[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: describe-bindings: ^L, bad order, naming

From: David Reitter
Subject: Re: describe-bindings: ^L, bad order, naming
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 23:40:08 +0000

On 11 Nov 2005, at 22:42, Miles Bader wrote:

Emacs can accomodate beginners to a degree, but I often get the
impression you want to _replace_ well-worn Emacs conventions with
whatever dancing elephants you're used to from the mac, and that isn't
something that's always desirable.

Sometimes I'd like to coerce Emacs into supporting operating-system specific standards. But I wouldn't propose to change the UI in a general way to accomodate that. What we are talking about - a horizontal line as a page divider - is nothing mac specific. You can see it in pretty much every GUI based application that deals with text, not just on the Mac.

We want to _help_ new users, but
that doesn't always mean simply copying other interfaces; often it
means simply offering a bridge to make it easier for new users to
understand Emacs conventions.

Your suggestion about ^L with a horizontal line next to it implements that nicely.

I have noticed that a lot of people here are actually open to reforms: conventions can be modernized, if there are good arguments for it and if one is considerate of people's long-learnt ways of interacting with the program. Because of this view, and because I think the naïve perspective of a relative newcomer can be helpful in such things, I make these suggestions. (I have been using computers since 1984, Atari, Windows, GNU/Linux, GNU/OS X - I'm biased towards graphical interfaces, yes, but not biased towards the Mac in particular, I would say).

Most people seemed to be quite happy with a nicer key bindings list, I believe. Implementing this - for example your compromise below - is probably a matter of minutes for one of the experts. Is the topic isn't worth spending hours discussing?

Displaying ^L characters as a horizontal line might be visually nicer
(for everybody, not just beginners), but in normal text (source
buffers etc), hiding the fact that it's simply a character which can
be inserted or deleted etc. like any other, may actually be harmful to

I think the crucial distinction is whether the text is meant to be edited, or read. We're in Help View Mode here. I can see no harm in displaying horizontal lines to divide the groups. By the way, the tutorial routines go a long way at inserting blank space to make the first page be a real, visual page. I'm not suggesting that this is what should be done here, but it shows that at some points, the current implementation is considerate towards a first-time reader.

- D

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]