[development] better autocompletion?

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Tue Apr 18 10:43:49 UTC 2006

Hi there!

I have a problem with autocompletion for selecting a node by title.

This is a very noce methid to find a node, but the problem is that it is 
ambiguous. There might be several nodes by the same name. You can try to 
make it less ambiguous by adding the author's name and or the date, but 
only the node ID will do away with ambiguity. The problem is that the UI 
does not look really nice.

I've thought about a way to transfer more information in the request, 
but this is problematic. After all an autcompletion field is just a 
textfield. Also, we need to keep non-JS browsers in mind and if I 
essentially require CSV data in the textfield this is a usability 
nightmare for these people. To process CSV data for select fields is 
also not much fun and error prone.

Now, the following idea won't help non-JS browsers at all, but it will 
be helpful for JS-browsers. The idea is to store all the information 
about the selection made by the user in a session variable.

You can already assign the available selections to a session variable 
after populating the array of matches. What is required is to make this 
information contain only the actual selected value. To this end the JS 
would need to run the autocompletion function one more time after the 
user has moved out of the select field.

My questions are:

1) Is this possible?
2) Does anybody else consider this a good idea?


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