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Re: gdba probs

From: Nick Roberts
Subject: Re: gdba probs
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 21:39:33 +0000

Richard Stallman (RMS), Stefan Monnier(SM), Miles Bader(MB) write:

RMS>     Apart from the errors, I like to think much of the functionality is 
RMS>     evident.
RMS> Maybe so, but the person who said he didn't know what these windows
RMS> were for apparently did not find it so.  How about if you talk with him
RMS> about why it wasn't evident to him?

If you mean Miles, I think he was only confused by the display window that
popped up in its own frame when it wouldn't have done if there were no errors.

SM> Their meaning is indeed obvious when they're not empty.
SM> When they're empty, the buffer name gives a good hint, but I'm not
SM> sure it's enough to make it "obvious".

They're never completely empty. Even `No breakpoints or watchpoints.' or
`No stack.' are clues. I would say that they were `self-evident to anyone
familiar with GUI debuggers'. Since that doesn't include everyone, I will
document it.

RMS> Please do document it (in Texinfo format).

How does this work ? Do I put my changes in building.texi ? Do I install the
patch or submit it to the mailing list/you. Can it have references to gdb info
pages or only ones in the emacs distribution ? Texinfo files don't seem to be
updated very frequently. Do I install something rough and ready now and
develop it or wait until I feel its stable?

MB> The GUI debuggers I've used typically start out displaying only one or two
MB> windows (e.g., the command window and a source window, sort of like normal
MB> gud mode), but offer toolbar buttons to easily pop up others; once the 
MB> are popped up, they are updated continuously.  Note that for some window
MB> types, you can pop up more than one instance -- e.g. memory display windows,
MB> where you may want to display several regions of memory simultaneously.

OK, I'll change the default value of gdb-many-windows to nil. This means gdba
will start with just two windows : the GUD buffer and the source.  The user
will then have to express a preference for six. Note, however, that other
buffers, such as the breakpoints buffer, are still needed (in this case for
placing the breakpoint icons), even though they are not visible. The
input/output buffer will automatically appear when the program is run but I'll
try to stop that.

RMS> Can you think of ways to make the text in the windows themselves show
RMS> what they do and how to use them?  Please put some effort into this.  A
RMS> major part of the idea of graphical interfaces is that they can, with
RMS> some effort, be self-explanatory.

I will try to bear in mind these things and the other comments made on this
mailing list as the mode develops.


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