July 28, 2006 at 9:07 am #1885
Would it be possible to implement (at lest on the face of it) a simple addition of displaying the state of the Persistent Blocks feature (on/off) in the application status bar, like the states of INS, CAPS, NUM and REC?
I want to use the feature with a shortcut key, just like caps/num lock and insert, but (at least so far I know) there are no visual indicator to tell if it is already on or off. There is that simple macro which assists in displaying the check mark before the menu item of the PB, but it’s no use for this matter.
I can’t hook the event of setting the PB variable with a macro, neither can I display the state of it anywhere on the screen, but in the kernel it should be possible quite easily, I guess.
This would be a tiny but extremely useful addition, thinking of general usability.July 31, 2006 at 8:47 am #6482
The same applies to the "Leave cursor at…" setting in the block settings page. I would very much like to change this very frequently with a shortcut key because in different situations I need different settings (it’s not about taste, but usability), but again, I don’t have any kind of indicator telling its current state, and I don’t want to open the settings dialog and navigate to the right page every time I need to know it.July 31, 2006 at 5:57 pm #6493
Writing a macro to swicth a setting should be trivial. Adding indicator isn’t and I’d prefer to not pollute status bar with too much indicators (there is a lot of things which could be there).
What about a macro which’d switch the setting and write a message about current state to the status bar instead? You can map it to a hotkey and finding current state would be just two keypresses.July 31, 2006 at 10:23 pm #6500
Yes, that kind of macros are just what I’m going to do in the first place (should already have done), and it’s very trivial. It’s just that then, to exaggerate a little, I would need to check the states of these settings every time I do something, and it would be try-and-fix-it-if-it’s-wrong kind of thing.
For example. you can always paste, and if the cursor goes to the right end of the pasted block, fine. If it doesn’t, you can go to the right end manually, or undo, change the setting and do it again. Or if there is many places to paste the block (that’s when this setting really needs to be set right), you can change the setting after the first paste. If you don’t want the possibilities of errors, it have to be checked every time before you paste anything. That is just unnecessary keying, it gets annoying after a couple of times, and when you do programming for your work at worst 12 hours per day, you don’t want anything unnecessary – instead you want everything to be as simple, easy and fast as possible.
I’m not going to say that I don’t want these features, because I really do so quite much. However, like you said, I know that there are many other things that could be there as well, and I could list a couple more, too. These are the two most important ones, the two settings I would like to change regularly.
How about a customizable status bar, like some programs have? For example, in Corel Photo-Paint 12 you can choose just one thing to show there. On the other hand, AutoCAD has lots of indicators there (all of which are very important), and in AutoCAD 2004 there is a simple pop-up menu that can be opened by clicking a small arrow at the end of the status bar. From that menu, the user can choose the indicators he wants to have visible. I really suggest the same for Multi-Edit. Relatively simple to implement and extremely useful. And people who don’t need or like about so many indicators, can turn them off by using that menu.
The absolutely best thing would be an ability to manage those indicators with macros and add new ones for your own programs, as well. That way you could display statuses of different functions of your own programs as well (which would be the icing on the cake). Just give the programmer e.g. an indicator ID and let him specify the text to be shown and the state of the indicator (on/off). That’s it. And especially, when the kernel is being rewritten and redesigned, things like this should be taken into account. The customizability and flexibility of Multi-Edit are the keys to its position related to others, but in its all completeness, ME isn’t completely customizable, like it’s advertised to be. The kernel limitations (which form the non-customizable part) are most annoying ones, because you can’t do anything to them because they are in the kernel and you can’t change it, even if you would like to. The lack of an ability to display long-term status values instead of just short-term messages (or flashes of them) with Make_Message and dialogs should be considered as a quite nasty lack of CMAC functionality.July 31, 2006 at 11:02 pm #6501
Interesting idea. Technically possible but if you want really generic solutions, it’d be a lot of work. Not so much in kernel code but you’d need function which’d allow to access it from macros (probably MeLib DLL entrypoints), way to save current state etc. Adding one or two hard-coded indicators would be easier but you’d still need a way and user interface which’d allow to enable/disable it. Status bar wasn’t designed customisable as the developer probably didn’t have such an idea. How many people would really use it? Personally, I never needed it since original line numbers were added.
As a substitute solution, what about a toolbar? I don’t use any but I believe it should be easy to make one with necessary switches.August 9, 2006 at 3:59 am #6528deleydParticipant
How about using a toolbar item to display the status of an item. The toolbar icon can be enabled or disabled, to indicate one or the other of two possibilities. You could add icons to the main toolbar, or make your own floating toolbar and position it wherever you want.
If an item has more than two possibilities, you could have a row of icons on the toolbar, and enable the one corresponding to the current state.
(Then for even more crazyness, come up with the idea that if you click an icon on the toolbar, it causes something to happen!)August 9, 2006 at 10:06 pm #6533
This is what I meant
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