Type select in NSTableView, NSBrowser

  • Leopard brings a surprise feature in NSTableView and NSBrowser.

    It is now possible (and enabled by default, even for applications
    linked under old systems) for the user to select a row of a table view
    or browser by typing the first letter or letters of the desired row.
    See - allowsTypeSelect and related methods in the two classes.

    The feature is long awaited and welcome. But it should have been
    mentioned in the App Kit release notes (it isn't), especially because
    it changes the behavior of existing software. Believe it or not, I
    actually have a case where the new behavior is undesirable. (It's very
    easy to turn off, once you know that you need to do so.)

    I have often complained (using the documentation comment forms) when
    important information is given only in release notes and not copied
    into the corresponding reference pages. This is a case of the opposite
    problem: a new feature documented only in the reference pages, not
    mentioned in the release notes!

    Justin Bur
    Druide informatique
    Montréal
  • On Nov 28, 2007, at 4:03 PM, Justin Bur wrote:
    > Leopard brings a surprise feature in NSTableView and NSBrowser.
    >
    > It is now possible (and enabled by default, even for applications
    > linked under old systems) for the user to select a row of a table
    > view or browser by typing the first letter or letters of the desired
    > row. See - allowsTypeSelect and related methods in the two classes.
    >
    > The feature is long awaited and welcome. But it should have been
    > mentioned in the App Kit release notes (it isn't), especially
    > because it changes the behavior of existing software. Believe it or
    > not, I actually have a case where the new behavior is undesirable.
    > (It's very easy to turn off, once you know that you need to do so.)
    >
    > I have often complained (using the documentation comment forms) when
    > important information is given only in release notes and not copied
    > into the corresponding reference pages. This is a case of the
    > opposite problem: a new feature documented only in the reference
    > pages, not mentioned in the release notes!

    Sorry about that! We try to release note most things. Type selection
    is a huge new feature, and it was tested in many applications. Exactly
    what problem are you having with it in your application? I'm curious
    why people have to turn it off. I know some cases where it is
    required. For instance, Aperture turns it off, since they interpret
    standard keystrokes as keyboard shortcuts. In some ways, that is a
    disadvantage (I would love to type select in aperture's project list).

    corbin
  • On 28-Nov-07, at 19:28, Corbin Dunn wrote:

    > On Nov 28, 2007, at 4:03 PM, Justin Bur wrote:
    >>
    >
    >> The feature is long awaited and welcome. But it should have been
    >> mentioned in the App Kit release notes (it isn't), especially
    >> because it changes the behavior of existing software. Believe it or
    >> not, I actually have a case where the new behavior is undesirable.
    >> (It's very easy to turn off, once you know that you need to do so.)
    >>
    >
    > Type selection is a huge new feature, and it was tested in many
    > applications. Exactly what problem are you having with it in your
    > application? I'm curious why people have to turn it off. I know some
    > cases where it is required. For instance, Aperture turns it off,
    > since they interpret standard keystrokes as keyboard shortcuts. In
    > some ways, that is a disadvantage (I would love to type select in
    > aperture's project list).

    It's because we're redirecting most keystrokes in the window to a
    search field. It's a dictionary lookup tool; when browsing a
    dictionary, the obvious thing to want to do by typing is to look up a
    new word.
    – In one case, the table view that started grabbing some letters is
    short (only 10 entries) and acts as a source list. It clearly has much
    less need for keystrokes than the search field.
    – The other case will need a redesign, since there we are capturing
    the keystrokes to do our own version of type selection, basically for
    historical reasons. But until the redesign happens, NSTableView's type
    selection has to be turned off because the two schemes are competing
    and conflicting.

    Justin Bur
    Druide informatique
    Montréal
  • >>
    >>> The feature is long awaited and welcome. But it should have been
    >>> mentioned in the App Kit release notes (it isn't), especially
    >>> because it changes the behavior of existing software. Believe it
    >>> or not, I actually have a case where the new behavior is
    >>> undesirable. (It's very easy to turn off, once you know that you
    >>> need to do so.)
    >>>
    >>
    >> Type selection is a huge new feature, and it was tested in many
    >> applications. Exactly what problem are you having with it in your
    >> application? I'm curious why people have to turn it off. I know
    >> some cases where it is required. For instance, Aperture turns it
    >> off, since they interpret standard keystrokes as keyboard
    >> shortcuts. In some ways, that is a disadvantage (I would love to
    >> type select in aperture's project list).
    >
    > It's because we're redirecting most keystrokes in the window to a
    > search field. It's a dictionary lookup tool; when browsing a
    > dictionary, the obvious thing to want to do by typing is to look up
    > a new word.
    > – In one case, the table view that started grabbing some letters is
    > short (only 10 entries) and acts as a source list. It clearly has
    > much less need for keystrokes than the search field.
    > – The other case will need a redesign, since there we are capturing
    > the keystrokes to do our own version of type selection, basically
    > for historical reasons. But until the redesign happens,
    > NSTableView's type selection has to be turned off because the two
    > schemes are competing and conflicting.
    >

    Thanks for the info! This is one of the reasons that we opted to allow
    typeSelection to be turned off/on. We deemed it more useful to make
    the default "on", even for apps not yet linking on Leopard.
    Unfortunately, a few apps, such as yours, are affected by this. Sorry
    about that!

    -corbin
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