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[Octave-patch-tracker] [patch #8656] Variable Editor (expanded from Patc

From: Philip Nienhuis
Subject: [Octave-patch-tracker] [patch #8656] Variable Editor (expanded from Patch #8316)
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:09:53 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0

Follow-up Comment #35, patch #8656 (project octave):

First of all: thanks for your prolonged efforts.
I think it might be about time to bring it up on the maintainers ML for
polling interest on inclusion in the next dev version. Would you agree?

As to the long variable name, I think I saw that on Windows.

As regards my remark in comment #31: 
For uniform character arrays and cellstr arrays, I think quotes do not need to
be shown around char variables in cells. That would only be required for mixed
numeric/char cell arrays (e.g.,  {uint32(1), "1"}). 
I. m aware that editing individual cells (individual characters) would require
some attention then as quotes wouldn't be required in char/cellstr arrays but
are needed in mixed-type arrays.
(My main motive here is that I'd like to limit use of screen space for
redundant info, e.g., lots of double quotes in char strings.)

Below are some findings with the new patch on Linux (64b Mageia-4) where I
could quickly build & test (Windows will take longer). I think most of it is
small things:

For variables already shown in Variable Editor, "apply"-ing the default row
height setting doesn't work, nor does "Plus font height" setting, Closing the
tab + renewed "open in variable editor" works fine though.

The "By Column | Uniform" Autofit preference neither works on row height (or I
overlooked/missed the effect), nor is this setting persistent - the Variable
Editor prefs pane always comes up with "By Column".

"Use terminal font" could be grayed out if it is unchecked (?)

The Toolbar size setting works perfectly.
(On Linux) 8 pt is really too small; 12 pt is like "Small" icon size in
General tab, 24  matches "Normal", 32 matches "Large" icon size. Can this
simply be linked to the General tab Icon size settings (also in the
Preferences pane), please? If so this setting could be removed from the VarEd
prefs pane.
I'll report later this weekend on how it looks on Windows.

Am I right to conclude that the row height setting applies to the space under
the text? it looks like cell contents are consistently "top-adjusted" in

Maybe nested cell contents had better be shown as "cell <dimensions>" within a
Variable Editor cell, rather than attempting to display their contents. I
suppose this will tackle the following issue (and perhaps could aid in making
structs display in the V.E. easier as well):

Double clicking a nested cell array comprising just one cell doesn't work,
steps to reproduce:
>> c = {1, 2; 3, {"text"}}
c =
  [1,1] =  1
  [2,1] =  3
  [1,2] =  2
  [2,2] =
    [1,1] = text

Now open c in variable editor and double-click cell (2, 2) =>
>> parse error:

  invalid constant left hand side of assignment

>>> {
  [1,1] = text

Compare with:
>> d = {1, 2; 3, {"text11", "text12"}}
d =
  [1,1] =  1
  [2,1] =  3
  [1,2] =  2
  [2,2] =
    [1,1] = text11
    [1,2] = text12

where double-clicking cell (2,2) just works fine.

Another issue:

a = {1 2; "text", [10, 20; 30 40]}

as first stmt after starting Octave with "Autofit" set to "Uniform", and then
displaying variable a in the variable editor, Octave crashed consistently when
double-clicking cell (2,2). However, later on I couldn't reproduce this

"Clear" in the context menu for cells in fact means "set to zero". I saw that
when editing char strings: clearing one char sets it to 0. Same for numerical
input and nested cell array contents.
This could be deceiving, at least merits some discussion IMO. Perhaps chars
had better be reset to space rather than 0? or individual chars in a
1x<length> string, and individual cells in a cell array, should be cleared to
"empty" (effectively be deleted). I'll check what Matlab does.

After entering 'a = {1 2; "text", [10, 20; 30 40]}' and opening a in the
variable editor, then double-clicking cell a(2,2), a new tab opens with the
2x2 double array in a(2,2). Now, clearing a{2,2} in tab "a" doesn't update the
other tab contents for a{2,2} - that only happens when displaying it in the
command line terminal (by e.g., typing "a").

OK, 'nuff comments for now :-)

Later today I'll start an mxe Windows (cross)build + put it on Dropbox, when
finished I'll post the link here.


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