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Re: lynx-dev pre.10 : Options Form/Menu

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev pre.10 : Options Form/Menu
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 07:48:31 -0400 (EDT)

981013 Rick Lewis wrote: 
> I'm blind and use a Braille Display and have worked with both. 
> So why do I prefer the old-style options menu? 
> First, because it's easier and quicker. 
> But I can adapt to either, and I'm good at using forms. 
> But new lynx users (including me when I was starting out)
> don't find forms to be a piece of cake.

we should certainly pay attention to what you say here,
but i believe this is the first time anyone has suggested this.
partly, the response has to be that newcomers don't need to use Options
& anyway people have to take the trouble to learn
if they want to get the most out of a powerful tool like Lynx.
as you say, you're now good at using forms.

> It seems obvious why many people in this forum prefer the forms menu, 
> due to familiarity and for efficiency and economy of effort.

that's a minor difference: if it were all, we could keep the Menu indefinitely.

> Bela and others make good points when they speak of the problems
> in maintaining two options systems.

this is very important:
Lynx development currently depends on a very few programmers:
if we don't remain vigilant, it will become too difficult to maintain.

the other issue is that the Menu has already become cluttered:
last year there were objections to adding options
simply because "There's no more room on the screen for them":
that was precisely what got the Options Form idea started;
we will also run out of the quick'n'easy letters at some point:
we should be trying to make as many choices as possible run-time options,
something which incidentally helps newcomers,
who don't have to find  lynx.cfg  or recompile.
the options in the Form are now grouped logically & alphabetically.

> I can understand why many blind users are daunted by forms.
> They may be visually intuitive, but tactually, they're not.
> Some have the submit button above the choices, which I consider illogical,
> like taking step four before you take step three;
> that doesn't seem to be illogical for sighted users at all, though.

it certainly seems illogical to me, tho' not that difficult to negotiate.
users should always have links & form-fields numbered
& try to remember the numbers: eg on the Options Form `accept' is [1];
also use Search, eg for `go' or `accept'.

> Some have you use the same link twice to submit the form;
> others have you arrow down.

there are badly organised forms, like all areas of the WWW.

isn't this whole discussion a bit premature?
no-one has suggested dropping the Menu for now. 
i suggested dropping the configure option as unnecessary,
but if NHE really finds it useful, i'll happily go along for now.
the wording does need cleaning up & i'll try to do a patch soon.

SUPPORT     ___________//___,  Philip Webb : address@hidden
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'  University of Toronto

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