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Re: lynx-dev Is this as intended? - #4 - DEFAULT_KEYPAD_MODE

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Is this as intended? - #4 - DEFAULT_KEYPAD_MODE
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 05:09:24 -0600 (CST)


On Sat, 4 Dec 1999, Philip Webb wrote:
> since my initials are on the item, i suppose i should comment.
> the change in default was inadvertent [...]

> that said, i will defend the change:

It should revert to the old default, in my opinion.

> LE did the programming to number form fields
> after more senior programmers had resisted it,
> so that blind users could find their way around forms more easily

(As usual you put your spin on history... Other readers are cautioned
not to take everything at face value.)

> (for details, see the Archive in early 1997 IIRC).

(Yes, do see the archives, first half of 1997.)

> for some reason, it is not possible to number form fields in  lynx.cfg ,
> only in  userdefs.h  & the Options Menu, so users who rely on a sysadmim
> may find they have to keep resetting the option or discover .lynxrc .

No "discovering" of .lynxrc (as a file) is necessary.  Users just need
to save 'O'ptions from the Options Menu, once.  That isn't undue hardship.
It's practically a requirement for using lynx "seriously" (or more than

> i suggest that is an unnecessary burden for the average user
> & that making numbering of form fields the default
> causes no-one trouble in their everyday use of Lynx.

Changing the default for the built-in default causes unexpected change
of behavior for everyone using that default (i.e. if it's not overridden
in lynx.cfg or .lynxrc).  Cf. the changed PERSISTENT_COOKIES default.

You seem to assume that LINKS_AND_FIELDS_ARE_NUMBERED is the only
reasonable way to use lynx, and that every user would want that.
It isn't, and they don't.

(Comparison with recently changed default for PERSISTENT_COOKIES: some
users are surprised.  But for PERSISTENT_COOKIES, there is good enough
reason for the change IMO (and PERSISTENT_COOKIES was experimental).
For DEFAULT_KEYPAD_MODE there isn't a good enough reason.)

> are there any comments from blind users?

I won't try to speak for them.  But I think most of them know and
accept that a program needs to be configured or customized in some
way for personal use.  And they'd most likely want to change some other
setitngs anyway (at least, "Show Cursor").  I don't think keeping them
away from the Options Menu, because learning about it is an "unnecessary
burden", is doing them a favor.


Yes, it *should* be possible to set LINKS_AND_FIELDS_ARE_NUMBERED in
lynx.cfg.  It isn't because nobody has yet done the necessary changes.


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