[links-list] Re: development ideas

Petr Baudis pasky at pasky.ji.cz
Fri Nov 1 13:45:54 PST 2002

Dear diary, on Fri, Nov 01, 2002 at 09:14:52PM CET, I got a letter, where bulia
byak <bulia at dr.com> told me, that...
> > That sounds sensible, only someone would have to implement the typeahead
> > thing itself first ;-). Takers and especially resulting patches welcomed.
> I'm sure this is not too difficult, but I'm not a programmer...
> > > 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 ;-).
> Actually, for it to not be confusing, the concept of selection must be
> implemented. I.e. part of a text in an input field uses a different visual
> presentation (e.g. inversed), may be replaced by a key you press, etc. This
> is something familiar to most users, and I don't see why the same concept
> cannot be implemented in a text-only interface. If this is implemented, then
> implementing autocompletion becomes straightforward and not confusing.

The concept of selection will be introduced.. sometime.. in the.. uncertain..
future ;-). (Or when I'll receive a patch. >:)

> > 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.
> An even better solution would be, again, using incremental search. This means
> no "go to link" dialog at all - you start typing the number and it jumps to
> the first link whose number coincides with what you've typed so far. Then,
> those who need links selected, won't need to press Enter at all, and those
> who want to follow a link will press Enter only once. In my opinion,
> Mozilla-like type-ahead find is still more convenient (and you don't need to
> clutter the screen with all those numbers), but the proposed incremental
> numbered link selection will have its uses as well. For example, when there
> are dozens of links on the page all saying "click here", using numbers is
> obviously preferable to type-ahead find. However, ideally both modes should
> be available, and both should work incrementally without any dialog boxes.

That's an interesting idea as well.. so we would make number_keys_select_link
tristate and.. hmm. Miciah? ;-) What do you think about it?

> Another idea: now the links are numbered within document. Would it be too
> difficult to optionally renumber then on each screen redraw, so that only the
> _visible_ links are numbered? The result would be smaller numbers, i.e. less
> clutter on screen and less keystrokes to get to a link. I think nobody uses
> numbers to go to links whose numbers cannot be seen on the visible portion of
> the page - or am I wrong? 

It could get pretty weird when scrolling, you'll end up with the numbers
changing everytime you will move down by just a line, thus you'll have to
rerender the page everytime (good luck with big tables), thus the result may
have a bit different text layouting and you end up in de facto same position as
before ;-).

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