My name is Steven L., I live in Rome / Island of Giglio, Italy, and I work as a translator of movie scripts (from Italian to English).
I know a lot about editing. So much in fact, that though not a programmer, I'm going to "conceptually" make the best editor on planet earth for flat screens (phablets and tablets).
One that will not only outperform the present methods, but transcend them. An editing method with a very slight learning curve, a no-brainer, more a matter of "getting the hang of it" than mastering heavens knows what arcane technology.
Okay, here we go:
HOW TO MAKE EDITING
ON FLATSCREENS FASTER
William Shakespeare highlights text and then hits Backspace.
Then a monkey who's been sipping Sangria all day does the same thing.
What happens in both cases?
In both cases the value just beyond the tippy-tippy end of the highlighting (no matter what it is) gets connected to the cursor position.
EVERY SINGLE TIME
Therefore we may say that highlighting to delete is connective in its blind mechanics.
But what is the difference between Shakespeare's act and the monkey's?
A famous French philosopher
would assert that there is no difference
but 9 out of 10 rabbis would agree
That Shakespeare ends the highlighting where he does precisely because he WANTS TO CONNECT to the value just beyond the tippy-tippy end of the highlighting.
So now we see that highlighting to delete is connective in its blind mechanics for both man and beast but, with the possible exclusion of French Philosophers, connective in its pondered purpose...
The Microsoft Anomaly
God is in the details
(and so is Bill Gates)
I'm now going to point your attention to something which is apparently insignificant (surely a bit philosophical and nerdy)
but trust me,
the Microsoft Anomaly is what is preventing our editing experience on the handhelds from being easy, fun, precise and productive
Why does one go through the trouble of highlighting text? Principally for 4 reasons (of course I'm generalizing).
1. To format - that is, to prettify deserving text that will live on in the final document.
2. To copy and paste - that is, to repeat deserving text that will live on in the final document.
3. To cut and paste - that is, to better position deserving text that will live on in the final document.
4. To kill, dump, obliterate, destroy, annihilate undeserving text that obviously will NOT live on in the final document.
Notice the anomaly? We are forced to lavish the same attention on the garbage as the deserving words - the gems.
Let keen eye maneuver pudgy finger to drag small handle over teensy text until the glow is
just right and then... destroy!!!
(kinda like being forced to polish a vase before smashing it with a sledgehammer)
In cases 1,2,3 above, the operator is interested in the text he has bothered to highlight.
In case 4 instead, the operator is NOT AT ALL INTERESTED.
In fact the highlighting can be construed as an indicator pointing to the ONLY thing he is interested in: the value immediately OUTSIDE the highlighting.
splinter Kleenex guardrail whippersnapper tear Boeing shoebox→Christmas
Jack and Jill
splinter Kleenex guardrail whippersnapper tear Boeing shoebox→went up the hill
All the text INSIDE the highlighting is quite literally garbage that needs to be removed IN ORDER TO CONNECT
So at present when we highlight to delete, we are most definitely connecting, but the process happens by garbage disposal...
We begin the highlighting at the very beginning of the "bad stuff" (what we need to eliminate) and we end the highlighting at the very end of the "bad stuff" and then we hit backspace.
Compared to the ease of selection on regular computers, with their big physical keyboards, mice and function keys, highlighting text on the flat screens (tablets and phablets) is such a big drag, such a deterrent to happy and easy editing, that this negativity engendered a whole new gadget industry: EXTERNAL KEYBOARDS.
External keyboards on a mobile device? Hey whatever floats your boat... but remember that along with that extra gadget you're also connecting yourself to a chair and table.
No doubt Ikea is happy, but are you?
Kindly follow my reasoning a second
If highlighting to delete is ALWAYS connective in its mechanics (even for drunken monkeys) and, except for "bulk" deletions connective in its purpose, then why not just connect directly to the desired value, WITHOUT fussing over the garbage words?
HERE'S THE THING:
when editing is focused
and you highlight to delete
isn't WHAT YOU WANT
just beyond the highlighting?
It had better be, 'cause like it or not,
that's what you're gonna get
EACH & EVERY TIME!!
So instead of selecting the FULL LENGTH
of the garbage -
by literally CARESSING it with a finger
up to and excluding what you want
and then hitting Backspace
CALL WHAT YOU WANT
TO THE CURSOR
and by connecting,
allow the deletion to take care of itself?
Give me a button, please!
No, wait, kindly make that two buttons!
Okay... imagine working on a portable flat screen device with an irate editor breathing down your neck. You compose the following paragraph:
The man in charge was a tall and proud-looking figure, extremely elegant in his handmade suit... none other than the future president of the United States, George Washington.
The editor snarls: "Never mind the nonsense, just give me the dirt! The man in charge was... ??!!"
Starts with a "W"
Okay, normally I would highlight up to and EXCLUDING the "W" of Washington... Now instead, I will call that "W" of Washington to the Cursor.
The man in charge was W[§]
a tall and proud-looking figure, extremely elegant in his handmade suit... none other than the future president of the United States, George Washington.
Whoa! - Lucky shot! - in this case, you erased 22 words with a "tap-BAM!"
Two finger "exertions"... The first a "W" for "Washington" from the keyboard and the second a tap on [§] - the "connect" button I would like to see implemented as an option on a txt editor's extra keyboard row.
The [§] button checks the value immediately to the left of the cursor, and then cancels to the right up to and including that same value, case insensitive.
With iA Writer, the app store's best-selling editing program, (no doubt because of a highlighting system that does away with finger-painting), the same task would have required 28 taps on four different buttons.
2 taps on SHIFT (also CapsLock) to enter selection mode
23 taps on forward word select to highlight up to and including "George".
1 tap on forward character select to also highlight the space before "Washington".
1 tap on Backspace to delete
1 concluding tap on SHIFT to get out of selection mode or else everything you write will be in CAPITAL LETTERS.
Think about it: just to get started, iA Writer required 2 taps on shift. In that same time span and expenditure of effort "connective editing" completed the task.
Oh no no no!
Wait a minute here!!!!... UNDO!!
The man in charge was George Washington...
Have [§] deliver George!
How many taps to reach George? I don't know... (who's counting G's?) all I know is that hitting [§] after tapping in a "G" will inescapably deliver George to me.
[§] is absolutely simple and faithful! [§] will bring EVERY "G" or "g" to me.
Not much of a learning curve, is there? The concept is quite similar to calling contacts on a cell phone.
The man in charge was G[§]
a tall and proud-lookin g fi g ure, extremely ele g ant in his handmade suit... none other than the future president of the United States, George Washington.
In this case, the "effort" count turns out to be:
The insertion of a "G" from the keyboard
4 taps on [§].
For a total of 5 finger exertions.
How long did it take [§]?
Half a second? With my finger "monkey-tapping" on the same button, the process was easy and lazy... and with each tap, I saw "George" come bounding to the cursor position where I wanted it.
Hey George! George!!!
But wait! There's BOOSTER MODE
To be continued
Edited by Giannutri, 28 July 2017 - 11:17 AM.