Text Chaining = Text Sharing
In my last post I described what I thought were necessary properties of an implementation of text chaining. The following seems to be a natural consequence of those observations: given a chain of boxes, we need that editing in each of them is global to the whole text in the chain. We do not only need that changes in one single text box propagate through the other boxes, but also that any type of selection (and most other user actions) is extended to the text in the whole chain. For example, if the user presses Ctrl-a in any of the boxes in the chain we expect to see the text in all the boxes to be selected (instead of a "local" behavior that selects only the portions in the box in focus).
With this perspective in mind, here is an attempt for a plan of attack:
- Week 1 (from May 25 to My 29): Experimenting. My goal is to have a pointer that moves seamlessly though boxes as if it were just the same box.
- Weeks 2 & 3 (from June 1 to June 12):Make boxes share the whole text (paragraph-wise). We should have that behavior as selection should be global to boxes in the chain (adding and removing text? Maybe, that might be more complicated though). Also, we expect to have this with boxes having chunks of the global text that are whole paragraphs (since this seems simpler than more fine grained breaks).
- Week 4 (from June 15 to June 19): Integrate overflow check and automatic transfer of text (paragraph-wise). We want editing in one box to propagate in real time in the others. Since overflow detection code from last year seems quite solid it might be feasibe to almost use it as it is. Breaks are still at level of paragraphs at this stage.
- Weeks 5 & 6 (from June 22 to July 3): Make breaks occur at word level instead of paragraph level.
The week starting July 5 can then be used for cleaning up the code to integrate it in master andfix other problems that can show on the way. If this schedule holds, this leaves several weeks to work on hyphenation in the last part of this GSoC.