[MonoDevelop] Suggested change to navigation drop-down behaviour

IBBoard ibboard at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 14:54:33 EDT 2010

Hi all,

I'm sending this email at the suggestion of Mike Krueger [1], who I've
been bombarding with bugs and suggestions for the past month or so.
Luckily he has been friendly and willing to fix/add/discuss my
suggestions, so it has been a good experience.

One suggestion that I made that Mike isn't so sure about is a change to
the behaviour of the Class/Type drop-down at the top of the editor when
the open file only contains a single class [2]. Currently, nothing is
selected in the drop-down and so you've got to pick the only class from
the list before you can pick a method/property from the second
drop-down. In the "one class per file" use case then this seems like an
extra click for no benefit.

My suggestion is that the behaviour should be to select the class that
can be unambiguously identified as the "current" class. If there are
multiple classes then that would result in the current behaviour of
selecting based on where the cursor is, or using the drop-down to poke
the event in the opposite direction. If there is only one class in the
file then there is no ambiguity between it and another class within that
file and so I think it would help usability to treat any location within
the file as being "the class" with regards what the drop-down selects.

This isn't how Mike had planned for it to be used, but I think it makes
sense in this situation. Rather than looking at as "the drop-down shows
the class your cursor is in", I'm looking at is as "the drop-down shows
the class you're working with". If there's only one class in a file then
that "class you're working with" is unambiguous and so a selection could
be made anyway. Once an extra class is added to the same file then it
should drop back to the current multiple classes in a file behaviour.

If anyone wants to test out the suggested behaviour then I've already
made and submitted a patch [3] - hopefully my description above makes
sense! Do people prefer the current behaviour and the extra click or do
people think that my suggested patch makes sense for this situation?



[1] http://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=615713#c9
[2] http://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=615713
[3] https://bugzilla.novell.com/attachment.cgi?id=370372

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