Subject: Re: Cursor movement, insertion point
From: Randy Kramer (email@example.com)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 07:36:45 CDT
I wish to make two points. (I hope they add up to at least $.02.)
First, this is an important topic. Making the behavior match what
people are familiar with will make it more comfortable to switch to
AbiWord, especially for the "church secretary".
(My immediate vote is to make the behavior just like Microsoft Word97.
If Word97, Wordperfect, and some typical Unix wordprocessors have
different behaviors, then the problem will be more difficult. As a
user, I would prefer to have the same behavior that I am already used
to. I hate to suggest that we provide "switch" selectable behaviors,
but as a user, that is what I would prefer. Unless we can develop the
"one true way". (Word97 does allow such switching, look at the options
under "Tools | Options | Compatibility".)
Second -- see below:
sam th wrote:
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> On Thu, 11 May 2000, Mike Nordell wrote:
> > I've done some local patching in fl_BlockLayout.cpp, and _think_ I've got
> > the same behaviour as e.g. MSWord regarding BOL, EOL, move right from EOL
> > position and so on, but I don't think it's the right way to do it.
> > Example: You have one paragraph containing two lines. On the first line
> > you press END to get to EOL. The cursor moves to after the space in the
> > last word on the first line. I think this is the wanted behaviour. But,
> > when you the press cursor-right to move to the beginning of the next
> > line, it moves the cursor to the _second_ position on the second line. It
> > might be just me, but I don't like it.
It is not just you. I agree that it is wrong in the senses that:
1. It does not match Word 97 behavior (my personal preference). (Oops,
2. It is not intuitive (for a new user, especially).
> Well, I think this is the feature/bug mentioned earlier. If you are at
> the end of the line, you are really at the beginning of the next line. In
> word/wordperfect, if you are at the end of the line, there is something to
> move across to get to the beginning of the next line (it's called a soft
> return in wp), but in Abiword we have no such construct. I think this is
> a mistake, and not an example of 'just working.'
I agree that this behavior is a mistake. To continue, in Word, there is
no soft return. (Or, rather, it appears there is no soft return.) I
use Word with the "hidden characters" turned on (visible), and the only
thing I see at the end of a line is a space.
Oops, son of a gun! The same behavior does occur in Word. There seem
to be two situations: (I never noticed this before.)
1. If you move to the end of a line (within a multiline paragraph) using
<End>, the cursor is positioned after the trailing space on that line.
If you then use the <right arrow>, the cursor is positioned in front of
the second character on the next line, just like Abiword.
2. If you move to the end of a line (within a multiline paragraph) by
some means other than using <end> (like start with the cursor at the
beginning of the last word on a line, and then use <right arrow>
multiple times until you get to the end of the Word), there are two
differences in the behavior:
a. You cannot position the cursor after the last space on that line.
b. When the cursor is positioned after the last letter of the last word
on that line, and then right arrow is pressed one more time, the cursor
moves to in front of the first character on the next line.
Disclaimer: This behavior may be changed by the various switches in Word
(under "Tools | Options | Compatibility") that allow Word to behave more
like WordPerfect. In general, I have all those switches turned off -- I
use the Word defaults with no attempt at WordPerfect compatibility.
I did have "Use Word 6.x/95 border rules" checked. I went back and
unchecked it and this had no effect on the behavior described above.
> > Now, what cursor-moving behaviour do we really want?
> > Maybe this is something where all the wrinkles have already been ironed
> > out and I'm just ignorant of where to find this information, but I think
> > it would be nice to have the opinions and decision in a central place. If
> > this poll turns out to be useful, I suggest we put it in an AbiWord
> > document like "abi/docs/CursorMovements.abw", and maybe even on the web.
> Well, when you say 'put something on the web' I just can't resist. I
> already put your blank draft up (under the text files section). :-)
> > I created an ASCII table for it, and hope you would give your input. I
> > included it as a file, since it alos contains some terminlogy used. I
> > hope you can stand CR/LF. If not, would someone with accesss to a tool
> > strip'em and repost? Thanks.
> > Note that I'm not discussing the issue of platform dependent behaviour
> > for PgUp/PgDn. I think that's the next point regarding cursor
> > movement/document scrolling.
> > I got an idea right now. Maybe it's the insertion point that ought to
> > know where it is, not the document/world that ought to know where the
> > insertion point is! Think about it. Does the "world" around you know
> > where you are? No, you (hopefully :-) ) know where you are in the world.
> > If anyone tells you to go somewhere, it might be a matter of culture
> > _how_ you decide to go there (see the analogy with PgUp/PgDn on different
> > platforms). If at all. Cursor would have to know about "line" and "run",
> > but if it's using their public interfaces... It's also a propert of the
> > cursor, rather than the view, if it should "blink".
> > Please, comment!
> I think this sounds like an excellent idea (although I know little enough
> about the ptbl mechanisms). And the cursor could be easily extended if we
> wanted, say, different color cursors (or anything else).
> sam th
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