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From: Brian Tiffin
Subject: Immersion
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 14:26:57 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0 SeaMonkey/2.53.9


Brian Tiffin here, GNU maintainer for GnuCOBOL.  Old Forther,
polyFORTH/32 Vax/VMS in particular.

Spent years in the system, got used to block editing.  Took a while, but
being in Forth headspace, for all tasks, including edits, is a powerful
productivity boost.

I noticed Gforth is moving in that direction, with the addition of
locate, and l/n/b, which is good in my old guy opinion.  But... I'd also
like to make a suggestion.  Drop after-l.  Don't wait for the next key
stroke to decide what state to put the console in.  It becomes a mental
mode breaking point, with a distracting screen paint out of order. 
After the an l, n, b waiting to see if the programmer wants to tap
cursor keys up and down to move the source listing around, should not be
the default.  An l/n/b/locate should just go back to the console mode,
not after-l mode.  Type b<ret> for back and n<ret> for forward source
listings.  All after-l does is break an immersion, again, in my opinion.

One of the benefits of blocks (or something similar) when in the console
is that you can ponder Forth at the keyboard.  You can't really ponder
Forth in an external editor.  You gotta switch brain zone.  So using
blocks is like having a scratchpad / chalkboard accessible while in
Forth brain mode.  Pondering the next few words, and stack gymnastics
required is easier in the Forth console, just try it and see.  In an
external editor that isn't at hand.  Gotta swap the entire mind set. 
Try it in Gforth, back to editor mind set and type it in a text file,
then back to tweak try some other things in Gforth.

As for now, can only opine that Gforth, while moving closer to immersion
with the locate and source view tools, is letting after-l put a huge
hurdle in the quest at attaining the "zone" of immersive Forth. 
Personally, I'd drop right to console mode, (where up/down arrow is
history recall, not a new mental mode of scrolling text) and let
programmers two-type the b<ret> and n<ret>.  The flash from source view
to normal console with the stack status blue bar, is distracting.

Just a suggestion.  Probably a thing that will sink into muscle memory,
but for now exploring Gforth (which is splendid) is riddled with up/down
arrow mental speed bumps, and a two mode console that is not quite the
right kind of modal, and a screen flash that triggers something akin to
jump scares.  :-)

Thanks for Gforth 0.7.9. by the way.  Awesome.

Have good, make well,

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