[wingide-users] search/replace revisited...again

David Niergarth dn at hddesign.com
Thu Apr 21 15:41:44 EDT 2005


I'll agree that I also find searching and replacing in Wing very 
frustrating and often unintuitive. I have found incremental searching 
very useful but I'm still surprised when I hit ^g/F3 and go to the next 
incremental search item rather that finding the next instance of the 
search text following where my cursor is set (especially when I end up 
in a different file -- feeling lost indeed).

I think the problem here is a conflation of the usual dialog-based 
search and replace (ala BBEdit, UltraEdit, Nedit, Jedit, etc.) with the 
very useful but novel incremental search features. My suggestion would 
be to replace the "quick search" with the standard dialog-based search 
and replace (where everything proceeds from wherever the cursor is 
currently positioned regardless of what may have been going on with the 
incremental search) and use different key bindings for the incremental 
search functions. Having the usual dialog-based search function 
available by default (i.e., using the conventional key bindings: ^f, ^g, 
F3, etc) would prevent a lot of the criticism the current setup endures.

+1 for a "search within current selection" option for all searches

+1 for making Python regex search/replaces an option for all searches 
(quick search and/or any new dialog-based searches included)

Hope this helps,


Danny Bloemendaal wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I keep complaining about the search/replace implementation. Today again, 
> I had trouble to do the most simple replacements. Why can't we get this 
> right!? It's so freaking important that this works right and right now 
> it's so far off of being useful at all.
> This is what I try to do (yep... it can't be any simpler):
> I am in a jscript function and there is a variable j I want to replace 
> with something else. My cursor is just above the line containing the 
> first 'j' I'm looking for. So, I click on the search/replace tab, select 
> Interactive Replace. Then I type in the search: field 'j'. And there it 
> happens... I jump to a totally different place in the code immediately!! 
> What the h...! Where am I? I just want to start from where I was.
> It is totally wrong to jump around while I type my search string. DON'T 
> DO THAT!!!! One of the most important things is to NEVER jump to another 
> place in the code unless the user specifically wants that and can 
> predict what will happen. Now I'm lost. In fact, in my situation here, I 
> only want to replace the 'j's in one function so what on earth makes you 
> think I want to jump to a completely other function/location??? Now I 
> have to search the code first to see my starting point again. So I click 
> the down arrows a few times until my first 'j' is highlighted.. but 
> oops.. I clicked one time too many. So, the second 'j' is selected.  And 
> then what? I jump over my first search target so...click up again? Ok I 
> click up and it selects the first 'j' I want to replace. I click Replace 
> and ...ouch... there it jumps somewhere upwards...to...yes... somewhere 
> I don't want to be again...mmm... search downwards again to ....etc..
> It's so wrong!!
> This jumping around makes me really reluctant to use search/replace at 
> all. I'm actually afraid of it. No control to do the simplest thing. I'm 
> scared I might even lose things.
> Why does it have to be this way? To begin with, TURN OF THE AUTO 
> START!!! I will tell WinG when to start searching. I will let it now 
> when I have phrased my search string. Don't touch my cursor while I am 
> thinking/typing!!!
> Then, make a visible switch/checkbox that indicates the search direction 
> (not in the options dropdown!!). When I check it, don't do anything. 
> Again: DON'T TOUCH MY LOCATION until _I_ say you can!! With this switch 
> I can alway see and predict what will happen when I click Replace.
> Sorry about my rant but I'm really frustrated. For ages, searching and 
> replacing in Wing is a big mess, a usability nightmare. And this issue 
> above is only a small part of what is wrong with this. I'd love to dive 
> more into this if you like but please please please fix this.
> Danny.
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