[squeak-dev] The Trunk: Morphic-mt.1829.mcz

Chris Muller asqueaker at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 03:02:23 UTC 2021

> > On 2021-12-27, at 3:53 PM, Chris Muller <asqueaker at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Tim,
> >
> > I think the important take-away here is that keyboard handling appears
> to have become complicated enough that we probably need to step back and
> try to simplify overall. We've got way too many fiddly options clamouring
> for their place in the circus.
> >
> > Nonsense.  The keys are well thought out based on years of usage and
> critical-think by many people.  To understand this, maybe take a stab at
> that "simplifying" yourself, just be sure not to make it worse for people
> who actually use the keyboard shortcuts, though.
> You're misreading here; I am referring to the *keyboard* handling, not any
> particular hot-key. When we have to try to handle deep differences like
> cmd-] being easy on one keyboard and essentially impossible on another,
> we're in need of finding a more flexible and usable way of connecting
> actions to keyboard input. One option might be a way to individually set
> the key stroke used to trigger each available action; it's a thing used by
> at least some text editors, for example. There are non-language layout
> issues that can be annoying as well - my compact keyboard only has a single
> ctl on the left, which I find very inconvenient in a lot of unix cmdline
> situations. Being left-handed probably exacerbates this but the world does
> rather mistreat us.

Non-Smalltalk systems have no other way to modify the keyboard mappings
than something like that.  In Squeak, it's pretty much down to one method
which anyone can edit to their taste, yes?  It may be that this "economy"
of utility is what has prevented a more "objectified" model of such
mappings from emerging.  One advantage to this is that the method can
codify (e.g., with *code*) something semi-complex to prioritize
user-comfort with something specific, instead of being constrained by a
generic, elegant-for-the-developers, object model.

I liked your considerations of editing vs. initial-typing, and also your
wariness of too many idiosyncratic behaviors creeping into otherwise
"basic" text editors.  That was my primary objection to losing the
command-based enclosure, too, but despite being a fellow old-fart, I'm
going to try switching to the new (without Cmd key).  I tried to understand
y'all's aversion by Googling "fungus bracket" but didn't find anything
relevant to user-input, only mushrooms.

> > >> Note that there is a minor conflict with the global cmd+] shortcut
> (i.e., remove one level of brackets) for saving the image, which will be
> disabled then legacy shortcuts are enabled.
> >
> > That's an interesting example of shortcuts going bad;
> >
> > Not in the least.  Jaromir's idea is cute, but this is (was?) one of the
> most important shortcut keys, WAY more important than removing a level of
> brackets since Undo does the same thing.
> No it doesn't, unless adding the [] was the last edit.

True!  Good point.

> >  Easy saving of the image is a *crucial usability feature* that should
> not be lost.  I suggest we change it to Control+] instead of Cmd.  You mean
> you're still saving your image by grabbing the mouse and fumbling for a
> menu?
> Yeah, because I'm using a GUI and not a commandline. When I started using
> Smalltalk there *were* no keyboard shortcuts. I sometimes spent an entire
> afternoon doing work on a PC-AT (remember them? They had a keyboard lock,
> with an actual key) with the keyboard locked. If I wanted to be using a
> commandline I'd set up my image as a cmdline server, obviously. I work
> differently to you; Marcel works differently tom me; Eliot works
> differently to him.

We'll have to get that pop-up KeyboardMorph for whenever you click in your
CodeEditors, then..  :-D

> what on earth lead to someone thinking the cmd-] was a memorable shortcut
> for save-image?
> >
> > Simple, it's the idea of "closing out" / committing the work in the
> image to the file.  It's a perfectly fine mnemonic, a lot of thought went
> into it.  If you don't like it, please try suggesting something better.
> That's when I think you'll discover there is no better global shortcut for
> that.
> Well, actually, it is quite obvious that it should have been cmd-> to
> mimic writing to stdout. Cmd-] in that arena is quite obviously 'dump in
> the bin'

LOL, you just insisted, "I'm using a GUI and not a commandline."  Funny!  :)

Anyway, I did consider it, but it's too ambiguous with Cmd+. (dot) for
interrupt.  You can't change Cmd+dot, and it's too close to Cmd+> to use
for save image.

So, key mappings require a lot of thought, hence my skepticism that anyone
would want to change them enough to overcome the economy of what we have
now (change a single method).

 - Chris
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