[Oberon] Editing multiple files together.

Chris Glur easlab at absamail.co.za
Fri Nov 20 05:14:24 MET 2009

I must comment on this frequent observation of mine, which frustratingly no-one
else ever mentions. This applies to any non-trivial task, but my example here is:
'how to allocate macro-strings to eg. function-keys under linux'.

So after painfull search, I get to some documentation:-
     The default key-bindings may be changed with an  inputrc  file.   Other
       programs that use this library may add their own commands and bindings.

Now to analyse this single paragragh [of the 500 of the document], you need to
1. locate file inputrc;   2. open/view file inputrc 
which leads to 3 further questions, each needing their own file/S to be viewed.

So, you ALWAYS quickly run into an explosion of files which need to be cross
referenced. Of course if you've got a photographic memory, there's no problem.
If not, you need to skip between the files, while extraction info, which you
assemble to make the target-file which describes how to do the task.

So under linux [& I can't imagine WINx would be better], I need 4 to 6 terminals,
each open with the contents of a text-file [typically a manual or data] and try
to cutNpaste: documentation, data, test results to a 'file of final knowledge'!

Obviously this is a nightmare, and remarkably S3/V4 solved this problem decades
ago by their tiled-window-frames-scheme. Even the often recurring situation where
the man states "bla..bla..as show below under ding-dong"; so you need to keep sight
[or place - like a hyperlink] of the current text while skipping down to <ding-dong>
and then returning. As we know this is simple with S3/V4. 

A 'compulsary dimension' is the N texts which must be simultaneously open.
A further 'dimension' that S3/V4 offers is colour [and even font].
The ease with which related text-stretches can be similarly coloured adds power too.
For deeply nested <IF-THEN-ELSE>s, I've found that my statement-auto-colouring tool
allows the structure to 'jump out at you'.

Isn't it absurd that if I've got 'heavy tasks' under linux, I have to switch to
ETH-Oberon under linux to help with the cognitive load ?

How did the beautifull simplicity-with-power of S3/V4 come about ?!
Was it inspired by Wirth's philosophy?

== Chris Glur.

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