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creeping consensus

 
 
Roedy Green
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      02-15-2013
I have been reading a couple of books about evolution. It has
stretched my patience considerably on what I expect a reasonable
length of time it should take to come to various computer consensuses.

I have noticed a few things settling:

Ctrl-Z ctrl-X ctrl-C ctrl-V are pretty well standard in their
behaviour, though there is still no way to move them to a more
convenient place for special needs.

ctrl-F F3 are common for Find/repeat find.

Use of the X to close a window.

The use of a green rounded rectangle for downloads.

The use of menus with one layer of submenu are pretty standard.

Browsers have a similar layout and the ability to make them look the
way you like.

Things I would like to see standard:

Ability to enter any printable Unicode char from the keyboard with a
US layout keyboard.

I would like to be able to say "set my apps up all to use function
keys and control keys in a consistent "Harvard style", or "Princeton
style" or if I were willing to go to some work, in the "Roedy" style.

I would like to see some standard icons for open, save, close,
print...These icons should appear in standard order. They should be
easily distinguishable even when rendered as small as 16x16. Even if
vendors want to decorate their apps with custom indecipherable icons,
it should be possible with a few keystrokes to insist ALL apps use
standard Harvard or Princeton icons, or Roedy icons if I am willing to
do the art work. For many icons a coloured blob would do just fine. I
can distinguish if with peripheral vision or with cataract-clouded
lenses. The key is universal consistency.

I would like an "explorer" that had the concept of current source and
target directory. Click-copy a file would naturally copy it to the
target. Ditto click-move. You could move back and forth between
keying and mousing commands.
--
Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products http://mindprod.com
The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time.
The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development
time.
~ Tom Cargill Ninety-ninety Law
 
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markspace
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      02-15-2013
On 2/15/2013 12:13 AM, Roedy Green wrote:
> Things I would like to see standard:


Mostly I agree with you on these points. A little more rigor and
conformity in designing user interfaces would be useful.

>
> Ability to enter any printable Unicode char from the keyboard with a
> US layout keyboard.


I think I'd prefer a standard way to enter Unicode with some kind of
pop-up window. Windows sort of has this, but it's rather clumsy to use.
A slicker version would be a nice addition.

>
> I would like to be able to say "set my apps up all to use function
> keys and control keys in a consistent "Harvard style", or "Princeton
> style" or if I were willing to go to some work, in the "Roedy" style.


Yes.

>
> I would like to see some standard icons for open, save, close,
> print...These icons should appear in standard order. They should be


I'm not big on icons because they take up relatively large amounts of
screen real estate. If you're going to have icons there's not reason
not to standardize them, of course.

Mostly I'd prefer a standardized set of accelerator keys -- which I
think we have: cntl-O, cntl-S, cntl-W, cntl-P respectively.

> I would like an "explorer" that had the concept of current source and
> target directory.


If by "explorer" you mean a file browser, then yes x 10. The old Norton
Commander program did this, why don't modern file browsers do it? I can
only conclude that Microsoft is incapable of producing anything besides
cripple ware, and its competitors are incapable of doing anything
besides blindly copying Microsoft.



 
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Arved Sandstrom
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      02-15-2013
On 02/15/2013 04:29 AM, markspace wrote:
> On 2/15/2013 12:13 AM, Roedy Green wrote:
>> Things I would like to see standard:

>
> Mostly I agree with you on these points. A little more rigor and
> conformity in designing user interfaces would be useful.
>
>>
>> Ability to enter any printable Unicode char from the keyboard with a
>> US layout keyboard.

>
> I think I'd prefer a standard way to enter Unicode with some kind of
> pop-up window. Windows sort of has this, but it's rather clumsy to use.
> A slicker version would be a nice addition.
>
>>
>> I would like to be able to say "set my apps up all to use function
>> keys and control keys in a consistent "Harvard style", or "Princeton
>> style" or if I were willing to go to some work, in the "Roedy" style.

>
> Yes.
>
>>
>> I would like to see some standard icons for open, save, close,
>> print...These icons should appear in standard order. They should be

>
> I'm not big on icons because they take up relatively large amounts of
> screen real estate. If you're going to have icons there's not reason
> not to standardize them, of course.
>
> Mostly I'd prefer a standardized set of accelerator keys -- which I
> think we have: cntl-O, cntl-S, cntl-W, cntl-P respectively.
>
>> I would like an "explorer" that had the concept of current source and
>> target directory.

>
> If by "explorer" you mean a file browser, then yes x 10. The old Norton
> Commander program did this, why don't modern file browsers do it? I can
> only conclude that Microsoft is incapable of producing anything besides
> cripple ware, and its competitors are incapable of doing anything
> besides blindly copying Microsoft.
>

Midnight Commander still does this on Linux...it should, since it claims
some descent from Norton Commander for DOS. There are other file
browsers that support the "commander" interface; in fact the convention
of describing file browser style as being either "commander" and/or
"explorer" is quite common.

Having said that, any file browser I've used for years on UNIX, Linux,
or Windows allows for the easy designation of source and target
directory. You pop 2 explorer windows, one shows the "source", one the
"target". You can then copy or move files between them as you like.
Since this takes no more time then navigating in a Norton Commander
("commander") style interface, I don't see the problem.

The discussion is obviously applicable to operations like FTP, SFTP, SCP
etc. GUIs for those, where they exist on various platforms, seem to have
persisted the mainstream use of the "commander" interface more than for
file ops on one FS.

AHS
 
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Roedy Green
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      02-15-2013
On Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:29:08 -0800, markspace
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone
who said :

> The old Norton
>Commander program did this, why don't modern file browsers do it?


I have forgotten how it works, just that it was faster than what we do
today.

It is sad that we have to look back to DOS for NC, QDOS and Lotus
Magellan for best of breed.

Magellan indexed files and wrote super fast viewers to you see the
first page of pretty well any file instantly. It also let you write
boolean expression on its content indexes to bring up sets of files
--
Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products http://mindprod.com
The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time.
The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development
time.
~ Tom Cargill Ninety-ninety Law
 
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Arved Sandstrom
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      02-15-2013
On 02/15/2013 06:00 AM, Roedy Green wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:29:08 -0800, markspace
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone
> who said :
>
>> The old Norton
>> Commander program did this, why don't modern file browsers do it?

>
> I have forgotten how it works, just that it was faster than what we do
> today.
>
> It is sad that we have to look back to DOS for NC, QDOS and Lotus
> Magellan for best of breed.
>
> Magellan indexed files and wrote super fast viewers to you see the
> first page of pretty well any file instantly. It also let you write
> boolean expression on its content indexes to bring up sets of files
>

Mac OS X Spotlight, as one example. It indexes designated directories or
volumes, brings up matching file sets on a content-based search. Finder
already handles file preview without actually launching the app per se.

AHS
 
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Arne Vajhj
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      02-24-2013
On 2/15/2013 4:06 AM, Donkey Hottie wrote:
> 15.02.2013 10:29, markspace kirjoitti:
>>> I would like an "explorer" that had the concept of current source and
>>> target directory.

>>
>> If by "explorer" you mean a file browser, then yes x 10. The old Norton
>> Commander program did this, why don't modern file browsers do it? I can
>> only conclude that Microsoft is incapable of producing anything besides
>> cripple ware, and its competitors are incapable of doing anything
>> besides blindly copying Microsoft.
>>

>
> Linux still has Midnight Commander for TUI, and its Gnome version GMC
> for GUI. Linux is the better alternative for a programmer anyway. At
> least when we speak about non Microsoft programming technologies like Java.


Really??

Is using Eclipse or NetBeans on Linux that much more productive
than using the same on Windows?

What features are missing in the Windows versions?

Arne


 
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Andreas Leitgeb
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      02-26-2013
Arne Vajhøj <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On 2/15/2013 4:06 AM, Donkey Hottie wrote:
>> Linux is the better alternative for a programmer anyway. At
>> least when we speak about non Microsoft programming technologies like Java.

> Is using Eclipse or NetBeans on Linux that much more productive
> than using the same on Windows?


On Windows, the scroll-wheel affects the focused component,
whereas on Linux the scroll-wheel affects whichever component
is currently under the mouse cursor.

On Linux (most WMs I've seen so far) you can drag a window
by pressing alt-Key, pressing left mouse button inside the
window, and dragging it around. (That helps quickly moving
windows away - even across the top edge of the desktop.)

On Linux you can move windows, even while they have a modal dialog
(like file-save, etc) open.

On Linux you just select text, and paste it with middle mouse-
button (besides having the option to do Ctrl-C/V, too.)

I'm not saying that everyone would care about these differences
enough to hurry installing Linux on their machines, but for sure,
the OS environment *is* relevant, even if one was only working
with a single cross-plattform tool. And these differences are
only those I most painfully miss when circumstances force me to
work on a Windows machine.

PS: most of these features are not strictly Linux-specific but
rather X11- or just "typical-WM"-specific.

 
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