GNU bug report logs - #13333
24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'

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Package: emacs; Severity: minor; Reported by: "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>; dated Wed, 2 Jan 2013 04:14:02 UTC; Maintainer for emacs is bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN.
Removed tag(s) moreinfo. Request was from Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:25:08 +0000
From: Gregory Heytings <gregory@HIDDEN>
To: Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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>> The idea of replacing DEFAULT with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) is also not 
>> really optimal IMO.
>
> I think the suggestion was replacing DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . 
> SUGGESTIONS), though...
>

Yes, sorry, that was a typo, I meant "replacing DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . 
SUGGESTIONS).

>> The problem is that DEFAULT would not only be the value that is used 
>> when the user hits RET with an empty input, it is also the first value 
>> inserted when hitting M-n, that is, it is also the first SUGGESTION.
>
> I guess you could look at it that way...  but I'd say that the first 
> `M-n' gives you the default, and then you get the suggestions.
>

Isn't the default already part of the suggestions?  Unless I'm missing 
something, it's a suggested default.  The current distinction between 
(past) "history" and "future history", where the first item of the future 
history is the default, and in which you can freely navigate back and 
forth with M-p and M-n is, much clearer IMO than a distinction between 
three kinds of items, (past) "history", default and suggestions.  In fact, 
I don't understand what problem this would solve.

I remember when I learned the concept of "future history" and its key 
binding, it was a "wow!" effect.  Because of that it's possibly the only 
key binding I immediately remembered and never forgot.  But perhaps that's 
just me.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN>
To: Gregory Heytings <gregory@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
References: <A64605487866469D901A64F9ACD0287D@HIDDEN>
 <871ue33z2w.fsf@HIDDEN> <871r6krzot.fsf@HIDDEN>
 <ba9bdda48f2339a63f78@HIDDEN>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 13:05:21 +0200
In-Reply-To: <ba9bdda48f2339a63f78@HIDDEN> (Gregory Heytings's message
 of "Wed, 25 Aug 2021 08:59:39 +0000")
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 Content preview:  Gregory Heytings <gregory@HIDDEN> writes: > The idea
 of replacing DEFAULT with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) is also not > really optimal
 IMO. I think the suggestion was replacing DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT .
 SUGGESTIONS), though... 
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Gregory Heytings <gregory@HIDDEN> writes:

> The idea of replacing DEFAULT with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) is also not
> really optimal IMO.

I think the suggestion was replacing DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS),
though...

> The problem is that DEFAULT would not only be the
> value that is used when the user hits RET with an empty input, it is
> also the first value inserted when hitting M-n, that is, it is also
> the first SUGGESTION.

I guess you could look at it that way...  but I'd say that the first
`M-n' gives you the default, and then you get the suggestions.

> What I would suggest instead is to replace DEFAULTS with
> FUTURE-HISTORY, with an explanation that the first element of
> FUTURE-HISTORY is used when the user hist RET with an empty input.

Hm...  I dunno...  

-- 
(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
   bloggy blog: http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no




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bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Gregory Heytings <gregory@HIDDEN>
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Subject: Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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>>> You can think of this as moving through the "future history" list.
>>
>> "future history" is a misnomer.
>>
>>> There is no logical connection between the set of default values
>>
>> "default values" is a misnomer.
>>
>> There can be only one default value that it used when the user enters 
>> empty input in the minibuffer.  Other values are not "defaults".
>>
>> In most applications similar functionality is called "suggestions" 
>> where a drop-down list of suggestions is displayed while the user types 
>> a query into a text box.  This feature is documented at 
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_suggest_drop-down_list
>>
>> Thus I propose to enhance the documentation by replacing the term 
>> DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) where DEFAULT will retain its 
>> original meaning of the value returned for empty input and SUGGESTIONS 
>> is a list of suggestions available via `M-n'.
>
> I think this sounds like a good idea.  "Future history" is cute and all, 
> but it's not really helpful as a term -- especially when "suggestions" 
> is as clear as it is.
>
> Anybody with any comments here?
>

FWIW, I do not think this is a good idea.

Emacs is the only application I know which has a unified way to interact 
with history of past actions and suggestions for future actions.  The name 
"future history" is not only cute, it is also an excellent one, from a 
mnemonical viewpoint, to remember that the M-n is the key binding that 
should be used to access those suggestions.  What I would suggest instead 
is to add an explanation between parentheses that "future history" is what 
is called in some other applications "suggestions" (and possibly update 
the glossary accordingly).

The idea of replacing DEFAULT with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) is also not 
really optimal IMO.  The problem is that DEFAULT would not only be the 
value that is used when the user hits RET with an empty input, it is also 
the first value inserted when hitting M-n, that is, it is also the first 
SUGGESTION.  What I would suggest instead is to replace DEFAULTS with 
FUTURE-HISTORY, with an explanation that the first element of 
FUTURE-HISTORY is used when the user hist RET with an empty input.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: RE: [External] : Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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> I think this sounds like a good idea.  "Future history" is cute and all,
> but it's not really helpful as a term -- especially when "suggestions"
> is as clear as it is.
>=20
> Anybody with any comments here?

You're asking for "more info" now?

I already commented on that suggestion, eight years
ago.  Does that count?

  I agree with your suggestion.  But please propose
  it to everyone at emacs-devel.

  And please leave this bug open, unless you also
  correct the problems it addresses.

  (Yes, if your suggestion is implemented that will
  change some of the text of this node.  But let's
  please get all of the problems mentioned taken
  care of, whether or not the suggestion gets done.)

And the bug report itself (from me), does that count?
It details "multiple problems with this node."




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.
Added tag(s) moreinfo. Request was from Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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From: Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN>
To: Juri Linkov <juri@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
References: <A64605487866469D901A64F9ACD0287D@HIDDEN>
 <871ue33z2w.fsf@HIDDEN>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2021 16:41:22 +0200
In-Reply-To: <871ue33z2w.fsf@HIDDEN> (Juri Linkov's message of "Thu,
 03 Jan 2013 02:17:18 +0200")
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 Content preview: Juri Linkov <juri@HIDDEN> writes: >> You can think of this
 as moving through the "future history" list. > > "future history" is a
 misnomer.
 > >> There is no logical connection between the set of default values > >
 "default values" is [...] 
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Juri Linkov <juri@HIDDEN> writes:

>>  You can think of this as moving through the "future history" list.
>
> "future history" is a misnomer.
>
>> There is no logical connection between the set of default values
>
> "default values" is a misnomer.
>
> There can be only one default value that it used when the user enters
> empty input in the minibuffer.  Other values are not "defaults".
>
> In most applications similar functionality is called "suggestions"
> where a drop-down list of suggestions is displayed while the user
> types a query into a text box.  This feature is documented at
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_suggest_drop-down_list
>
> Thus I propose to enhance the documentation by replacing the term
> DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) where DEFAULT will retain
> its original meaning of the value returned for empty input
> and SUGGESTIONS is a list of suggestions available via `M-n'.

I think this sounds like a good idea.  "Future history" is cute and all,
but it's not really helpful as a term -- especially when "suggestions"
is as clear as it is.

Anybody with any comments here?

-- 
(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
   bloggy blog: http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: RE: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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> >  You can think of this as moving through the "future history" list.
> 
> "future history" is a misnomer.

Yes.

> > There is no logical connection between the set of default values
> 
> "default values" is a misnomer.
> 
> There can be only one default value that it used when the user enters
> empty input in the minibuffer.  Other values are not "defaults".
> 
> In most applications similar functionality is called "suggestions"
> where a drop-down list of suggestions is displayed while the user
> types a query into a text box.  This feature is documented at
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_suggest_drop-down_list
> 
> Thus I propose to enhance the documentation by replacing the term
> DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) where DEFAULT will retain
> its original meaning of the value returned for empty input
> and SUGGESTIONS is a list of suggestions available via `M-n'.

I agree with your suggestion.  But please propose it to everyone at emacs-devel.

And please leave this bug open, unless you also correct the problems it
addresses.

(Yes, if your suggestion is implemented that will change some of the text of
this node.  But let's please get all of the problems mentioned taken care of,
whether or not the suggestion gets done.)





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Juri Linkov <juri@HIDDEN>
To: "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 02:17:18 +0200
In-Reply-To: <A64605487866469D901A64F9ACD0287D@HIDDEN> (Drew Adams's
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>  You can think of this as moving through the "future history" list.

"future history" is a misnomer.

> There is no logical connection between the set of default values

"default values" is a misnomer.

There can be only one default value that it used when the user enters
empty input in the minibuffer.  Other values are not "defaults".

In most applications similar functionality is called "suggestions"
where a drop-down list of suggestions is displayed while the user
types a query into a text box.  This feature is documented at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_suggest_drop-down_list

Thus I propose to enhance the documentation by replacing the term
DEFAULTS with (DEFAULT . SUGGESTIONS) where DEFAULT will retain
its original meaning of the value returned for empty input
and SUGGESTIONS is a list of suggestions available via `M-n'.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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To: <13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org>
References: <A64605487866469D901A64F9ACD0287D@HIDDEN>
Subject: RE: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
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Another thing: Please mention also that you can use a numerical prefix argument
with `M-n', `M-p', etc. to move to a specific history item or default value.





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

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There are multiple problems with this node.
 
1. I was trying to find the place in the manual where we mention using
`M-n' to retrieve one or more default values for minibuffer input.  I
tried looking in the index for "default value" and even just "default",
but I found no such entries.
 
This concept of "default input", "default input value" "default
minibuffer input" etc. (choose your own entries) needs to be indexed.
 
Just tucking this behavior away under the topic of minibuffer history is
not sufficient in terms of indexing - it is a convenient hack that `M-n'
doubles as a way to retrieve default values, but looking up information
about the history should not be the only way to stumble upon info about
default input values.  Both concepts regarding minibuffer input: (a)
history (past inputs) and (b) default input values, need to be indexed.
 
2. Searching for "default" in this node, which is presumably the node
where #1 needs to be documented, I find an explanation that isn't very
good.  For one thing, it speaks of "default arguments".  There are no
arguments or parameters here.  These are default values for possible
minibuffer input.  This is user doc.
 
Users should not need to think in terms of `read-from-minibuffer',
`completing-read', or any other such function.  They should not even
need to be aware of these.  They don't care that some function is being
called to read their input, and the default values for their input are
also passed as parts of an argument to such a function.
 
3. We should also not say this, as it is not helpful and can be
confusing:
 
 You can think of this as moving through the "future history" list.
 
There is no logical connection between the set of default values and the
history list - whether "future history" or past.  The only connection is
that we have made the `M-n' key do double duty.  That's a good hack, but
there is zero reason to confuse users by inviting them to think of
retrieving default values as `moving through the "future history" list.'
 
Default values, like completion candidates, are shortcuts to entering
input.  Yes, something you input gets added to a history, but that does
not mean that the concept of a default input value - any more than the
concept of a completion candidate - is the same as that of a past input.
 
Default values are choices as much as completions are.  Neither set is
ordered temporally.  Putting the former on the `M-n' list is a
convenience that is NOT related to the fact that `M-n' can also move
forward along the history list.
 
4. Some keys are written incorrectly.  "`M-p'" is correct.  "<M-n>" is
incorrect (search for it in the node).  Uppercasing "<Up>" and "<Down>"
is also incorrect.  These function keys, like others (<home>, <end>,
etc.) should be lowercase.  That is the way Emacs itself communicates
regarding them, and it is the way Emacs doc should represent them also.
 
(Smarter would be to also get rid of the useless angle brackets, and
just use `...'.  But that's another story.)
 

In GNU Emacs 24.3.50.1 (i386-mingw-nt5.1.2600)
 of 2012-12-31 on ODIEONE
Bzr revision: 111388 rudalics@HIDDEN
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 5.1.2600
Configured using:
 `configure --with-gcc (4.7) --no-opt --enable-checking --cflags
 -IC:/Devel/emacs/build/include --ldflags -LC:/Devel/emacs/build/lib'
 





Acknowledgement sent to "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.
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