Re: POW user suggestion

Subject: Re: POW user suggestion
From: Jim Hettmer (
Date: Mon Aug 20 2001 - 08:45:25 CDT

  I am very glad to see such a vocal response to this issue - indicates
interest plus hits squarely at design-philosophical issues that can make
or break an application. I'd also like to second John Raines' remarks -
I learned some decades ago (yes) that program designs that adhere too
rigidly to any particular model become cumbersome or impossible when
asked to reflect the real world (which adheres to no describable model
whatsoever). What I THINK I've learned is that the best I can do is try
to be objective about "what does the user really want to do" and then
dump or retain parts of the "model" accordingly. And I will still
probably guess wrong, because users don't think like programmers, so I
try to keep the design "loose", and try to avoid building in global
constraints and expectations. (Still learning.)
  For myself I would want to be able to open document A, open a sync'd
2nd (or 3rd) window into A, move text between these, open document or
textfile B for reference or to duplicate some text into A, check man
page, modify, compile and run C, correct my statement about what C does
in A, done with B, open D, fix incorrect block diagram, close all. Etc.
(Without shooting myself in the foot in the process.)
  So, for me at least, open, save, "split window", close and exit (both
with warnings as appropriate) really need to be available as
independent, one-step functions - and if I open the same document in a
second instance I'd like the application to have at least some awareness
of this, and provide some sort of "mostly works" warning if I try to
modify both. (Eg., multiple "Untitled's" might simply warn on "save"
that there already is one, and it ain't me.) Even "smart" users do
stupid things when the hour gets late.
  Impressive project, probably the toughest one to solve, keep up the
great work! Regards, Jim

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