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Re: search and replace problems

From: Tom Cloyd <emdrportal@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 04:28:20 -0800
Message-ID: <40584464.9050909@earthlink.net>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Amaya Discussion List <www-amaya@w3.org>

Charles, Irene, and List:

Irene - thanks for explaining to me why this problem exists. I "get it" 
now. Of course, the problem remains. *MY* problem is that I am wanting 
Amaya to do as much for me in the arena of web page source code 
development and management as possible. I love this program already for 
what it can do for me in this area.

I'm slowly developing a suite of open-source software and procedures for 
web page development and management which I'm hoping I can then use to 
teach my peers in professional mental to develop and manage their own 
web pages. These are smart people who often are NOT particularly 
engineers by temperament, but who could truly benefit from access to the 
great power of the Internet as a content publication technology.

If we cannot make the process more accessible for these people, they are 
relegated to being mere observers. This is a tragedy. The W3C needs, in 
my opinion, to give less time to developing elegant sophisticated 
technologies for things people are hardly doing at present and probably 
do not greatly need to do, and more time to solving this accessibility 
problem. I can live a long time without scalable vector graphics. I die 
tomorrow on the Internet if I cannot easily and quickly update the text 
content and format of my web page. Right now it's only relatively easy 
if I have access to a good WYSIWYG source code editor. I can pay 
hundreds of dollars for one (and I do own two copies of Dreamweaver) or 
I can use Amaya and a couple of other programs. I'm promoting the second 
solution, because it's simply a door more people will walk through. It's 
a more accessible solution.

Part of web site management is being able to make changes across 
multiple lines of code (and yes, across multiple files) using a find and 
replace function. Right now, since Amaya doesn't reliably allow me to do 
this, I use the marvelous open source text editor jEdit (see SourceForge 
for the binary module), and it works fine. However, NO program I can 
find outside of Dreamweaver allows me to do search and replace **across 
multiple lines of code**. I *can* do this in jEdit as soon as I learn 
how to use regular expressions better than I can at present. In this 
area, also vital to web site management, Amaya appears to simply be "out 
of the race".

But, as Charles points out, the need remains.

In software development, history continually shows us that functionality 
tends to get developed before usability. It's rare for developers to 
carefully assess user needs and THEN respond directly. That, indeed, is 
the topic of concern (but with products, not software), for Jakob 
Nielsen's website column this week

I know that this post has been wide-ranging and a bit tangential. But 
the point I have to make is that Amaya lives or dies in relation to the 
degree to which it meets user needs - unless, of course, it is "vanity 
software"--some kind of project done primarily to please its developers 
and offered to the world only as a second priority. To the degree that 
this is the case, IF IT IS AT ALL, it is not, of course, illegitimate. 
It's just a different thing, and if its what it takes to get the 
development to occur at all, then I personally can live with it.

I do want to make an appeal, however, to the notion that there is 
something glorious about really being helpful to a group of people who 
in turn help other people. If Amaya helps ME help some of my peers to do 
their work better, then it's having a serious effect on this corner of 
the world, and this is no small achievement.

To that end, I will continue to hope that this program gets ever better. 
I use it every day, and expect to continue doing so. I will soon be 
promoting it to an organization that has several thousand members, many 
of whom would love to have web pages but find the technology 
intimidating. I love what Amaya can presently do, and hope for continued 
development. I hope that improved search and replace functionality is 
part of that development, and NOW you know why I hope this!

Irene, I continue to marvel at, and appreciate, your involvement with 
and contributions to this list. For that, and your excellent work on 
Amaya, I thank you.


> On Wed, 17 Mar 2004, Irene Vatton wrote:
>>On Sat, 13 Mar 2004 04:59:58 -0800
>>Tom Cloyd <emdrportal@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>I continue to have serious problems with search and replace in HTML
>>>source files. Basically, I simply can't get it to work reliably. Yes,
>>>edit mode is on when this happens. I wish that were the problem (no edit
>>>mode) but it isn't.
>>>I just tried to find all instances of ">tool<" and do either a replace
>>>on request or an automatic replace, "in the whole document", such that
>>>the string becomes ">page tools<". There were at least four instances of
>>>   the search string in the file, but Amaya told me it couldn't find any.
>>Due to the coloration, the searched text is within 3 different elements ">"
>>"tool" and "<". To be able to do that we need to change radically the search
>>algorithm. One other solution would be to remove the coloration on request.
> Having to understand that Amaya has some interenal mechanism for colouring
> source code that breaks its ability to search across colours is not very
> intuitive for users. I think a much better solution is to change the search
> algorithm so it can search across element boundaries and find text as
> it is rendered in a particular view.
> just my personal opinion
> Chaals


Tom Cloyd, M.S., M.A., L.M.H.C
Psychotherapist in private practice
Spokane, WA, U.S.A: (509) 475-9617, (800) 841-4424
Governing Board, EMDR Resource Cooperative
"EMDR Portal" website --  http://www.EMDRPortal.com
Received on Wednesday, 17 March 2004 07:28:32 UTC

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