[Aptitude-devel] Bug#613794: aptitude: cursor position in textfields. Usability improvement.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 19:42:02 UTC 2015

Control: tags -1 + moreinfo
Control: retitle -1 aptitude: consider setting cursor position at the end of text fields (e.g. search box)

Hi Antonio,

2011-02-17 10:15 Antonio Ospite:
>Package: aptitude
>Version: 0.6.3-3.2
>Severity: wishlist
>maybe we can improve the cursor position in textfields (search box, limit
>display box): currently it is always at the _beginning_ of textfields, even
>when there is text in them already.
>Here is how aptitude behaves now:
> 1. Open the Search box (For example with the '/' key)
> 2. Insert some text and press OK
> 3. Open the Search box again, the cursor is shown at the _beginning_ of the
>    previously inserted text.
> 4. To replace the text the user can:
>    a. Insert a new text directly, _replacing_ the current one altogether
>    b. Use the right arrow key to put the cursor at the end of the text and
>       use Backspace to delete it (Del/Canc does not seem to work).
>I observed myself doing 4b. most of the time (I should really say "always"),
>and moving the cursor is kind of annoying.
>However, if it was decided that the cursor has to be shown at the _end_ of the
>text box then 4a. would not be look right either, the user would expect to
>_append_ new characters to the text when inserting something new.
>Bottomline, I propose to put the cursor at the _end_ of the text in textfields
>and only allow to delete the text with backspace, in order to follow what IMHO
>are the "expectations" of most of the users.
>If the current behavior depends on ncurses and not directly on aptitude, then
>sorry for the noise.

I was never very happy about this behaviour, but now that it's been like
that for more than a decade, I am not sure if it's a good idea to change
it, breaking the assumptions of users.

Thus marking as +moreinfo to give it some consideration about what to

Also, if you haven't discovered that yet, note that you can use keys
"End" and shortcut "Control-e" (as in emacs, bash, etc) to go to the end
of the line, or "Home" and "Control-a" to move to the beginning.

"Control-u" removes the line from the beginning to the position of the
cursor, and "Control-k" from the current position until the end of the
line.  Possibly other shortcuts work as well.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo at gmail.com>

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