[Mac OS X TeX] Re: The role of TeXShop

Jon Guyer jguyer at his.com
Thu Jan 17 13:58:15 EST 2002

At 4:20 PM +0100 1/17/02, Jerome Laurens wrote:

>You are right in a mathematical sense.
>But you are wrong in a human sense.
>TeXShop was designed essentially for beginners and had to be simple.
>Avoiding hidden actions make things more evident to beginners.

There is nothing inherently wrong (nor inherently prohibited by the 
HIG) with hidden actions. The HIG (sensibly) stipulates that hidden 
actions should not be the /only/ way to accomplish something, i.e., 
don't have a key binding for which there is no corresponding menu 
item. That is not the same as saying that you can't have two sets of 
bindings, both active, one for newbies and one for wizards. The care 
you need to take is that these wizard-level, hidden actions don't 
cause your app to do something unexpected for a newbie.

The space-bar-page-down thing that Joachim mentioned is an 
interesting case in point. For years, I have been baffled, and mildly 
aggravated that if I accidently hit the space bar in a locked Alpha 
window, it jerks everything down a page. If I happen to be reading 
near the end of the buffer, the whole window vanishes without 
explanation. After Pete released the source to a few of us, I set out 
to "fix" this "bug"; only to discover that Pete had done it 
intentionally, à la unix' "more". I opted not to change it, because 
I'm sure many have come to expect and depend on this behavior, but I 
still think it's goofy, and it's certainly undocumented. I guess I'll 
need to provide a switch so that I, at least, can turn it off.

You could try to ensure that wizard/hidden actions are unlikely for a 
beginner to innocently make, but since your wizards want keystrokes 
and actions which are expedient, this is probably bound to fail. You 
could require users to "opt-in" for wizard bindings. You could try, 
somehow, to ensure that hidden actions were in some way 
self-explanatory when they are executed, whether intentionally or by 
accident (Alpha's space-bar-makes-window-vanish decidedly does /not/ 


   Jonathan E. Guyer

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