[links-list] Re: development ideas

bulia byak bulia at dr.com
Fri Nov 1 08:44:44 PST 2002

> > 1. Type-ahead find, as implemented in Mozilla recently. You just start to
> > type any word from any visible link, and it becomes selected at once. A very
> > "textual" feature that would make (e)links much more pleasant to use. This is
> > somewhat similar to numbered links, but is MUCH faster and more intuitive. 
> Well, as (E)Links is a text browser, it has to be much more focused on the
> keyboard, which has to be the primary mean of control. Thus, most of the keys
> are bound to various actions, thus they can't be safely used for the type-ahead
> find.  Except that it'd be prefixed by some key as well, obviously. Interesting
> idea ;-).

I think the best approach would be this: by default, use a prefix key for type-ahead, but let the user disable it. If the prefix is disabled, type-ahead takes precedence over a function bound to an alphanumeric key. Then some people will be able to use this feature with a prefix without any changes to the rest of the keymap, while others (I, for example :) will be able to remap all functions currently bound to plain alphanumeric keys to some Ctrl- or Alt-keys (links.conf makes this remapping very simple), then disable the type-ahead prefix, and so be able to use type-ahead as in Mozilla without a prefix. I think this is a balanced approach that will not break anything by default, but still allow those wishing to experiment to get a new behavior.

> Try ctrl-W ;-).

This is great, but still, Mozilla can fill in the completion without pressing anything, which is more convenient in my opinion... It's a minor issue, but why not try to make the interface as streamlined as possible.

Another minor thing: Now when I type a number (with numbered links) I have to press Enter once to close the dialog and then press it again to activate the link. What I'd propose is this: instead of the two buttons "OK" and "Cancel" in the "Go to link" dialog, use three buttons: "Follow", "Select", and "Cancel", with the "Follow" button being the default. Then pressing Enter in this box will mean activating the link at once, without the second Enter. Those who need to do something else with the link will be able to just select it (as is done now) by using "Select".

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