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[Emacspeak] Discussion: Selection Oriented Editting

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  • From: Robert Melton <lists AT>
  • To: Emacspeaks <emacspeak AT>
  • Subject: [Emacspeak] Discussion: Selection Oriented Editting
  • Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2024 15:08:25 -0400

Tim and I have been discussing this a bit off list.

Selection Oriented Editing is based on the idea that it is more clear,
obvious to sighted users if you can visually see what is selected and
then act on it. Kakoune ( did a lot of great work
in building out this model, but the core idea is you always have a
selection, even if 1 char, or multiple selections that are acted on

Meow has brought a really great version of this to Emacs and due to
the rather clever implementation, it works out of the box with Emacspeak
really well, with one huge problems.

1. How do we speak about selections?

So ideas we would have to contend with to make something like Meow
really work well is a way to speak about selections. Some things
we have to contend with:

A. What is selected?
B. Are there multiple selections?
C. If there are multiple selections how many?
D. Which are we "on", as the idea of a live cursor exists, so we could be
on selection number 3 of 8.
E. A way to gain "context" on a selection, I think of this as sort of
like, what is to the left, what is to the right, expanding, but not
even sure if this is a good idea.

I am not confident there is even a way to make this work, but I thought
it would be worth having a discussion about. Will post some of my ideas on
how to tackle these issues in a follow-up post.

To learn more about the model, check out:

An example to give a bit more clarity, lets say you had the line:

I do not lIke green eggs and ham. I do not lIke them, sam-I-am.

and you wanted to mess with the meaning, so you are on lets say
the I at the start:

hit x: select entire line
hit s: select subset
type "not": to select all instances of not
so now you have 2 selections, both the instances of not.
hit d: delete the selections
hit w: moves both cursors forward a word, selecting it (always selecting)
hit c: change the selections
type "love": change it to love

Now the line reads:

I love green eggs and ham. I do love them, sam-I-am.


If you got this far, thanks, and let me know if you have idea ideas for
how to speak, use audio icons, anything at all to make using selections
in this manner, tractable.

I am not certain there is a good solution, but I am hopeful.

Robert "robertmeta" Melton
lists AT <mailto:lists AT>

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