fields design -- no field codes

Subject: fields design -- no field codes
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 16:20:07 CDT

Sorry Sam. :-)

In thinking about the "Toggle Field Codes" UI, I keep running into screw
cases which make this feature difficult to reliably and cleanly implement.

Essentially the idea seems to be to allow power users to directly edit those
gobbledy-gook RTF format strings which control the field's value. However,
allowing full-generality editing here means that it's far too easy to
generate an invalid field.

Plus which, it's ugly. IMNSHO.

If we really want people to be able to view or edit existing field
definitions, it makes a lot more sense to me to have an "Edit Field" context
menu instead. That way, we can pop up the same dialog they used to add the
field in the first place. Doing the UI this way offers us the following

  - the information can be properly localized
  - it's a good spot for adding help text as needed
  - the OK button handler can screen out unparsable junk

Of course, this decision can be revisited later on, once we've gotten
everything else implemented.

For now, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I will NOT be
implementing this particular feature.


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