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Re: The apropos-dialog
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Louch)
- Subject: Re: The apropos-dialog
- From: cfry@MIT.EDU (Christopher Fry)
- Date: Fri, 28 Feb 92 13:46:05
- Cc: email@example.com
> Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 21:38:42 -0800
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Louch)
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: The apropos-dialog
> This is more of an request for the mcl team, but might as well
> what other people interest are. I use the apropos-dialog very
>I teach myself mcl. A conveinent feature would be to add the ability
> that apropos list py package or delimit what is in the list by again a
> So for isntance I could easily scroll throuhg the apropos list and
> ocurrences of the symbol I am trying to find by package. I could
> example, turn off the viewing of mathching symbols for the class ccl,
>then I would just get what ever is in cl-user or other active packages!
> Just an idea, I realise I could do this myself, but I rather get some
I implemented a superset of what you wanted while developing MCL/CCL 1
It allowed you to filter not just by package, but by various kinds of
Those with definitions, those with values, etc. It was a great way to
get various views
of what was available. All the functionality was in a dialog box. You
did no typing except
for the initial substring. If you didn't modify any of the options when
the dialog came up,
it behaved as the existing apropos does now, ie gets EVERY symbol that
matches the substring.
In fact, just looking at the dialog told you that common Lisp uses
symbols to do
a bunch of different things. It was its own sort of on-line help
The rest of the folks at Coral at the time felt that the
dialog presented the user with too much information.
And, in fact, much of the time you DO simply want to type in a string
and not bother to specify whether you are looking for a function
or a variable, or whatever. We could get both functionalities if the
simple dialog came up first but had a "Show details" button that
expanded it to include the additional hair. [Sort of like "Show Full
Menus" on some other Mac programs.]
My original design could now be extended to include clos stuff.
Show classes, methods of a class, slots of a class, etc. [With a string
of "", you'd see all the items].
Notice that this overlaps with the Inspector. In fact, I don't think
there should be a separation of the two. [You can get to the inspector
from Apropos, but not the other way around.] A bunch of features in my
original inspector are now out too, but that's another can of worms.
Perhaps info-mcl can be a forum that's better suited to figuring out
what users really want with such tools than just my own [admittedly
narrow] view was at Coral.