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.

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From: "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>
To: "'Juri Linkov'" <juri@HIDDEN>
References: <A64605487866469D901A64F9ACD0287D@HIDDEN>
	<871ue33z2w.fsf@HIDDEN>
Subject: RE: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2013 16:38:24 -0800
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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.

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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'
Organization: JURTA
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Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 02:17:18 +0200
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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.

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To: <13333 <at> debbugs.gnu.org>
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Subject: RE: bug#13333: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 20:15:05 -0800
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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.





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bug#13333; Package emacs. Full text available.

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To: <bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN>
Subject: 24.3.50; (emacs) `Minibuffer History'
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 20:11:59 -0800
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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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