RE: List Dialog -- Speak now

Subject: RE: List Dialog -- Speak now
From: Thomas Fletcher (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 14:57:33 CDT

On Wed, 16 Aug 2000, WJCarpenter wrote:

> tf> Martin and I have been quietly been working on a new list dialog
> tf> which mimmicks (to an extent) the Word dialog all in one dialog.
> OK, this message isn't going to be about the list dialogs, which look
> okie-dokie to me. It's about list bullet items in general. I think
> Martin and others involved are converging nicely on implementing
> bullet lists Just-Like-Everyone-Else, which is an extremely valuable
> thing to have and probably an essential thing if you want to call
> yourself a word processor.

Well actually we are not really just working on "bullet" lists, but
on the more general list infastructure.

> I think that what we are generally calling bullets (whether they are
> bullet symbols, ascending alphas, ascending numbers, roman numerals,
> whatever) could actually be more general. What I propose would
> probably be baffling to the Church Secretary, but would be a pretty
> cool feature for a variety of actual uses by sophisticated users.

I don't think what you propose is confusing more comments below ...
> A list may be numbered or unnumbered. If it is numbered, it has (a) a
> starting numeric value, and (b) an increment for each list item. The
> increment can be positive or negative. (I was thinking integers, but
> I guess there's no reason to impose that limitation.)
> The thing which represents what we might call the bullet is (a) any
> arbitrary piece of formatted text, which might include font and size
> changes or any of the other attributes that we let users manipulate,
> and (b) zero or more placeholders for a smidgeon of text composed from
> the current numeric value for the list item.
> It's probably obvious to a child of 5 where I got these ideas. My
> thoughts are an amalgam of printf(), texinfo, and some kind of warped
> expression processor :-).

Actually what Martin and I are working on is pretty well exactly
that. With the limitation that increments are currently always
+1 (a limitation which could certainly be removed with a bit of
work I'm sure). For the "Power List User" (TM) then they will
be able choose the start value for the list. Internally the list
values are kept as integers, and depending on your type of list
then we convert the integer to a string representation.
(ie 1st list item might map to one of: 1,A,a,i,I,*,- ...)

The format text box is to be used just as you suggested, a printf
type format string so that you can think of it as being some
static text which contains a variable component which changes
depending on the list value.

For example you might type:

martin %L thomas

As the format string where %L will actually be highlighted
text containing the current list value ... if you remove
it you have a static list with only your text being used,
effectively like a custom bullet list. Now typing your
list you will get:

martin 1 thomas This is a line
martin 2 thomas This is another line
martin 3 thomas This is a third line

I think that with the exception of the "increment" (which
I think might be neat, but I can't find a use for off the
top of my head) we are planning things along the same line
as you are hoping for.

Thomas (toe-mah) Fletcher QNX Software Systems Neutrino Development Group

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