Categorizing in Straw

I've been working on adding feed categories into Straw for the last two weeks or so. Well, for a few evenings during the last two weeks.

I first attacked the problem with the traditional(?) hierachy. We have a tree widget for the feeds anyway, so it was just a question of adding the hierarchy. I got pretty far with it, it displayed the hierachy, you could open and close branches and it would remember their status, and you could drag things around (this thread was immensely helpful when hacking on the d'n'd stuff.) At least it mostly worked for me, even though I heard some conflicting reports :-)

Naturally by the next morning I had in the back of my head a different approach to the problem. I've never much liked navigating tree views — yes I'd love to see a column view in Nautilus — and hierachies are a bit restricting, aren't they?

At first I was just pointing out the possibilities for discussion, but by next evening I had decided to do it. Multiple categories per feed, no category hierarchy, one category visible at a time.

Savannah being sort of dead at the moment has put bit of a damper on progress, but still, it's starting to look sort of working, even though it'll still need quite a bit of love before 0.22. There are still things broken, unfinished, or working non-intuitively, but the categories are sort of

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Scheming for freecell

I didn't really feel like starting work on Straw's subscription categories today, so I was procrastinating playing freecell. Then I got once again annoyed by the fact that the Aisleriot freecell doesn't support supermove, so I decided to fix that instead. I think that was the first time I did anything in Scheme beyond a hello world (so the patch isn't big, but I needed a bit more code to create an initial deal to make testing things fast.) Gotta love Aisleriot, it was just so much nicer than it would have been had it been in C.

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Argh. PCL-CVS (2_9_9, comes with Debian's XEmacs package) is giving me Connection refused to Savannah when plain old CVS works just fine, even from a shell buffer. Can't figure out why.


Oh well, it works from GNU Emacs. Maybe time to switch Emacs families once again, I've been now three years or so with XEmacs, that's about as long as I usually stick with one of them.

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Flew to Lisbon early Friday morning with coworkers, saw some sights, got plenty drunk and afterwards a two day long splitting headache caused by neck pain (luckily painkillers helped at least the first day), ate several servings of absolutely lousy food (you get the idea that the Portuguese aren't big on vegetarianism), thought the city was really beautiful, was extremely happy to get back home at midnight yesterday.

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Burden of history

It's true that users shouldn't have to know how things like the X Window System clipboard/selection mechanism works. But really, they don't have to: as the documents points out, users are really expected to use the CLIPBOARD mechanism which works pretty much like clipboards on the competing platforms and live happily without the select/middle click thingy. Jarno, you only have this problem because even without an unix beard, you've been using these things long enough to know the PRIMARY selection mechanism.

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I expect Jarno has heard about this already, but just to nitpick a bit: in X Window System, selecting a piece of text does not normally copy it to the clipboard, despite this being a widely-held belief. Or well, it does, but it's not the only clipboard, and in X parlance, it's usually called the PRIMARY selection. There are three standard selections: PRIMARY, SECONDARY and CLIPBOARD.

To copy things to "the" clipboard — the CLIPBOARD selection, that is — you usually have to invoke an explicit copy operation, typically via the menu choice Edit -> Copy (or your localized equivalent) or via a keyboard shortcut, typically Ctrl-C. You might notice some similarities to certain other systems. And the same goes for the opposite actions: middle clicking only pastes the PRIMARY selection. To paste the contents of the clipboard, Edit -> Paste or Ctrl-V is typically the way.

For more information, see the explanation at

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