Author Topic: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?  (Read 8508 times)

NightStorm

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How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« on: July 02, 2007, 08:34:16 pm »
SlickEdit vs 11.0.2


On the "Auto-Complete" tab of "Tools->Options->File Extension Setup" I have "Enable auto-completion" (plus all its sub-options) completey unchecked for editing "c" files.  Everything is turned off.  Despite this SlickEdit continues to propose completions.  Furthermore it "helps" me by changing what I type for a member to whatever is first in the list.  So my editing frequently goes something like this:

I type:
      ptr->

Here SlickEdit begins a lengthy process of finding the list of members of the structure that *ptr describes.

I continue:
     ptr->memberEight<space>

SlickEdit flashes up the member list, sees that I've now typed the space, and decides that what I really want is the first entry in the list.  (I am certain that it made that decision because it saw the trailing space that I typed prior to finding the matching entry in the member list.)  Thus it replaces the above with:
    ptr->memberOne

Given that I cannot disable auto-complete, my editing has become very, very frustrating.  Lots of backspacing to replace SlickEdit's "helping" hand and/or lots of trying to fool SlickEdit into not doing autocomplete.
And then there is auto-wrap (but that is another story).

Is there a way to really and truely disable Clippy this "feature"? 

Anyone? Anyone?   ;)

TIA,

     - Bruce

hs2

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 08:41:06 pm »
Uncheck the 'Auto-list members' in the (v12: Context-) Tagging tab too.
HS2

NightStorm

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 12:36:48 am »
Uncheck the 'Auto-list members' in the (v12: Context-) Tagging tab too.
HS2

YES!  Thank you.

And stupid me.  It never dawned on me to look at the "Tagging" tab .. I thought it was an Auto-Complete function!

         - Bruce

Russ

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2007, 08:25:16 am »
I've been having some similar bother.

I've unchecked "completion on space" and "auto-insert matching parameter" but if I type "printf(" a dropdown appears with function names in it. I then press QUOTE and start typing in a message. Slickedit matches what I'm typing to something in the list and when I press space it deletes what I've typed and replaces it with it's best match.

I then need to delete what it's done and re-type what I actually want

hs2

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2007, 02:39:09 pm »
I think that (parameter) codehelp should be terminated anyway when a 'string-starting' char (or the 1st string char) is typed.
However, the 'string-starting' char clearly tells that the user doesn't want to complete the current arg with any existing variable.
Could be cool if the word-autocompletion popup is displayed instead the matching arg list.

HS2

ealbers

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 12:26:43 pm »
I also hate this 'helping' slickedit does, however, I have version 11.0.2, how an I disable this 'feature'.

I'm living in editor hell, it keeps rewriting what I write, and its terrible, I can barely type anything without it actually DELETING characters I type.

In what universe does a EDITOR DELETE what a user types??  I TYPED IT, ITS GODS WORD, NO PROGRAM SHOULD CHANGE IT.

So, how do I get rid of all this garbage in 11.0.2 version?

I did
"I believe the option you are looking for is Tools --> Options --> Languages --> Application Languages --> YOUR_LANGUAGE --> Indent --> uncheck Syntax Expansion."

And it still feels it should write my code for me.
Where else is this brain dead editor setup for this crap?
Thanks


hs2

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 01:11:18 pm »
As far as I remember there are a number of coding assistance features available even in v11.
You should verify your 'File extension setup' regarding 'Code Completion' resp. 'Context Tagging'.
Note it's per extension. (I think this already applied to v11..)

HS2

BTW: I guess most SE customers payed their money exactly for the features you don't like.
Why did you pay money for a tool you don't like ? There are a lot of bare metal editors available for free ;)

Graeme

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 10:25:53 am »
As HS2 already mentioned (and also discussed previously in this thread), on the "tagging" tab of file extension setup (V11), there's several things you can turn off  - auto list members, auto list compatible values, auto insert matching parameter, auto list compatible parameters.  You probably already saw the auto completion stuff on the auto complete tab.

Graeme


Dennis

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2010, 03:18:05 pm »
This has became a recurring theme, that SlickEdit's Auto-complete is trying to help but getting in the way.

To fully appreciate and understand the situation, you have to understand why Auto-complete exists.  SlickEdit was born to help programmers write code and to help them do their work fast.  In the process, it grew a lot of separate features that help you write code fast:  Syntax Expansion, Aliases, Word Completion, Symbol Completion are all examples.

The problem is that most users didn't know these features exist.  The features were invoked through key bindings that people didn't take time to learn and thus didn't really learn about the features or how to fully utilize them.  A lot of people emailed SlcikEdit to actually ask for features which we already had.

So, Auto-complete was put together to turn light bulbs on in peoples heads and show them that SlickEdit can do more for them.  It was designed to be an reasonably unobtrusive suggestion mechanism, but given options that would let it do more than just suggest things.

One failure in the design of auto-complete was that it looked a lot like list-members and that confused people.  Another problem was that it provided some of the same services as list-members, so users thought they had to deal with the way the dealt with list-members and didn't realize that auto-complete will go away as unobtrusively as it shows up as long as you don't push it's buttons.

But the biggest failure was in the GUI, because people seem to think that turning off this mechanism which suggests competions will turn off the feature.  Telling auto-complete not to suggest syntax expansion does not turn off syntax expansion, it just tells auto-compete that you don't want to see syntax expansion suggestions, that's all.

The success of auto-complete is that it has achieved it's goal.  It made features known to people that were previously used only by power users.  The proof of that claim is this thread.  Some people might not like it, but you do know more about SlickEdit now than you did before auto-complete.

In a future release, we plan on making auto-compete be more what users expect it to be instead of what it was intended to be.  Along those lines, we plan on merging auto-list members and list-members into the auto-complete framework entirely.  We plan on changing the settings dialog so that turning off a completion suggestion in auto-complete and turning off the same feature entirely is more obvious.  I think it needs to be a drop-down with options like (Enabled and suggest completions, Enabled, Disabled, but suggest completions anyway, and Disabled entirely).

We realize that sometimes SlickEdit's completion features don't do the right thing.  It can't be perfect, but there are options to tailor it exactly to your needs.  The errors always stand out more than the successes.  Nobody notices when the competion does exactly what they want, but when it causes you to have to back up and retype, I feel your pain.

Those of you who are still on v11, you should know that auto-complete and symbol completion have been improved a lot since then.  You might just be running into old bugs with a feature that was relatively new at that time.

samiam95124

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 12:15:22 am »
I found this thread as a new SE user, going through the task of turning off all autocompletions and what-not.

I realize that the "auto complete luddites" such as I are in the minority. But I thought I would take time to explain the point of view of our small but determined tribe.

First of all, there are two kinds of people[1] in the world, those who think that "smart" editors that help you out with typing, and those who find it annoying. I will remark that I have noticed that the sheer joy of seeing the editor autocomplete syntax seems to belong mostly to beginning programmers.

However, I didn't come here to argue that point. The principle of "no help" editing is about focus. A fast typist is thinking while typing. I have been doing this for 35 years, so it is not a brag to say that I can do this while holding a conversation and looking elsewhere. I don't type letters or numbers on a keyboard, I type words. I type "newmodule". I don't think about how to spell "newmodule". I think that and type it. I type, and expect what I type to go into the editor.

Now, all of that has actually been the standard way to type long before computers. Very advanced (fast) typists will tell you this is how they work. The point of this is that advanced typists don't need direct feedback from the screen/paper. In fact, watching what you type actually slows you down. An occasional glance to see if you have accidently hit the caps lock or have your fingers on the wrong row is enough. I don't need autocompletion because it is actually faster for me to type the whole word or symbol than to have it autocompleted.

Ie., the secret to fast typing is to NOT have feedback from the screen.

Now imagine that there is a well meaning friend watching you over your shoulder. He/she is occasionally hitting keys to fix your spelling issues, typing open brackets because they are what comes next, etc. The net result is that you have to slow down. It is because it is less predictable. You don't know if you actually got what you typed. You don't know if perhaps the computer is waiting at a prompt "is one of these symbols what you really wanted?". In short, it forces you to look at and react to the screen, the exact opposite to what they used to teach you in typing school.

Now I don't mind turning off all the autocomplete features. I do mind (and end up discarding) programs that don't allow them to be turned off. However, what I, and typists like me REALLY need is just one switch:

[ ] Do not type for me or enter into "modes" without being asked.

Ie., go ahead and flash interesting status messages, put up lists next to what I am typing of alternate symbols, or whatever else you want. I can ignore them and others can use them. However, the minute the editor starts typing for me, or enters into a "mode" without being asked, it means that my flow is interrupted. A good example of a mode is a spelling corrector ("this word is not in the dictionary, change it yes/no?").

[1] There are two kinds of people in the world: those people who insist on dividing people into two classes, and everyone else :-)

hs2

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 01:19:53 am »
@samiam95124: That's a very good posting and explanation of your and maybe others way of thinking.
I really admire black belt typists like you. My skills in that field are rather poor to be honest.
However, thanks to SE I'm usually faster in getting things done than others who can just type faster than me. But that could be a current, local observation.
In addition when it comes to complex work e.g. dealing with large, legacy libs containing a huge number of classes, multi-level inheritance, etc. it'd take me 1000 times longer to finish my work without sophisticated coding support SE provides.
I can't simply remember all classes and their members exactly. But it helps a lot to select from a (correct) list.
Along with that it's sometimes not applicable to use the build tools to fix the related kind of issues.

Finally my personal experience is that I need much more time to think about what I'm going to do than to do it. With or without help from an editor..
Maybe it's all driven by the kind of work we do which requires different techniques/strategies to be successful.
I usually try to avoid to divide people into classes because it's always wrong ;)
I just tried to add my point of view which is a bit different.

HS2

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 03:00:41 pm »
As I am so fond of telling my wife, it's only "help" if I want it. We've been talking a lot about how to support both kinds of users. While you can shut off most of our "helpful" features, you have to do quite a bit of searching to do so. Though it won't be in v16, we are looking at grouping those features together onto a single options page with a way to shut them all off, or any combination, very quickly.

We're also looking at the way features like Dynamic Surround work. We've discussed whether it should use common keys like Up and Down arrow or if it should use Ctrl-Up and Ctrl-Down instead.

Sometimes our choices have been driven by trying to make the feature more obvious, so users would know it is there. However, I think we can leverage the new Notifications system to provide tips and suggestions that let you know we have something that can help. For example, when you type "if" followed by a space, SlickEdit inserts the rest of the if statement. Instead, we could pop up a notification at that moment and let you know that we could complete the if and provide a link to enable that feature.

Please keep the feedback coming. We want SlickEdit to be able to run the way YOU want it to so that it supports YOUR style of working. 

ealbers

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 12:22:42 pm »
The problem is, I code without looking at the screen, so I'll type say 5 or 6 lines of code without even looking at the editor screen, but when SE decides in its infinite wisdom to start modifying what I type, this presents a huge issue, as all the code I typed is now 'helped' to be wrong, extra }'s, )'s ('s IF's added crazy stupid stuff which people who cannot type, or cannot code apparently 'want' in an editor, I suppose I could hire someone to spoon my soup into my mouth too.

So the default for an editor should be to only do what you tell it to, no more, no less.
Features such as auto-feedme soup should be OFF by default, not ON, MOST people do NOT need help feeding themselves, or typing into a computer, when they type over 120 words a minute.

I've been using slickedit for many years, its when I re-install it on a new computer I have to wage this battle AGAIN and again!  Every few years, upgrade computer, install SE, and bang, more and more solving of problems I don't have.
If there was another editor which had brief emulation with tiled windows, I'd be using it.

God help me if I ever "Upgrade", I can only imagine all the problems I don't have being solved by the latest 'version'.

Hey, theres an idea, why not have new 'version' REMOVE features???

I mean, you've spent all these years ADDING things which solve problems people DON't have, why not spend a few versions removing the bloat?

I'd pay for a new version with LESS junk!
Would love a nice SE version 3.0 without the old bugs, and without all the new 'features'.

Guess I could offer to pay McDonalds for a smaller size drink cup, same chance of happening.
More features is NOT good, look at MS Word, best version was like 10 years ago, current version has to hide all the 'helpful addon's' just so people can figure out how to use the thing.

Heres a hint how to tell when you have too many features:

IF YOUR OPTIONS DIALOG NEEDS A SEARCH FEATURE....you have too many options.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 12:41:39 pm by ealbers »

mwb1100

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 06:09:51 pm »
Guess I could offer to pay McDonalds for a smaller size drink cup, same chance of happening.

You know that McDonalds charges $1 for any size of their soft drinks? Small, medium, or large - they're all $1.

On a more serious note, it's a common perception that only 10% or so (0% in some cases?) of the features of a complex program are really necessary.  The other 90-100% are useless fluff.

What makes this a difficult problem for the software vendor is that the set of features that fall into the important 10% is different for different users.

When I upgrade SE it seems to pull forward pretty much all of my settings customization, which is what should happen.  However, getting a fresh install configured correctly can be a challenge.  Presumably settings export/import should help with that problem (though I'll admit that I don't use it enough to know how well it really works).

byates

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Re: How can I keep SlickEdit from "Helping" me?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 02:50:21 pm »
I have been using SE forever and I find the auto complete features one of the most important reasons to use SE. Just as hs2 said, correct use of these features means I am more productive than any coder I have ever worked with (from a code input point of view).  It's disingenuous to say SE has been adding features that that solve problems people don't have and it is arrogant (and incorrect) to state that people who use these features need help feeding themselves.  The world is a big place and there are many different types of people and languages that SE supports.  A simpler mechanism to turn off features and more reliable import processes is always welcome but try not to act like a spoiled child when asking for it.