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Re: Agreed... a little too complicated.

Posted By: Walter Rassbach <>
Date: Tuesday, 8 September 1998, at 1:12 p.m.

In Response To: Agreed... a little too complicated. (Dan LeGate)

No, No!!!!!!!!! All I "re-vamp"-ed was the explanation, not the meaning or suggested function! -- I will annotate your questions, maybe that will help...

I may be a bit "brusk" in the comments below, but that is because I feel that you have not actually worked out what I am suggesting... The text describing it is maybe awkward, but the functions and usage I'm suggesting are SIMPLE and easy... Don't reject it "out of hand" until you've worked out what I've really suggested and the extension (BTW: I would bet that nothing I've suggested is particularly hard to program [other than maybe F4], I could write the code for it in about 30 minutes and I bet Kim would be faster...).

> Walter,

> I have to agree with John here... even with your "re-vamp"
> for simpler meaning, I'm still confused:

> I agree with this - this seems to be what this thread was all
> about. And if Kim *CAN* make Ztree aware of a released SHIFT key
> (without polling) then that would be the ideal method - we still
> haven't heard from him on this.

USING THE SHIFT KEY DOES NOT WORK!!! How would you get to a filename which started with "F1"?? You have to release the shift key (a shift-1 is an '!' which IS NOT treated as a numeric -- in fact, it does nothing!). What if you are one of those people who naturally uses BOTH shift keys?? How would you get to a file whose name started with "SP"? Ooops, you let one shift key go and pressed the other...

I still fail to see why there is this issue, one can just tap either the ALT or the CTRL key to restart, and that has to be just as easy as letting go of the shift key and then pressing/holding it again...

> What do you mean by "include" them? Do you have actual
> suggestions for them? Or are you just mentioning them?

NO, the following keys: ` ~ ! @ % ^ & ( ) _ { } [ ]
currently have NO FUNCTION AT ALL, and they are characters used in filenames just like letters and digits (at least, I have lots of files which use those characters in their names)... So, it seems natural to me that pressing one of them should do exactly the same thing as a digit or shift-letter, i.e., pressing the _ key should take one to the first file whose name starts with an '_' character...

The # $ ' ; keys are also used in filenames in just the same way (just another kind of glyph), but currently do have an effect in ZTree. However, my guess is that no one ever uses them, and it seems reasonable to treat them like the keys above, i.e., hitting the '$' key takes one to the first file whose name starts with a "$" (I bet you have some files with names starting with a "$"...).

Using/Allowing these characters IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT when we allow for entering multiple characters -- They may not occur much as the first character (on most people's systems), but certainly you have files that have names starting with things like "F_", "F$" or the like...

> Why do this? I use them all the time... so does Explorer. It
> doesn't make sense to me. Do you just want a new way of doing these
> functions? I don't think Kim should add ways of doing something
> that already exists, even if it's a configuration option... it just
> seems like more unnecessary code to me.

Because I have directories that either start with or include the -, +, and = characters in their name. The +/=/- keys HAVE NO EFFECT in a File/B/G/S view, and should go to a filename (just like digit/shift-letter), and it would be nice to be able to make the handling of the keys in the directory window be the same... There IS a reason for the code...

Moreover, EXPLORER does NOT use the main keyboard + and - keys to expand and contract branches, it uses them in the way I am suggesting here!!!!!! (set up directories with names of "+" and "-", go into Explorer, click in the directory window, and hit the + or - keys on the top row of the MAIN keyboard...)

As to the grey + and - on the numeric keypad, those are separate keys and I do not see any reason to change their meaning (it is EASY for Kim to distinguish the grey +/- from the main keyboard +/-), and I could easily live with just those keys doing the expand/collapse type function (although I also like INS/DEL since they are less of a reach...)

However, a configuration option is obvious here since many people have gotten into the habit of using the main keyboard +/- for these functions in ZTree...

> What do you mean by 'forward and reverse "repeat last"
> keys'? Are you mentioning available keys again, or are you actually
> suggesting a new function here? I'm unclear.

This should be simple: You hit (say) shift-G and then shift-L, which takes you to the first file (from where you were in the scroll list) that has a name that starts with "GL"... It is not the file you were looking for, so you hit TAB, which takes you to the next file whose name starts with "GL"... Or, it might have been the file you were looking for, so you hit "V"iew and looked at the contents... Nope, not the file, so you hit ENTER (or ESC) to exit from view mode, and then hit TAB to go to the next file whose name starts with the letters "GL"... (ASIDE: This brings up another nice function we could add, which would do exactly that from inside a "V"iew window -- exit his view, step to the next file, and view that one instead...).

"Repeat in forward direction" means that one moves down the scroll list (just like down arrow or TAB moves down the directory list), and "in the backward direction" means that one moves UP the list (like up arrow, shift-TAB, PgUp, etc.).

> Again, I'm unclear on the "repeat last" function.

SEE ABOVE -- a second key is used because TAB is not available in F8-split. In addition, hitting the double-quote key is EASY when one is already holding down the SHIFT key, and, as I specified it, the effect is slightly different in that the last string is recalled...

> Could you explain this? Does it *move* the cursor to that part
> of the filename, or are you saying you only specify a name or extension
> in the text entry field?
> ...

THERE ISN'T a "text entry" field!!! (do you see anything when you press a shift-letter key? Nope, the cursor/high-light-bar just jumps to the first/next file with that name... All the "colon" key does is tell ZTree that you are now entering leading characters of the extension rather than the main part of the name, so, hitting "colon,shift-T" would move to the first file whose EXTENSION started with a "T"... Even nicer is hitting something like "shift-A,colon,shift-T,shift-X" which would pick out the first file with a name starting with "A" and an extension starting with "TX" (I'd take bets on an extension of .TXT), and then one could hit double-quote until one found the right "A*.TX*" file. This would be a really fast way of getting around in something like a full ShowAll screen for a big disk which was (say) sorted by date (assuming, of course, that one knew that much of the filename)...

> Again, are you just mentioning an available key here? I don't
> think Kim needs to "find" functions for keys, but rather
> find keys for functions. If you've got a function idea, let's find
> that key.

Not finding a function, providing a VERY useful missing one. I don't know whether you use the shift-letter functions much, but I do, and I would dearly LOVE to have the same thing available for extensions... THERE IS NO WAY OF DOING THIS FUNCTION (currently) IN ZTREE -- Yes, I found an available key (part of the design work after all) which was currently not used, and I found the "best/most mnuemonic" unused and convenient key I could find...

> Did you notice Kim has a new beta up? It has Ctrl-Left and
> Right arrow functionality in text-entry boxes. I think it needs
> some improvement, but I'm glad to see these things we're discussing
> are making it in!

> I've posted my suggested improvements elsewhere. Click the
> link below.

I strongly suggest you go back and think about what I proposed again, I don't think it is all that strange or difficult if you think about it and try it out... For now, ignore the special character keys other than the usages of the colon and double-quote, so it is JUST:

1) A sequence of shift-letter and numeric/digit keys specifies the start of a filename.
2) Starting with a "colon" (just over the period, with SHIFT pressed...) allows one to specify the first characters of the extension rather than the name.
3) A double-quote repeats what you did the last time you entered shift-letter keys, without having to repeat the full sequence.
4) Using release/repress of the SHIFT key is NOT a good solution to finding a way to break the sequence and start over... Other people use the keyboard in other ways (i.e., switching SHIFT keys) and it CAN'T HANDLE digits (which are typed without hitting the shift key...).

Once those points are covered, adding the other glyphs used is filenames seems obvious...

There isn't a link... Sooo, I can't see if your suggestions are an improvement, but, I have some initial doubts that the simplicity of the above (AND IT IS SIMPLE!!) can be improved on (certainly not by requiring another keystroke to start, like '|') -- The enhancement I am suggesting DOES NOT CHANGE THEY WAY ANY CURRENT KEY WORKS except for the effect of a "sequence" of such keys... If you don't learn the added keys, you don't lose anything, while if you do, I think you will find their usage QUITE natural...

> Dan

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