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front end complaint (ui design flaw?)

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg55539] front end complaint (ui design flaw?)
  • From: Chris Chiasson <chris.chiasson at>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 03:16:45 -0500 (EST)
  • Reply-to: Chris Chiasson <chris.chiasson at>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Example workflow:
Type an expression containing a comma into an input cell, say:

Decide that the name of the expression should be different, perhaps to
differentiate it from some other data. Imagine that this same
expression occurs twenty times in the remainder of the notebook.
Decide that the find/replace command in the notebook should be useful

Highlight the text, hit ctrl+c. Use the keyboard to move the cursor to
a position above the cell. Hit ctrl+f. Erase whatever may be in the
find box. Hit shift+insert to paste the expression. Note that the
expression has a space after the comma (probably for readability when
pasting to another application).

Guess what? The find command doesn't work because the pasted
expression does not match the copied expression. eg
mydata[run1,paramB] =!= mydata[run1, paramB]

Lets continue....

Suppose that the user had not moved the cursor after the copy.
Pressing the find button will "work" because the copied text is
already selected. Let's suppose that the user also pastes the
expression into the replace cell and modifies it. After that, perhaps
the user hits "Replace All"... The first selection (the one that was
copied) will be replaced, but none of the other ones in the notebook
will be replaced.

I think you could see how this can out of hand... At this point, the
first occurrence of mydata[run1,paramB] might be changed to
mydata[run1, paramB,typeC], while all other occurrences are unchanged.

Solution? I dunno. A quick hack would be to check the target of the
paste (if that's possible). If the target is the find box, then the
paste should be the exact text.

me = Mathematic 5.0 on Windows

Chris Chiasson
Kettering University
Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Student
1 810 265 3161

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