on the text is annoying behavior. I'm not sure if it's a bug though, but I truly fail to see any reason for this (AOT single-click editing I described above). Especially for still empty cells it makes it really hard to edit. I do believe this is cause for a bug report (or at least an enhancement request).

For empty cells I see the old behaviour. You can click anywhere within the cell and editing gets started!

When I remove the doubleaction from the tableview I get the old behaviour back (doubleclick on a cell starts editing). I slowly get the idea ...

Please tell me that I am doing things wrong and that these incompatibilities can be overcome with a few #ifdefs! I can't believe what I see...

So it's not an incompatibility you're seeing. Everything you could do in the past you can still do now. And in fact you can do more. It just works differently.

Yes, in the past one could not have a doubleaction on a tableview with all cells being editable (at least on cell had to be non-editable and the user had to doubleclick on that to invoke the doubleaction). The new approach allows to have a doubleclickable tableview with all cells being editable.

You can't simply revert back to the old editing behavior, it would require you to override several methods in NSTableView, like mouseDown:. It's very tricky to do that correctly. Moreover, this is now the standard behavior, so better be consistent. So I advice you to get used to it.

It's actually an incompatibility issue for us since some users are working on Macs, others (most) are working on Sun Rays (GNUstep/Solaris). But that's our problem and Apple couldn't care less. :-)

It might make sense for GNUstep to adopt the new behaviour. Anyway, thanks for the helpful discussion. My faith in Apple just returned. :-)



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