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Re: Info sucks?



On Tue, Sep 15, 1998 at 09:39:46AM -0400, Avery Pennarun wrote:
> IMNSHO, nobody has ever gotten a text-mode user interface right except
> Borland, and to a lesser extent, Microsoft.  Go try someone's old copy of
> Turbo C++ 3.0 or Borland C++ 3.x sometime.  In 1991, Borland's text-mode
> hypertext on-line help system beat our "modernized" info so completely as to
> make it embarassing.  Theirs looks nice, and most keys (eg. arrows to move,
> letters to search) actually do things that make sense.  When you don't know
> a key there's a menu bar.  It has a mouse interface in text mode, so you can
> click on their hyperlinks.

Semware came close, but that didn't have the hyperlink help until later. 
While I despise Turbo Vision as written by Borland, durring my Pascal
programming days I did override teh draw methods of the Turbo Vision objects
to make the result more appealing.  No window borders, the result was more
like Win95 actually, which didn't exist at the time, or it did but I'd never
seen it.  It was like...

        > X  Window                    | <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                                <
        >                               /<

The >< used to mark where the window starts, the point was this was in
color, or at least the attribs of mono.  The X could be any char, but I used
X because it wasn't like - in win31, it was like X in win95.  The | was the
up-and-down arrows and scrollbars (not shown) were left as they were.  The /
is really a / and is how you change windowsize if you can..

It was still Turbo Vision, but it wasn't so damned ugly anymore.


> To put it clearly: people who call _any_ text-mode Unix program's UI
> intuitive need to have their head seriously examined and then go sit in
> dosemu for a while.  Yeah, Borland C++ could easily bring down the whole
> system (and it did, lots of times) and the compiler bugs drove me crazy, but
> its UI was _incredibly_ efficient, while still easy to learn.
> 
> So don't tell me info's keys are intuitive.  I know them well, and I know
> they're not.

CUA is simple and efficient.  Note that CUA is a M$ invention, yet dos edit
doesn't use it.  I have yet to see a unix editor other than FTE which works
only in X or tty#, not over telnet or screen or anything, can be CUA.

No other editor in unix tries to duplicate that simplicity.  Joe is at least
able to support the Wordstar commands, just not the CUA ones.  We need a
Linux terminal driver that supports Shift-tab and shift/ctrl/meta arrows and
other commands.  Not sure terminfo can do those either but..

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