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Re: dselect and its help messages

On Thu, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:54:56AM +0100, Domenico Andreoli wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 12, 2005 at 02:52:47PM +0000, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> > Exactly, I agree *entirely*.
> > 
> > dselect has always used space to dismiss help messages and the current
> > stable (woody) version of dselect still uses space to dismiss help
> > messages.
> yes, i'm aware of this. indeed i suppose you got many more sad users
> because of the new behaviour than because of the original one. but this
> is not the real problem, since it could be solved allowing both Enter
> and Space to dismiss help messages.

True, but that wouldn't address the other problem.

> > As noted in the changelog, Enter (and 'Q') in dselect are dangerous
> > keys, they commit changes.  Encouraging uses to hit Enter to dismiss
> > screens they don't know about is therefore encouraging users to commit
> > changes without considering them.
> if the fact of hitting Enter to dismiss the help message confuses the
> user at the point he instead commits changes, it looks like we need
> another way to confirm rm -rf because people might be confused and wipe
> the disk.

No, it's not that. The point is that it's very easy - trivially easy,
and often done - to hit Enter twice when you only meant to hit it once,
and if you do that at dselect's help screen then you commit all its
suggested changes to new packages without getting a chance to look at
them. That's just terrible UI design.

People often complain about dselect's user interface, but let's not make
gratuitously bad UI decisions! Enter was explicitly avoided at the help
screen when dselect was written for this exact reason, but this decision
was forgotten when making the change.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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