Re: suggestion for frontend

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg51879] Re: suggestion for frontend*From*: David Bailey <dave at Remove_Thisdbailey.co.uk>*Date*: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 01:49:34 -0500 (EST)*References*: <cjojf1$aqp$1@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Hi, I wish someone would make the frontend API a bit more rounded. For example, although you can set the selection in a notebook, there is no way of determining EXACTLY where the selection is before you start - so you can't perform a task and leave the user with his selection unchanged. This seems to be typical of a lot of frontend functionality. A few general priciples come to mind: 1) If you can set the state of something you should also be able to read it back. 2) If there is a difficult way of achieving something - say augmenting the Mathematica menus - and support has described this to customers, why not add an easy-to-use API at the next version? 3) Programmed notebook manipulations can go wrong if the user is manipulating the notebook at the same time. It would be very valuable to be able to lock the user out (unless perhaps they abort) while a sequence of operations is performed. If there are already ways to do any of the above, I am sure someone here will supply them! David Bailey