Re: Commit: Various Lists UI improvements.

Subject: Re: Commit: Various Lists UI improvements.
From: Martin Sevior (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 07:34:02 CST

On Thu, 1 Feb 2001, Randy Kramer wrote:

> I'm not exactly sure why they distinguish an outline from a list, I'm
> not even absolutely sure they do (it's been about a year since I used
> Word on a daily basis). I suspect that an outline has a few more
> capabilities than a list. An outline can "comprise" an entire document,
> i.e., all the text in a document can be within an outline. The numbered
> headings of the outline can be used to automatically generate a table of
> contents. The text under an outline heading (and the subheadings below
> any level of the outline) can be collapsed so that you view only the
> outline (and any level of headings -- just the first level, the first
> and second level), etc. This is a big help for organizing a document,
> navigating within the document, and moving material from one section to
> another.

OK I get this. It is not implemented in Abi.
> IIRC, I've even created multiple chapter "books" using the outline
> approach with their master documemt approach. I'm hoping all of those
> capabilities will eventually be supported by AbiWord.

We can do this.

> Aside:
> 1. Collapsing an outline starts with making text or headings below a
> given level invisible. Expanding it makes them visible again. The
> ability to copy a heading with it's associated text and subheadings or
> without it requires that the document recognize (or be able to
> recognize) which text and sub-headings should be associated with a
> higher level heading.

You don't need to do this to copy an Abi list structure. Just select the
region/copy or cut it and paste it elsewhere. You can even paste into an
pre-existing list structure with a reasonable chance of getting what you

> 2. The master document approach is something like an include file,
> although, IIRC, (in Word 97) they have two mechanisms, one is an include
> file, the other is the master / sub document which provides a little
> more functionality (but I don't really remember what additional
> functionality).
> Hope this helps a little
> Randy Kramer

Hmm maybe I should set up a mode that doesn't stop a list with 2
consecutive new-lines. Then you could design your own outline structure
and fill it in as you go. This would be trivial. The list structure or
outline could be copied and pasted where ever you like.

Thanks for the feedback Randy.


> Martin Sevior wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, 30 Jan 2001, Thomas Fletcher wrote:
> >
> > > Martin,
> > >
> > > This is exactly what I had in mind a way back when we took a look
> > > at the MSWord implementation of lists and how it differed. Nice to
> > > see this all coming together and getting cleaned up/worked out again.
> > >
> >
> > Yes it took a while to get all the infrastructure right but now it is
> > easy to tweak these UI things.
> >
> > I also took me a while to realize that our lists are what MS calls an
> > "Outline". I dodn't know why they distinguish between Outlines and Lists.
> > I think it just serves to confuse.
> >
> > It's fun to set up a complicated multi-level list structure, make some
> > chanes at the start and watch everything change to match it. Even more fun
> > to press "undo" and watch it change back. Ahh the amount of effor required
> > to get that to Just Work..
> >
> > I'm also happy that we can cand/copy/paste complicated List structures
> > through the document. All-in-all our vision for Lists in Abi is pretty
> > much in place, once we get the dialog going.
> >
> > > With regards to the dialog. Your suggestions sound good, will they
> > > be build on the basis of what we were working on before Christmas? I
> > > still think that a modal version might be easier for the users ... but
> > > if you implement the non-modal version we were discussing then that
> > > would be fine as well.
> > >
> >
> > Yes I plan to implement all the things we talked about before Christmas.
> >
> > I really want to do a re-write of XP Lists dialog code. It will break
> > other builds but hopefully not too much. Can other platform maintainers
> > fix things afterwards?
> >
> > I'll work from Mike's "new" (in December) dialog code which puts more
> > functionality into xp.
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Martin

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