[Openmcl-devel] IDE directions

alex crain alexcrain at mail2.widgetworks.com
Sat Aug 28 18:16:26 PDT 2004

I've been working on the IDE and digging through the hemlock code and 
I'm getting ready to do some actual coding. With that in mind, I want 
to get a consensus on some design decisions.

In an effort to improve my familiarity with the code I've been working 
on the command processor and I'm implementing the Random Typeout 
streams so that thing like help and error messages have a place to go.

There are a couple of ways to approach this. These streams are 
typically transient messages that show the results of certain commands 
like ^H-a (help apropos). Emacs handles it by splitting the window and 
putting the data into a buffer, for example.

Sometimes the data can be quite long, like when describing a mode with 
all the key bindings, so putting the text in some kind of scrolled 
window make sense.

With that in mind, there are a few options:
1) use modal transient popups for these messages. The upside is that 
you get one message per popup and the popups are tied to a specific 
window. The windows don't need to be popups, they could easily be 
window shades like the current error messages. The downside is that you 
would have to close the message window before going back to work but 
they could be easily closable, like with a modal button tied to the 
return key.

2) Use non-modal popups. This means that you could leave the messages 
up for reference but if you were editing multiple files it might 
clutter things up a bit.

3) Use a common typeout window for everything. I'm thinking that when 
you booted up the IDE, a typeout window would be created and perhaps 
hidden with a toggle under the "Window" menu. When you do something 
that causes typeout, the typeout window would be raised and display the 

I'm leaning towards #3. Does anybody love/hate this idea?


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