Re: Thoughts on combo replacement

Following up on Owen's mail..

1. I personally require the ability to select multiple items in the List. The premise is, the contents of the Text widget gets populated with the string value of the items selected, separated by commas (which obviously should be changeable via API) 2. The current API brings down the popup window/List when you select an item. If you are to be allowed to select more than one item, you need a distinct event to trigger off of to popdown. A button. Heaven help us, it's ASCII art time :-)

| Choice 1            |
| CHOICE 2            |
| CHOICE 3            |
| CHOICE 4            |
| Choice 5            |
||        OK         ||

(Wherein the elements you chose, I represent in all-caps. And that thing above the popup window is the text widget and it's pull-down button.)

What this means is that prior to pop-up, but after button press, you have to inspect the current contents of the text widget, and hilight items in the List which have been chosen. A good place to put a callback to allow for dynamic population of the List. As someone who has used such callbacks in the past, I can only warn you that the GUI design's robustness goes to hell rapidly. (Imagine the List dynamically populated by database queries).

I rather do like the ability to specify the type of container in the popup window: GtkExtra's use of image buttons in a grid is appropriate in Gnumeric, word processors. Composites, such as check buttons, and text/images are useful. But, that means that the "return" widget (a Text Entry in the current ComboBox) needs to be genericized, so it can be an image button, TextEntry, whatever...

As far as my Text widget that has multiple values in it, well, there are many circumstances where a question has several answers, none of whom of mutually exclusive. E.g., from real estate, they ask you whether you made improvements to a property. Yes, you installed new carpet, painted the walls, fixed the driveway. The user of the data knows from experience that the number of "yes" answers are finite -- maybe two out of a range of 20 possible choices, and they rather see and deal with the information flattened down into a single column than 20 yes/no prompts. Why fight them? It's a lot like SQL "SET" column...

Anyway, assuming I customize Combo to behave as I propose above, should it be a different widget ("MultiCombo")? Should it hide in GtkExtra? (Why, when it's full of cool spreadsheet and graphing widgets?) Should I hope it gets thrown into the Combo redesign? Suggestions...

Since I need something for 1.2 now, I may put it together in an GtkExtra-like package so it can be poked at without disturbing the other widgets...

____               .:.                 ____
Bryan W. Headley - bwheadley earthlink net

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