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Re: Need w32 help

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: Need w32 help
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 13:44:09 +0100

That sounds like a step backwards. I can understand this behaviour for
platforms that do not let you create a new file from the open file
dialog, but why change those platforms that do?

Doesn't "New File..." allow you to do that? Anyway, the menu and toolbar are defined in menu-bar.el and toolbar/tool-bar.el and these files does not contain any platform specific code. It would be a shame to change that. The fact that Emacs has the same menu commands on all platforms is an andvantage for me at least.

Having the same menu items for all platforms is good, but the current implementation seems confusing both to experienced Emacs users and to new users. "New File..." is in fact the old "Open File...". It allows you to both find an existing file and create a new file. This is unlike any other application, perhaps "New File..." should just prompt for the name rather than use a file dialog. "Open File..." is now a new option which actively prevents you from creating a new file, and has the toolbar icon of dired.

My initial suggestion was "Open old file", but it was decided to use "Open File". The fact that "New File" is different is more Emacs fault, it needs a file name to determine major mode and such. Other applications create empty documents with no association to a file, until you do save.

As for the dired icon, it is actually Emacs who got this backwards. The icon Emacs used to use for dired is the GTK stock icon for "open". All Gnome applications use that icon just for the purpose Emacs does now, i.e. open an existing file. So in a sense Emacs has become more Gnome compliant.

The dired toolbar icon looks like the icon got corrupted, it took me a while to realise that it is in fact a 'd' superimposed on the old dired icon, and it would not be obvious to the new user what that meant. I suggest that we follow the example of other programs for icons, and restore the "Open File..." and "Open Directory..." icons to their previous state, and create a new icon for "New File..." based on the "Open File..." icon with an added highlight to make it look shiny.

I am not a graphic designer, that is for sure :-) You are free to modify the dired icon, but I would think it would be counter productive to modify the "New File" and "Open File" ones, as this means Emacs would again drift away from GTK/Gnome stock icon usage. As for confusing, most users use the tooltips in a toolbar to see what the icons do, so any initial confusion should be gone quickly.

        Jan D.

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