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GLOBAL styles

Hi again,

    here another thought about global options (just occured to me again
I answered Tri's recursion question): wouldn't it be nice to have a
system variable
that controls the display of messages throughout the session? I believe
there are 
some people who prefer error messages displayed as dialog boxes, while
others prefer a 
"unix like" message display in the log window. Currently this involves
two different 
routines DIALOG_MESSAGE or MESSAGE, and it is up to the programer to
decide how the user
will read what the programmer has to say. What I would have in mind is
something like
  !MESSAGE_STYLE = 0  ; leave it alone - display message as message and
                      ; as widget
  !MESSAGE_STYLE = 1  ; always use text mode
  !MESSAGE_STYLE = 2  ; always use widgets

A similar thing could be applied to things like file selection etc., but
with messages 
it really has some significance, because you need to display messages in
almost every
program (e.g. on error conditions), and somehow it seems odd to see text
based messages
while you are widgeting along (you may even miss them because you
minimize your IDLDE)
or vice versa to suddenly have modal dialog boxes pop up in a purely
text based
program. Here it can actually prevent smooth operation of large batch
jobs because the
program would halt and wait for a mouse click instead of taking some
corrective action.
And I think it is a little overkill to have a message_style keyword for
each and every 

Just a thought ...


Dr. Martin Schultz                   
Department for Engineering&Applied Sciences, Harvard University
109 Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA-02138, USA

phone: (617)-496-8318
fax  : (617)-495-4551

e-mail: mgs@io.harvard.edu
Internet-homepage: http://www-as.harvard.edu/people/staff/mgs/