[links-list] Re: development ideas

Petr Baudis pasky at pasky.ji.cz
Fri Nov 1 11:38:58 PST 2002

Dear diary, on Fri, Nov 01, 2002 at 05:44:44PM CET, I got a letter, where bulia
byak <bulia at dr.com> told me, that...
> > > 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.

That sounds sensible, only someone would have to implement the typeahead thing
itself first ;-). Takers and especially resulting patches welcomed.

> > 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.

Well, the text interface has completely different feel anyway, and I believe
that such a behaviour would be at least confusing. Obviously, you can convience
me about the contrary, but you should prove it by showing me patch doing this,
so that I can judge by myself ;-).

> 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".

Try to change document.browse.links.number_keys_select_link to zero - then,
write number of the link and 'l'. But it's just different look'n'feel anyway,
oh and obviously plus ability to use the numbers as repeat counts as well ;-).
Your proposed solution discriminates those who are used to just select the
links, as they will have to press <arrowdown><arrowdown><enter> instead of just
<enter> now.

				Petr "Pasky" Baudis
* ELinks maintainer                * IPv6 guy (XS26 co-coordinator)
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