bugGNU nano - Bugs: bug #52257, shortcut issues regarding the...


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bug #52257: shortcut issues regarding the search prompt inside the help viewer

Submitted by:  David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Submitted on:  Sat 21 Oct 2017 12:05:00 AM UTC
Severity:  2 - Minor Status:  Fixed
Assigned to:  dolorous Open/Closed:  Closed
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Wed 25 Oct 2017 06:03:59 PM UTC, comment #6: 

The ^W^Y and ^W^V combinations have been added to the help viewer, git commit ddd300af.  Thanks for the patch.

Thank also for the reminder about consistency, because in the past I have considered disabling the search history in the file browser: I thought that the things one searched for in the browser would just be a "hindrance" when using the search history in the editor.  But you're probably right: it's better that the search history works consistently at all search prompts.

Benno Schulenberg <bens>
Project Administrator
Sat 21 Oct 2017 05:54:34 PM UTC, comment #5: 

As for the other undocumented keys in the file browser, I'd agree with not documenting those because they're there for compatibility with pilot, as opposed to there to match the rest of nano; the other bits are the ones I'd consider more important.

And one last thing regarding the help viewer: I mean no offense here, but would you kindly stop assuming how often or seldom a feature is used?  Not everyone uses it in the same way you do, and it's not necessarily not a problem just because no one's complained on the mailing lists or on the tracker (yet).

Search history is important in the help viewer because it's an important part of searches in general (discounting the special case of tiny mode), and consistency between the different variants of searches is important because it's not intuitive if it's not consistent.  I'm aware that one can take consistency too far, but this kind of consistency saves retyping, and if someone's just starting out with nano, the help viewer is the first thing they'll go to (and they may very well repeat searches, since they're learning), so I figure that we should make it easy on them if at all possible.  In short, regardless of whether the shortcuts are displayed, they should still work.

David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Project Member
Sat 21 Oct 2017 02:17:54 PM UTC, comment #4: 

Okay.  I figured having the history inside the help viewer was for symmetry with the search code used elsewhere.  And... fine on not displaying shortcuts, then.

I still think supporting ^Y and ^V at the search prompt is good for symmetry, however.  There are times I've used it at the search prompt in general, and it can certainly be done cheaply.  The attached patch should do it.

(file #42208)

David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Project Member
Sat 21 Oct 2017 08:12:48 AM UTC, comment #3: 

Ad 1.) How often would one need the history feature at the search prompt inside the help viewer?  Exceedingly seldom, I guess.  So to display these shortcuts is just a distraction to the user.  Also, if we were to put them there, we would have to add another key (probably ^L Refresh), because not having the ^P and ^N neatly paired in one column is unacceptable.

Ad 2.) The file browser has ^Y and ^V in the search menu because Pico has them.  But I find having "to top" and "to bottom" in a search menu odd.  And I can't imagine that any new user nowadays would use those double keystrokes (^W^Y, ^W^V) when they have the Home and End keys (and M-\ and M-/, and even Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End).  Supporting them in the help viewer would maybe be a good idea (if it comes cheaply), for symmetry, but displaying them: no.

So, in short, at the search prompt in the help viewer I chose to show the only key that the user needs to know, also useful in the rest of nano: Cancel.

(Please stop calling the help viewer a browser.  It is not a browser: you can just view this one page, you can scroll up and down, but you can't go anywhere else, you cannot browse -- it's a viewer.  On first quick reading I thought you were talking about the file browser -- which I call "the browser", for short.)

As to having undocumented features: the help viewer and file browser also support Q and E and X to exit, the space bar to scroll down, and Backspace and minus to scroll up.  Some of these are there because of Pico, some because they are "handy" / "intuitive" / "known from elsewhere".  They certainly won't be documented, apart from maybe a short paragraph in the manual.

Benno Schulenberg <bens>
Project Administrator
Sat 21 Oct 2017 12:28:07 AM UTC, comment #2: 

...because having undocumented features inside the help browser, which has no purpose other than documenting things for the user, just seems wrong.

David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Project Member
Sat 21 Oct 2017 12:07:36 AM UTC, comment #1: 

Assuming the answer to both these questions is yes, I've attached a patch that makes the relevant changes.  (I can split it up if necessary.)

(file #42203)

David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Project Member
Sat 21 Oct 2017 12:05:00 AM UTC, original submission:  

Currently, as of git 4d35835, the search menu inside the help browser has a few issues regarding its shortcuts.  (I've read through the old thread from November 2016, and I'm not certain whether these are considered problematic, so I'd like to make certain here.)

1. The search prompt inside the help browser supports "previous history" and "next history", but the only shortcut actually shown in bottombars() is Cancel.  All other search prompts display the history entries when nano is built with history support, however.

2. The search prompt inside the help browser does not support ^Y to go to the first line, or ^V to go to the last line, as all other search prompts do.  Also, nano obviously does not display these.

Should nano display these shortcuts in the list at bottombars()?  And should ^Y and ^V work at the search prompt inside the help browser?

David Lawrence Ramsey <dolorous>
Project Member


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    Follow 7 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2017-11-19 bens Open/ClosedOpen => Closed
    2017-10-25 bens Severity3 - Normal => 2 - Minor
        StatusNone => Fixed
        Assigned toNone => dolorous
    2017-10-21 dolorous Attached File- => Added 0001-help-allow-first-last-line-to-work-at-help-s-search-.patch, #42208
        Summaryshortcut issues regarding the search prompt inside the help browser => shortcut issues regarding the search prompt inside the help viewer
    2017-10-21 dolorous Attached File- => Added 0001-help-show-search-shortcuts-for-prev-next-history-and.patch, #42203

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