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Re: Are configuration & UI better in 4.2?

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  • Subject: [mg36842] Re: [mg36824] Are configuration & UI better in 4.2?
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh at>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 04:34:50 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On Fri, 27 Sep 2002, fjolsvit wrote:

> As an example, I spent several hours trying to figure out how to tell
> Mathematica to understand the delete key in the way most contemporary
> systems understand it.  I wanted to avoid modifying system
> configuration files such as:
> /usr/local/mathematica/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/TextResources/
> I expected to be able to change something in my own ~/.Mathematic
> directory, but I could not figure out an obvious way to affect this
> modification.

If you could post a precise description of what you expect the Delete key
to do when depressed, we could probably provide you with a clear cut
answer of what needs to be done.

> I want to adjust the font size used in the widgets, but again, I see
> no ovbious means of modifying these attributes.  I suspect it can be
> accomplished by modifying the ~/.Mathematica/4.1/FrontEnd/init.m.
> Perhaps to an experienced Mathematica user, the syntax and semantics
> of this file are obvious.  They aren't to me.

The size of fonts in user interface elements is not specified through the
Mathemtica init.m file.  It is set through an X resource.  If you are not
familiar with resources, you may want to track down an introductory text
on the X Window System.  Information on application-specific resource
settings can be found in the Mathematica Getting Started Guide:

The setting that you would need to adjust is XMathematica*fontList.  The
value of the resource is an X Logical Font Description field.

> I also find the overall look & feel of the interface to be archaic.

That's because Mathematica relies on the Motif library for user interface

The appearance of these elements, such as the menu and scroll bars, would
be the same for any other Motif application, such as the DDD debugger or
releases of Netscape prior to verison 4.

P.J. Hinton
User Interface Programmer                         paulh at
Wolfram Research, Inc.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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