[IPython-User] autoscrolling in html notebook

Chris Laumann claumann@physics.harvard....
Fri Jan 27 18:31:13 CST 2012

Hi All-

Just a few thoughts as a user here. I think having cell level focus (with a good visual indicator) and keyboard level focus are extremely useful, and having a quick key like escape to switch back and forth between them is critical for efficient keyboard driving. A few examples:

OmniOutliner does precisely this using the escape key to toggle keyboard to cell and back. Omni products really differentiate themselves on ease of use combined with efficiency for power users and outliner is a great example of how the visual interface makes it easy to tell at a glance which mode you're in and what you can do.

In VI, escape gets to command mode but then you have to know some crazy VI keyboard-fu in order to get back into insert mode (by which I mean, how to type 'i', 'R', 'r', 'o' or whatever depending on where you want to drop the insertion cursor). This is too complicated and not easy to learn. 

Mathematica allows you to move the cursor BETWEEN cells by pressing the arrow keys. This produces a horizontal bar indicating the 'cursor' position and if you start typing, you create a new cell at that position. If, from a between position, you press shift-up or shift-down, you go into cell selection mode which allows you to do multi cell execution, deletion, etc. This would probably be essentially impossible to implement within a browser.

Personally, I think the cleanest, simplest interface is provided by OmniOutliner, which is basically what F suggested a few days ago. If you haven't used it, I recommend playing with it to see how they've streamlined their keyboard control.

Best, Chris

On Jan 24, 2012, at 2:03 PM, Fernando Perez wrote:

> 2012/1/24 Brian Granger <ellisonbg@gmail.com>:
>> OK I do see that there are a number of things we could support by
>> going in this direction.  We would also need a keyboard shortcut to
>> refocus the editor of the currently selected cell.  This will be quite
> I was thinking Enter could do that, if we can get the outside cell
> focus (blue/gray thicker outline) to move around with the scrolling.
>> a bit of work to get right though.  Let's open an issue for it and
>> continue there.
> Sounds good.
> Cheers,
> f
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