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RE: Info-build-node-completions has an extra `*' node

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Info-build-node-completions has an extra `*' node
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 16:02:58 -0800

> > I should have added that after you do `Info-goto-node *' 
> > the Info buffer is widened, so you see all of the node headers
> > in raw form. So this is a worse bug than simply allowing an
> > extra `*' completion that doesn't do anything
> > except mess up the mode line.
> How funny that you thought this feature is a bug :)

Dunno if "funny" is the right word. How is this a feature? ;-)

> Please read the Info manual at (info "(info) Go to node") that says:
>      The node name `*' specifies the whole file.  So you can 
>      look at all of the current file by typing `g*<RET>' or
>      all of any other file with `g(FILENAME)*<RET>'.

I see. Guess I haven't read the Info manual in a long time. Out of
curiosity, why was this feature added? What is the need that it satisfies?

And why is only `*' written in the mode line as the node name, rather than,
say, `*** All Nodes ***' or `*** Whole Manual ***' (the `***' or something
similar indicating that this is not just a node name). I'm afraid that `*'
is not very noticeable in the mode line. There are already other `*' there,
so you see, for example, `*info* (emacs) *'. 

And it is not immediately obvious that the entire manual is in fact visible.
I thought that it had just revisited the current node, until I scrolled a
bit and noticed that from the node headers that it was widened.

Someone falling into this state by accident might well get confused, IMO.
And `*' is the first completion candidate listed in *Completions*. 

It might seem cute that `*' is the name for this pseudo-node (a wildcard,
presumably), but the behavior and meaning are not obvious. Why `go to node'
would have an alternative action of `show all nodes' is not clear to me -
why associate this behavior with `Info-goto-node'? I suppose you'll say that
that's what we do for wildcards with `find-file'.

It's also not obvious how to get out of this view-whole-raw-info-file mode,
once you fall into the black hole. Things like `C-l' and `u' (Node has no
Up) don't help.

It turns out that using `g' again, and picking some real node name this
time, will restore Info to its normal self (whew!). There might be
additional ways to get back to normal; I don't know.

But I don't think it is obvious, and I do think it is potentially confusing.
At the very least, a message should inform the user: (a) what has happened,
and (b) how to get back to normal.

Interesting to know, at least...  On n'arrete pas le progres.

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