[texworks] Early thoughts

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Fri Sep 19 02:54:25 CEST 2008

Le 18 sept. 08 à 14:26, Jonathan Kew a écrit :

> On 18 Sep 2008, at 1:17 PM, Will Robertson wrote:
>> (5) As well as command completion, I'd like automatic trigger stuff.
>> E.g., typing \begin{ on an otherwise empty line would immediately
>> insert an \end{ on the next line and then fill in both environment
>> delimiters at the same time as you typed the name of the environment.
>> Editing one of them would edit the other, simultaneously.
> Yes, that'd be slick.

Please don't. Don't turn the TeXworks editor into some beast that  
tries to be clever, that tries to guess what the user is willing to  
type. Don't turn the editor into another Word, that considers every  
time you type a bullet you're willing to create an itemized list, that  
doesn't allow you to select exactly the piece of text you want to  
select and that instead adds to/suppresses from the selection spaces,  
punctuations, additional pieces of words.

Don't. Or at least provide the user with a single switch to suppress  
all these clever additions.

There are users who like such additions. But there are also old-style  
users like me who want an editor to type exactly what they instruct it  
to type, no more no less, to select exactly what they used their mouse  
to select, no more no less.

Please no automatic indentation, no command completion, and the like.  
That an editor highlights pieces of input (like syntax coloring) is  
fine, because that doesn't alter the input in any way. But have an  
editor create input, which the user hasn't explicitly requested (by  
typing it) is to me properly unacceptable. To make a more modern  
analogy, such "input help" feels to me as annoying and as counter- 
productive as the dreaded iPhone auto-correction.

Similar features, called "Electric Aliases", are precisely what made  
me ditch Alpha (a Tcl-based Mac text editor "à la Emacs") which I had  
switched to when an OzTeX user for some time. It was always possible  
to disable these Electric Aliases, but that required hunting the app  
preferences and disable them one by one, which was a nuisance.

Bruno Voisin

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