Long Weekend Thoughts

The long Easter weekend was a good opportunity to relax and recharge a little, and of course test gemlogging via Lagrange in the terminal.


The experience of using the app in the terminal is remarkably similar to the GUI version, so much so that I find myself trying to use the mouse to click on buttons even though that isn't enabled at the moment. The differences in keybindings are also messing up muscle memory a little, but it's not too bad. It has led me to reconsider some of the default bindings, and add new ones like a binding for opening the Identity popup menu.

This is an unusually complex UI for the terminal, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's not everyone's cup of tea. A certain simplicity is expected when it comes to terminal apps. Nevertheless, text-based dialogs bring up some sweet nostalgia from the early 90s. Back then I was getting into QBasic and Borland Turbo C++ on MS-DOS...

I've got work to do with improving keyboard focus navigation. It's already much better with menus being keyboard-navigable, but there's way too much Tabbing and Shift-Tabbing around. I'll probably apply more cursor-key based navigation between UI elements, but it'll require being careful so that the normal document navigation isn't accidentally prevented. The really nice thing about this is that the GUI version will also benefit from the navigation improvements.

The text editor is passable. It's using the same input widget as the desktop GUI version, so it can do word wrapping, copy/paste, and undo. However, its current set of keybindings doesn't really conform to any common conventions. The GUI version has the typical Ctrl+C/V/X/Z, but because I want to keep Ctrl+Z as a way to suspend the app and get back to the shell, I've switched the modifier key to Meta, which in practice means Escape or Alt. Having Emacs-style bindings might be a useful option to have, though.


Thanks to the holidays I finally managed to find time to watch the Wheel of Time (Amazon Original) TV series. I've read most of the books, and at least as a teenager enjoyed them quite a bit. However, much like with Dune, I only have vague recollections of the story so it has been fun remembering the details of the world and some of the big ideas.

There is a clear sensation of being in fast forward, though, as the main plot points of the first book are sped through over eight episodes. Game of Thrones had the same feeling for me, but I suppose it's natural for TV storytelling to have an entirely different pace than a 700-800 page book. I wonder how well a viewer who hasn't read the books can grasp the importance and nuances of the events. There must've been many casual references in the dialogue that can only be understood if you've read the books.

I'm elated that so many of the scifi/fantasy books that I've been reading over the years are now being turned into expensive TV and/or film productions. Both formats, TV and books, have their strengths that highlight different parts of these worlds and stories, and it's great to be able to enjoy both.

📅 2022-04-19

🏷 Life, Lagrange

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