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LYNX-DEV: Need to POP hist-stack
LYNX-DEV: Need to POP hist-stack
Mon, 1 Sep 1997 07:20:14 -0700
REASON, MOTIVATION of this subject:
Suppose you are using lynx to read a java tutorial, eg:
File that you are currently viewing
Linkname: Table of Contents
Charset: iso-8859-1 (assumed)
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 13:24:40 GMT
size: 449 lines
So, you click on the first entry for "interfaces", to learn
something about them.
(In this tutorial,  always links to the NEXT item in
the thread -- there is one huge long thread through the
entire sun tutorial book; by choosing "interfaces" I am
merely jumping into the middle of this long thread.)
So I read that page, and hit  for next, and thus go to
the next page, with more about interfaces. And again ,
to the next one. Finally, I get to the end of the
nodes (links) on interfaces (actually, I go one too far
and note that it is about the next subject, not interfaces),
and want to NOW go back to the original index and choose
ANOTHER subject to browse through.
Well, the stack is now five or six higher than that index,
and to go back there the normal way I have to hit H (vi mode)
again and again and again, each time having to display a
screenfull of text I don't want to look at. Especially when
running over a modem, all that is a waste of time -- and
(Of course, I could hit history-key, and just directly
go to (no, pushj to, rather, stack getting even higher
with stuff I will never return to.)
What I would LIKE to do is hit the history page, and
then have some (new) command that when I hit, say
, the link to the big index of java-subjects (ie,
table of contents in tutorial book), would do TWO things:
1: POP the stack down such that that  was
now the TOP element.
2: go to it.
Would save the stack from getting so high. (You would still
nave the V-cmd to get a list of everywhere you have
been, so you CAN get back to one of those popped items
in a single keystroke, if you later need to.)
Another way to do this would be to steal an idea from VI or
EX, and be able to save locations in "registers", and then
be able to "go to" the location pointed at by that register,
POPPING the stack down to that point -- faster for the user
than first having to go to the history page and give the
above proposed new command (pop), which of course is STILL
The reason for this need is that there are basically TWO ways
one reads stuff on the net:
1: you go to a sequence of places in EXPLORATION MODE, in which
you DO want to create a stack, because you are basically
doing a DFS (depth first search) of some part of the net.
2: you are in "read a long tutorial mode", where you want to
do mainly GO TO's (not PUSHJ's) to things, and NOT stack
them so much.
Because there are these two modes that people use when
using lynx, etc, the commands and facilities should REFLECT
those two usage modes.
I made this same suggestion maybe a year ago, and got no
response. Now that I have tried reading a tutorial,
jumping from subject to subject, ie jumping into the
master huge long thread of links at one place, going
sequentially for five or so pages, then wanting to
choose ANOTHER SUBJECT and browse that for a while,
the current "push onto stack one at at time" and "pop
stack only ONE AT A TIME" model doesn't work too well.
And using the currently-available trick (not a good trick!)
of hitting the hist key, then RE-pushing some item
five or ten down the stack (eg the table of contents
for the tutorial) -- well the stack gets HUGE, with
that same index occurring every 3 or 5 or 10 on the
stack, and what you WERE looking at BEFORE you even
decided to look at the TUTORIAL is maybe HUNDREDS
of items down that stack.
Ideally, maybe some NESTING idea would be useful,
with sub stacks, but that would be much more complicated
for the user to both use and and have as a mental model.
Not worth it.
So, a SIMPLE and EFFECTIVE solution is to be able
to POP the history stack down to a given point,
and (maybe) some kind of ex/vi type of register,
but that might be overkill, who knows.
Anyway, if you have ANY reaction to this idea,
positive or negative, please post it.
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- LYNX-DEV: Need to POP hist-stack,
David Combs <=