Suggestion: Improve readability of chat buffer (Wishlist)

Suggestion: Improve readability of chat buffer // Wishlist

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devon

Apr 24, 1998, 9:32pm
It is really annoying that new chats scroll the chat window to
the bottom. Often I miss some chats, sometimes for a few minutes
and wish to go back and catch up.

I try to hold the mouse button down on the scroll bar as I move up,
but even that doesn't work nicely. The window still scrolls down,
and the mouse needs to jiggle the scroll bar to get it to come back.

The current implementation discourages people from trying to catch
up on chats. Yes, even though it has probably been this way forever.
A change could make people more inclined/able to stay with a
converstation, even when their eyes are not glued to the screen.

Here are some ideas, though I understand the windows interface
imposes some limitations.

1. When the mouse has dragged the scroll bar but the button has
not come up, do not scroll the window input.

2. Add to Options->Settings->Chat a toggle for
[x] Chat window does not scroll to bottom on input.
If the scroll bar is moved from bottom and left there, new input will
update the size of the scroll bar, but not move the section of the
buffer currently viewed.

This is a little tricky because it requires the program be alerted
when the scroll bar is moved up from the bottom, and then back,
so that it knows to continue sending input and scrolling the screen
like normal. It combines suggestion 1.

3. Add a pop-up for right button click on the chat window area.
The popup could have a toggle that switches between suggestion 1
and the current implementation. This is kind of a cop-out for
not implementing 2, but still providing the functionality of 1.

Devon

technozeus

Apr 25, 1998, 2:51am
Perhaps a simple "freeze chat" button would do here.

TechnoZeus

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eep²

Apr 25, 1998, 3:55am
And what happens to the incoming text while it's "froze"? A chat buffer, like mIRC, is the answer. And more buttons aren't the answer either...that'll just get annoying. AW should just have it built-in like any GOOD program would.

The tab pane needs buffering, as well. It's annoying scrolling through the world list and having it reset, losing your place in the list and not knowing what's been changed since the last update.

[View Quote] > Perhaps a simple "freeze chat" button would do here.

technozeus

Apr 25, 1998, 7:58am
The incomming text would still be buffered, but would simply not be
displayed until the freeze button it pressed again. Actually, ICQ already
has this feature, as do some of the other programs I've used, and it would
work nicely (and I'm pretty sure would be easy to add) in ActiveWorlds.
There may be better solutions, but I just wanted to mention this one since
it would serve the purpose.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

eep²

Apr 25, 1998, 8:46am
Again, you want to make the user MANUALLY do things. This is poor design. mIRC stops the display of text (while storing it in a buffer) as soon as the scrollbar is moved up at all. The scrollbar will move as more text comes in, but the chat text area will not scroll on its own again until the scrollbar is all the way to the bottom. This is much more intuitive than making the user press a freeze/unfreeze button.

[View Quote] > The incomming text would still be buffered, but would simply not be
> displayed until the freeze button it pressed again. Actually, ICQ already
> has this feature, as do some of the other programs I've used, and it would
> work nicely (and I'm pretty sure would be easy to add) in ActiveWorlds.
> There may be better solutions, but I just wanted to mention this one since
> it would serve the purpose.

devon

Apr 25, 1998, 11:37am
True, the "freeze" feature TZ suggested is less optimal, but
if the alternative is perhaps no feature change at all...
given that Roland was humble enough to admit he had made some
attempts at more optimal features, it might still be a useful
fourth alternative.

The best GUI implementation I can think of right now is the right
click on the text window to get a popup with a toggle on it.

Devon

[View Quote]

technozeus

Apr 25, 1998, 5:23pm
Hadn't meant the method I mentioned as an "only" option... just one that
could be added easily enough that we wouldn't have to wait forever to see
it. As we all know, there are many features waiting to be added, and if
something creates a problem it is likely to get "put on the shelf" for a
while. I am familliar with the concept of checking the scroll-bar position
before deciding weather or not to scroll when adding text by the way, and
I'm not trying to say it's a bad suggestion.
By the way, since the beta for 2.0 already has a chat log feature, that
solves part of the problem, and for anyone wanting a cheap workaround in the
interim of an actual solution, here goes...
Left click in the chat history (text) box. Then press Ctrl-Home to got
to the top of the chat text. Then press Shift-Ctrl-End to select from
there to the end of the chat text. Then press Ctrl-Insert to copy all
selected text. (You might want to press it twice just to be sure...
shouldn't be necessary, but can't hurt.) Then open Notepad ([Start] -->
Programs --> Accessories --> Notepad) and paste (Shift-Insert) the text you
have in the clipboard.... then edit that text to get what you want.
Alternatatively, you can use this similar method to select a specific
area of text if the chat dialog winn hold still for a second or two... left
click in the chat history box. Then use your arrow keys to move to one end
of the text you want. (The Home or End key may also help you get there
faster.) Then hold the Shift key and use your arrow keys (and Home or End if
you like) to get to the other end of the text you want selected.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

scott d. miller

Jun 30, 1998, 7:36pm
[View Quote] YES YES
Eep² is right. There is NO REASON IN THE WORLD why the world list needs
to move (scroll) on its own. The portion of the list which is in view
should only change position when the user moves it. The data within the
window can update all day without affecting this feature.

Scott

--
Scott D. Miller
General Manager & Principal Consultant
Arête, Ltd.

Please use the return e-mail address of: scottydm at codenet.net

technozeus

Jul 2, 1998, 4:21am
I wonder if it would help to shadow the data. Hmmm.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

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