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

From: Ismael Cordeiro
Subject: Re: lynx-dev pre.10 : Options Form/Menu
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 23:34:20 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 13 Oct 1998, Bela Lubkin wrote:

> Indeed; and that will take some programmer effort, which will have to
> come from a volunteer.

Like everything that has been done and that will be done.

> I can't speak for everyone, but it seems clear to me that *most* of the
> active programmer-contributors prefer the new forms-based option menu.

I find your position very elitist. One of the beautiful things about Lynx is
that Lynx-Dev is open to everyone, especially to users that come here to
give their opinions about their real-world use of Lynx. I suggest you to
create a new mailing list just for the elite of programmers and closed to
everyone else. This way you'll be able to do whatever you want without
bothering with the opinion of the rabble.

> The premium would come from eliminating future work (adding multi-page
> support to the non-forms menu) and ongoing work (maintaining two distinct
> options menus in synchrony).

If it were for not having to have more future work, nothing new would be
implemented in Lynx. Not even the forms menu. Why implement it if there
was already the non-forms menu and that it would bring more "future work"?

> You're in the minority.

By the messages I've been seeing here I don't think I'm in the minority.
Besides, many features of Lynx were implemented to satisfy the needs of

> What you desire is going to come about only if someone commits to
> indefinite future maintenance of the non-forms menu.

Like every new feature implemented. If people listen to you and decide not
to do "future maintenance" of the non-forms options, it's fine for me. All I
need in the options menu is the non-forms options.

> So far you're the only one requesting it, so you're the only potential
> candidate to make that commitment.

If you really read all messages here, not only the ones with patches, you've
already seen that's not the case.

> But I think there must be a better approach.  Instead of committing
> someone to maintain obsolete code forever, and committing the Lynx
> binary and source to lug around duplicate, obsolete code forever; why
> don't we try to understand *why* you find the new menu harder to use?

Because it's easier and quicker to use the non-forms menu. For me the
options are changes that you need and do during a session. The more
permanent ones are done in lynx.cfg. For example, the option I change more
often is the "FTP sort criteria" when I'm going to access an FTP site and I
want to know the more recent files. With the non-forms menu I just press
"o", press "f", cursor down  to "Date" (I still prefer the old way of
pressing "space" for selecting), press "return", press "r" and it's
done. fast and simple. With the forms menu I have to go to the second page,
to cursor down to "FTP sort criteria", to press "return", to cursor down to
"Accept Changes" and to press "return". Other options that I also use, and
that are faster and easier with the non-forms menu, are "Searching type" and
"verbose images".

> Maybe it can be fixed so that everyone will prefer the new (or at least
> be willing to accept it).

Don't bother. It'll never be as easier and faster than the non-forms menu,
because of the way forms work.

> I have far too much experience with pieces of code that are kept around
> to "parallel" something new.  They inevitably rot.

They don't "rot" by themselves. It's the programmers who let it "rot".

> At first you would see missing options (like the cookies stuff).

I set mine in lynx.cfg and I have never needed to change it.

> Later, changes elsewhere in Lynx would make parts of the old menu fail
> completely -- they'd look right on screen, but the underlying mechanisms
> would be different, they would fail to configure what they're supposed to
> configure.

I would call that bad or lazy programming.

> Eventually, unless someone was actively maintaining it, we'd get to the
> point where Lynx wouldn't even compile with the "include old options menu"
> option enabled.

Again, I would call that bad or lazy programming.


       | ISMAEL CORDEIRO            | mailto:address@hidden           |
       | Production sound mixer     |     |
       | Montréal - Québec - Canada | |

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