Text Editing and Animations

When I first started using Bike back in January, it definitely felt a little weird that the insertion point is … fluid? Not sure how else to describe it. It definitely looks cool, and it feels cool too, and it highly original and innovative. I really enjoy it just from the perspective of doing something new purely to try to make it nice. But, my first impression was also that it makes typing feel slow, even though it’s not actually any slower than standard text editing on MacOS. But there are other things about editing text in Bike with the default settings that glide that do feel nice, right out of the box, like using the arrow keys to move the insertion point around – especially for some reason moving it up and down.

I also really dig the animations for expanding/collapsing.

Once Bike got the preference settings for animation speed, I went to 2.0x, and never looked back. I’m writing this right now using 1.0x speed again (before pasting into the forum), and again, this feels like it’s making my typing slow, even though I know it isn’t. I’m glad the prefs are there, and I don’t mind changing them myself, but Jesse, it might be a “first impression” issue for some users that typing feels slow. Could just be me, though.

In the preferences, I find it ever so slightly confusing in the double-negative sense to have on mean disabled. I think if there’s going to be a checkbox, on should mean show animations, off should mean don’t, and the checkbox should be enabled by default. I also think that when animation is disabled, the slider for animation speed should be disabled – that tells the user that the slider is for the animations that controlled by the above checkbox.

Cmd-] to indent and Cmd-[ to outdent

I know Bike already supports Tab/Shift-Tab, and ⌘⌃→ / ⌘⌃← for Indent/Outdent, but my fingers have muscle memory for ⌘] and ⌘[ that dates back, holy moly, 30 years. What text editor or outliner doesn’t support ⌘] / ⌘[ for indent/outdent? BBEdit, Xcode, Swift Playgrounds, OmniOutliner all do.

The tricky thing about this how do you do it, properly, while also supporting ⌘⌃→ / ⌘⌃← for the same shortcuts? One way would be to have one set of the shortcuts not correspond to menu items. Another would be to have both Move Left/Right and Indent/Outdent menu items, but I think it would be confusing to have the same feature with two names. It would make me think, as a user, that there must be some difference between them, and it would bother me that I couldn’t tell what that difference is. I think ⌘] and ⌘[ are more “standard” than ⌘⌃→ and ⌘⌃←, so I think my preference would be for Bike to change Move Left/Right to Indent/Outdent and change the menu item shortcuts to ⌘] and ⌘[, and if you want to enable ⌘⌃→ and ⌘⌃← as synonym shortcuts, make those the unlisted-in-the-menu-bar ones. But vice-versa would be fine with me too. I just keep typing ⌘] to indent and I’m never going to stop.

(I could resort to creating simple Keyboard Maestro macros to implement ⌘] and ⌘[, or use the System Preferences: Keyboard: Shortcuts panel to change the shortcuts in Bike’s menu, but while beta testing a pre-1.0 app I try my best to stick with the defaults. If Bike 1.0 ships without ⌘] and ⌘[ shortcuts though, I’ll just make KM macros. But it’s also worth mentioning that if Bike makes its way to iOS, there’s no way for users to customize their own shortcuts there.)

You are not alone:

I think I must just be a slower than average typer. I’m still not sure I’m ready to change it, feels really nice to me as is, and stresses me out a bit at 2x speed. Anyway noted, I’m closer to changing the default now than I was yesterday :). A few more complaints might do it.

Is there anyone out there who DOES prefer the 1x speed?

For my use Tab/Shift-Tab is what I use while editing.

The arrow key variants are what I use for moving an existing item to a different part of the outline. What I like about ⌘⌃→ / ⌘⌃← is that Bike also uses ⌘⌃↑ / ⌘⌃↓ to move items up/down. That means I can get my hands into move mode and move an item wherever I want with just arrow keys. I don’t want to loose that.

I’m happy to support ⌘] and ⌘[ as unlisted in menu bar though. Will look into that.

+1 for ⌘] and ⌘[

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