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Changes to Delete key in Outline (Read 916 times)
David Bertenshaw
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Changes to Delete key in Outline
Apr 10th, 2016, 6:28am
 
6.5 has introduced a new behaviour for the (Forward) Delete key in outlines. From the release notes:

'In outlines, forward-delete (fn-Delete) now deletes the next note in the outline.'

I wondered what the reasons for the change are as TBH I'm struggling to see any benefits to it, and it keeps leading me to delete lines unintentionally.

It's also inconsistently applied depending upon whether the note is in edit mode or not.

Non-edit mode (the note is simply highlighted)

1. Backspace deletes THIS line and highlights the PREVIOUS one
2. Forward delete deletes the NEXT line and keeps THIS one highlighted

Edit mode

1. Clear the text so the field is empty then
2. Backspace deletes the NEXT line (and keeps the one you're editing open for editing)
3. (Forward delete as you'd expect does nothing)

So the use of backspace has an opposite function depending on whether you're editing a note or not. If I'm editing a note's title, I can't really think of any circumstances when I'd want to delete the next line while continuing to edit this one -- and having this bound to the backspace key is doubly confusing. TBH, I think allowing any key in edit mode to delete a line can cause problems -- I would prefer to have to explicitly leave edit mode beforehand, leaving less scope for accidental deletions.

No other program I've used ignores the present line and acts on the next one when deleting, so I'm finding the new behaviour really counter-intuitive and so far I've accidentally deleted hundreds of lines individually...

Of course, this may just be me and I'm missing something blindingly obvious behind the change which everybody else has been clamouring for for years! In which case I'll try to adapt of course. If not I'd like to hear from others how the new behaviour works for you. Thanks.
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« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2016, 6:32am by David Bertenshaw »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Changes to Delete key in Outline
Reply #1 - Apr 10th, 2016, 8:02am
 
Why the change? A longterm user made a reasoned case that they wanted to be able to delete the next outline item (I can't recall if they asked that the delete key(s) be the deciding factor). This was the result

In another forum, I've already requested this change be made optional as it's cost me more trips to back-up than seems sensible for a built-in feature. I started out on PCs and never really got the whole delete-by-starting-at-the-end vibe of the Mac's backspace key. Plus, I work on an extended keyboard that has a discrete (forwards) delete key, long since absent from Mac laptop or wireless keyboards, and I work mainly in outline in some projects. It's very easy to 'delete' the currently selected item - as was the case for >10 years - only to later realise you've deleted a container with 000s of notes and it's not recoverable via the undo buffer and a trip to Time Machine is needed.

In fairness it's likely not a problem for most casual use but it's not friendly to mature documents. My suggestion was to allow the status quo but support a config.xml (or dec setting) that turns the new feature off.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Changes to Delete key in Outline
Reply #2 - Apr 10th, 2016, 8:16am
 
Thanks for the quick reply, Mark. I think your experience and mine are very similar.

I wonder if the combination of radically non-standard behaviour for a standard key and destructive consequences mean that it should really be an opt-in only function for experienced users who understand the consequences. It's a real focus killer when you're working with outlines, so I'd very much support the make it an option request.
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« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2016, 10:06am by David Bertenshaw »  
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J Fallows
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Re: Changes to Delete key in Outline
Reply #3 - Apr 10th, 2016, 10:33am
 
My experience is similar to that of Mark A and David B, in that I'd developed  one set of muscle-memory for use of the Fwd-Del key in Tinderbox. I recognize intellectually that the behavior has changed, but I some times slip up, with the consequences you mention.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Changes to Delete key in Outline
Reply #4 - Apr 10th, 2016, 11:10am
 
Happy to revisit the issue.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Changes to Delete key in Outline
Reply #5 - Apr 10th, 2016, 11:59am
 
Thanks!
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