Tab completion usability thoughts

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Jesper Rønn-Jensen

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May 14, 2007, 8:54:06 AM5/14/07
to PowerCmd
Hey. Thanks for a great program.

I'm thinking a lot about the implementation of the tab-completion
feature. I really love it -- don't get me wrong. But I think it would
benefit from some little tweaks that would speed up productivity and
performance.

The pro blem is the Enter key.

By default, the Enter key in a dos prompt fires a command, executes
the line.

Autocomplete in PowerCmd captures the Enter key, making autocomplete
the default action when autocomplete is activated. That way, it takes
2 keypresses on the enter key to execute a line.
In stead, autocomplete should be triggered by another key (preferably
tab or left arrow).

Also, it's very annoying that automatic autocomplete is on by default
when working in folders where files are named like commands. An
example of the latter is running the ruby command "rake" in
directories that have a file called Rakefile (which is default). This
way, autocomplete captures the ENTER key and autocompletes "rake" into
"rakefile".


So here is the list summarized with added a few extra details:
*no automatic autocompletion by default. Change default settings so
that tab (and/or CTRL+space) initiates autocomplete

* also, make sure that the autocomplete should not add a space after
the word is autocompleted (extremely annoying when your're
autocompleting your way through a path like "C:\Documents and Settings
\Administrator\My Documents\rails\..."

* use these keys to initiate autocomplete: tab (already implemented)
and CTRL+space. Both keys used often by developer IDEs

* use these keys to execute the selected autocomplete: tab (already
implemented) and left arrow

* remove the enter key from being able to execute the autocomplete.
This way, Enter will keep it's normal functionality, so you can
execute a line without autocompleting it.

* If for some reason you decide not to remove Enter key from the
execute of autocomplete, then change it's behaviour so that it both
autocompletes and then executes the line.

Scharmer Andy

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May 14, 2007, 9:14:04 AM5/14/07
to powe...@googlegroups.com
I agree totally with this. Especially having autocomplete on automatically. This causes a serious problem when I run perl scripts that are wrapped in a DOS batch file. When I run the batch file by saying "name.bat", the perl invocation fails because it looks for "name.bat.bat". I've written all of my perl-as-batch utilities this way. So, when I want to run the script in a PowerCmd window, I type "name" <ENTER>, but with autocomplete, I get "name.bat".

I think a preference setting (as described below) would resolve this.

Thanks for a great program.

Andy

Paul C.

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May 14, 2007, 12:30:57 PM5/14/07
to PowerCmd
Thanks a lot for your suggestions.
I added some comments below.

On May 14, 9:14 pm, "Scharmer Andy" <Andy.Schar...@comverse.com>
wrote:


> I agree totally with this. Especially having autocomplete on automatically. This causes a serious problem when I run perl scripts that are wrapped in a DOS batch file. When I run the batch file by saying "name.bat", the perl invocation fails because it looks for "name.bat.bat". I've written all of my perl-as-batch utilities this way. So, when I want to run the script in a PowerCmd window, I type "name" <ENTER>, but with autocomplete, I get "name.bat".
>
> I think a preference setting (as described below) would resolve this.
>
> Thanks for a great program.
>
> Andy
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: powe...@googlegroups.com [mailto:powe...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jesper Rønn-Jensen
> Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 8:54 AM
> To: PowerCmd
> Subject: Tab completion usability thoughts
>
> Hey. Thanks for a great program.
>
> I'm thinking a lot about the implementation of the tab-completion feature. I really love it -- don't get me wrong. But I think it would benefit from some little tweaks that would speed up productivity and performance.
>
> The pro blem is the Enter key.
>
> By default, the Enter key in a dos prompt fires a command, executes the line.
>
> Autocomplete in PowerCmd captures the Enter key, making autocomplete the default action when autocomplete is activated. That way, it takes
> 2 keypresses on the enter key to execute a line.
> In stead, autocomplete should be triggered by another key (preferably tab or left arrow).
>
> Also, it's very annoying that automatic autocomplete is on by default when working in folders where files are named like commands. An example of the latter is running the ruby command "rake" in directories that have a file called Rakefile (which is default). This way, autocomplete captures the ENTER key and autocompletes "rake" into "rakefile".
>
> So here is the list summarized with added a few extra details:
> *no automatic autocompletion by default. Change default settings so that tab (and/or CTRL+space) initiates autocomplete
>
> * also, make sure that the autocomplete should not add a space after the word is autocompleted (extremely annoying when your're autocompleting your way through a path like "C:\Documents and Settings \Administrator\My Documents\rails\..."
>
> * use these keys to initiate autocomplete: tab (already implemented) and CTRL+space. Both keys used often by developer IDEs

[Paul] I agree with you. PowerCmd will allow user to activate auto-
completion by TAB key or CTRL+Space, and auto-complete the file name
with TAB key.
There will be no extra spaces when auto-complete commands by TAB key.

>
> * use these keys to execute the selected autocomplete: tab (already
> implemented) and left arrow

[Paul] left arrow? I assume it is right arrow.

>
> * remove the enter key from being able to execute the autocomplete.
> This way, Enter will keep it's normal functionality, so you can execute a line without autocompleting it.

[Paul] Enter will keep the same behavior as traditional command
prompt, and will not be able to auto-complete the commands.

>
> * If for some reason you decide not to remove Enter key from the execute of autocomplete, then change it's behaviour so that it both autocompletes and then executes the line.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Paul C.

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May 14, 2007, 12:53:12 PM5/14/07
to PowerCmd
I agree with you. Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I appreciate your
help.

Below is what I will put into the next release, please correct me if
it's not what you expected:

1. ENTER will have the same behavior as traditional windows command
prompt: end the input the execute the command.
2. Auto-Completion can be activated by "TAB" key or "CTRL+SPACE", and
commands can be completed by TAB key, no extra spaces for the
completion.

Thanks,
Paul

On May 14, 9:14 pm, "Scharmer Andy" <Andy.Schar...@comverse.com>
wrote:

Scharmer Andy

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May 14, 2007, 1:25:15 PM5/14/07
to powe...@googlegroups.com
Sounds right to me. Any idea when the next release will be out?

Jesper Rønn-Jensen

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May 14, 2007, 3:35:32 PM5/14/07
to PowerCmd
> [Paul] left arrow? I assume it is right arrow.

Sure! Right arrow. Sorry for causing confusion here!

Thanks for your replies. Sounds good that you will update these
things. I think the most important thing for an application like this
to succeed is to not get in the way of the user :)

/jesper

Paul C.

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May 14, 2007, 8:27:23 PM5/14/07
to PowerCmd
I'll make a minor update for these usability improvements, and will
release it by the end of this week.

Thanks,
Paul

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