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Re: Shift-Letter / Spell Mode Comparison

Posted By: Walter Rassbach <>
Date: Thursday, 10 September 1998, at 2:29 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Shift-Letter / Spell Mode Comparison (John Gruener)

This is just a quick initial take, not an "analyzed" response in detail...

1) You've done a dynamite job of presenting what you are proposing and, at first take, of analyzing the differences, etc. No way would I ever have called this one "out-of-hand", I only had problems when it felt like there was a lack of communication and then rejection (rather than asking for clarification) due only to misunderstanding, not content... You certainly seem to understand what I have proposed...

2) Both proposals seem to be reasonably complete extensions/enhancements of the existing shift-letter feature, and yes, each can pick up stuff from the other (it's my turn now ;-), so we will get an even better design suggestion out of it regardless of which basic method gets proposed/implemented, even if all of the particular features do not get implemented right away...

3) I don't think it is really the minor features that will be the deciding point, since we can probably both find ways to cover almost anything the other one comes up with, although the keys used and ease/awkwardness of access to the features (as they get used in PRACTICE) is significant... I think the real deciding factor will be "comfort" with the general structure/paradigm used and general usability/awkwardness in practical usage.

4) What we do have to do is to avoid getting into a "Feature race/competition" which turns it into "bloatware" which Kim would (rightfully) reject -- After all, WE ain't gonna be the ones writing the code...

5) No need to apologize for backing up the thread level, I would of backed up 2 or 3 more, to right under the "proposal" or "link" items...

As to actual content/comparison (more on this later):

I, obviously and of course, strongly prefer the "ease-of-use" of just starting and continuing the navigation by using the various shift-letter, numeric, and glyph characters and completing it by just doing whatever it was I wanted to do when I start to look for the file... I think the extra keystrokes of SHIFT and the '\' key (to get a '|') and ENTER to finish make it into a feature I would use much less often -- I would just use the cursor keys instead...

John's alternative emphasizes completeness (ability to use space, comma, and period), probably less memory for the average user (only one crucial key to remember, uses the "prompted response" paradigm, no "rules" to remember as to when it is in which "state, etc.) {Aside: here I am not a good person to ask since my memory is not "normal/average" for this kind of thing -- it seems automatic to me}, provision of a "history" (this may be the hardest for me to match...!), etc.

I will try to respond in detail as soon as I can... -- Walter

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