XML Editors - Word 2000??

Philip Nye philipnye at freenet.co.uk
Fri Jul 2 11:29:52 BST 1999

Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> From: Philip Nye <philipnye at freenet.co.uk>
> > 
> >Why should selecting 14pt Bold Green be easier than selecting "Contact
> >Name" in the right context.
> Because:
> 1) you have to remember the name, this is difficult if there are more
> than 7
> names in frequent use;
> 2) if there are more than 7 elements at any one level, there is a
> selection
> problem for GUIs: style provides a way to key hierarchy that provides
> reinforcing feedback;

I think we are in pretty close agreement. The idea of using visual style
cues to direct the user towards the correct choices is powerful. Getting
these cues from the style sheet is clever.

My rant was largely directed at MS Windows which seems to force silly
user interface design in many cases and I suspect that you are thinking
in Windows terms.

A particular infuriation are pop up lists which have a couple more
elements than lines in the list and hence a scroll bar etc. This often
occurs when there is plenty of screen space which could show the whole
list. Something like this makes the idea of making a simple selection
suddenly seem a huge problem. The Mac's pop up menu is so much better as
are various other designs I have seen.

Incidentally, where does the magic number 7 come from?

> >Why not display "Contact Name" in 14pt Bold Green as a visual cue.
> Sure: but you would have to make a special pallette up probably.

And why not? I have seen plenty of font menus which display the font
names in the fonts themselves, or the Word Style menu which shows the
style name in the style. But then I am not in the business of writing
Windows front ends so I would say that!

> My other bugbear is that often when editing it is not the element
> that you want, but an element with a particular set of attributes:
> if there is
> <!ATTLIST person
>     type ( big | fat ) #REQUIRED >
> I would prefer menu choices:
>     element>fat person
>     element>big person
> or
>     element>person>fat
>     element>person>big
> The GUI does not need to follow the DTD slavishly.

I agree absolutely.

Philip Nye

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list