Changing default of pager to off

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Changing default of pager to off

Rik-4
2/27/18

I'm looking to resolve bug #53217 which actually turns out to be a question
of interface design.

Octave has a pager to display lengthy data that exceeds the size of one
Command Window.  Traditionally, the CLI has been the only interface
available for Octave.  In such an environment pagers are a necessity.  With
a large matrix, and no pager, the data would fly by and would become
invisible and irretrievable once it scrolled past the top of the screen. 
But when the interface is a GUI window, with scrollbars, the interface
design guidelines change.  With a GUI the recommendation is not to use a
pager because the data is always available and there are convenient ways,
i.e., mouse and scrollbars, for retrieving it.

The question at hand is whether Octave should change the default status of
the pager to "off".  Or possibly, whether we should change the default
based on whether the CLI or the GUI was invoked.  For reference, the Matlab
default is to have the pager off.

Of course the default can always be overriden by a user's .octaverc file;
aficionados of the pager, such as myself, who always use the CLI can add
"more on" in their .octaverc file.

This is a relatively big change in the user interface so I thought I would
collect opinions before implementing it.

--Rik


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Re: Changing default of pager to off

John W. Eaton
Administrator
On 02/27/2018 12:11 PM, Rik wrote:

> 2/27/18
>
> I'm looking to resolve bug #53217 which actually turns out to be a question
> of interface design.
>
> Octave has a pager to display lengthy data that exceeds the size of one
> Command Window.  Traditionally, the CLI has been the only interface
> available for Octave.  In such an environment pagers are a necessity.  With
> a large matrix, and no pager, the data would fly by and would become
> invisible and irretrievable once it scrolled past the top of the screen.
> But when the interface is a GUI window, with scrollbars, the interface
> design guidelines change.  With a GUI the recommendation is not to use a
> pager because the data is always available and there are convenient ways,
> i.e., mouse and scrollbars, for retrieving it.
>
> The question at hand is whether Octave should change the default status of
> the pager to "off".  Or possibly, whether we should change the default
> based on whether the CLI or the GUI was invoked.  For reference, the Matlab
> default is to have the pager off.

I'd be in favor of simplicity here.  Let's just disable it by default.

It causes confusion for new users and they are least equipped to know
how to fix the problem.  Many are probably frustrated by the pager
causing trouble they don't expect, and we probably don't want to create
additional confusion or frustration for new or inexperienced users.
Worse, some may conclude that Octave is somehow broken.

Those who want it to be enabled can easily change the default by typing
a simple command or editing a file.

jwe


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Re: Changing default of pager to off

Sebastian Schöps
In reply to this post by Rik-4
Rik-4 wrote

> 2/27/18
>
> I'm looking to resolve bug #53217 which actually turns out to be a
> question
> of interface design.
>
> ....
>
> This is a relatively big change in the user interface so I thought I would
> collect opinions before implementing it.

If you are interested in general feedback: please disable the pager. It's
among the first things that I tell my students to configure in octave :)

Sebastian



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Re: Changing default of pager to off

Rik-4
In reply to this post by Rik-4
Most opinions on the Maintainer's list and in the bug report were in favor
of changing the default to off so I did that here:
http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/rev/daf61c7dfcae.

--Rik


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Re: Changing default of pager to off

siko1056
Rik-4 wrote
> Most opinions on the Maintainer's list and in the bug report were in favor
> of changing the default to off so I did that here:
> http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/rev/daf61c7dfcae.
>
> --Rik

Thanks Rik!  I have the pager disabled in .octaverc as well, thus I often
forget it is enabled by default.  Like Sebastian says, the only time I get
aware of the pager is at the beginning of the semester when teaching Octave
to new students to turn it off for our toy size matrices ;-)

But in general I find it a useful feature and should be kept (but not as
default setting).

Kai



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Re: Changing default of pager to off

Oliver Heimlich
In reply to this post by Rik-4
On 27.02.2018 18:11, Rik wrote:
> The question at hand is whether Octave should change the default status of
> the pager to "off".  Or possibly, whether we should change the default
> based on whether the CLI or the GUI was invoked.  For reference, the Matlab
> default is to have the pager off.

Please disable it by default. Even on simple CLI interfaces I am used to
have Shift+PgUp/PgDown for scrolling.

Also I remember problems where the console window changes its size and
the pager doesn't adjust.

Oliver



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