RFC: List (bullet, number...) overhaul

Subject: RFC: List (bullet, number...) overhaul
From: Matti Picus (matti@picus.org)
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 13:46:26 CDT

I am taking this public for more comment. Martin and I have been discussing
revamping the way AbiWord builds a label for a list. The following text
does not use periods at the end of sentences, I thought it looked confusing
with all the periods running amok.

Currently, the mechanism utilizes a formatting string that looks like
"(%L)" or "%L." As the label is built, the %L is replaced by the value of
a counter, for example if the counter has the value 3, the format string is
"%L." and the list type is lower case, the label-builder will emit
"c." If the label has a parent, i.e. it should add on another, higher,
level number, it prepends the higher level label to itself, to get
something like 2.c.

I propose a different mechanism that uses a formatting string that, for the
example above, would look like "%1.%2." This will allow, for example a
top-level label like "Chapter 2." and a second-level label like "Chap. 2,
sect. c" We could get even more fancy by using a full-blown fprintf ripoff
and allow formatting strings like "Chap. %1I sect. %2i" to get a label like
"Chap. II sect. iii" but that may be over the top.

If the issue were totally back-end and invisible to the user, I would just
commit it and no-one would be the wiser :). But what use is a feature with
no UI access to it? So the questions are:

1. Any comments on the general idea? Too much? Too little? Leave it for
after version 1 release?

2. What would a good UI dialog design look like? We seem to have a few
problems maintaining all the platform-dependent dialog boxes as it is, how
could we do this simply, cleanly, and not confuse the "church secretary?"


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