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Re: [Bug-AUCTeX] Re: preview oddity when "merging" inline formulas...

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: [Bug-AUCTeX] Re: preview oddity when "merging" inline formulas...
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:29:10 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Evil Boris <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>> Evil Boris <address@hidden> writes:
>>> Would it be too difficult to simply catch modifications of the
>>> string and nuke the preview?  I would find this a more logical
>>> behavior, as a user.
>> It has the disadvantage that one of the most common ways of working
>> with previews is doing small edits and regenerating the preview.
> I do not follow your reasoning, but I have been acting jet-lagged
> the last several days [and had other excuses before that ;-].  I
> just suggest leaving all (math) previews alone, unless and until the
> point enters it and some modifications are made.  At this point I
> suggest the preview bitmap gets nuked.

I am not stupid.  I understood your suggestion the first time.  It has
the disadvantage that one of the most common ways of working with
previews is doing small edits and regenerating the preview.

> Perhaps a "men at work"

We have that already for indicating preview at work.  Besides, nothing
is at work there.

> or "computers at work" or "I would show you a preview if you only
> asked" icon should be displayed at the resulting math thing, so that
> it is clear it has been edited and the preview is not available.

Basically your suggestion is to have a changed icon for modified
previews.  There is merit to that suggestion, and the only drawback is
that we don't have artwork for it yet.  Judging from past experience,
creating a set of icons in all supported sizes that is visually
appealing will take several days of work.  If you want to volunteer
for that, you are welcome.

>>> I just was pointing out that in my opinion a natural behavior from
>>> a users point of view would be for the icon to disappear once one
>>> (C-d)s over the characters surrounding the place where it appears
>>> to be located in the buffer.
>> I am not sure that crafting a consistent behavior on that premise
>> would be easy.
> I find it hard to understand how ANYTHING can behave sanely
> dynamically tracking arbitrary text modifications.  However, most of
> the time font-lock seems to be able to track math formulas ok.

Font lock actually takes at the text it deals with and can reevaluate
it at any time.  preview-latex does not look at the text.  That's
LaTeX's job.

> So one could imagine (especially if one had no clue of the current
> architecture of preview) having font-lock install special text
> properties that might include all the desired behavior.

I have yet to see a description of a consistent behavior that would
appear more useful than the current one.

>> Well, if you decide against previews: the newer AUCTeX versions
>> support source specials quite well, and those make for a more
>> convenient coupling of previewer and editor.
> I have been using source specials and it works fine most of the
> time.  Occasionally I need to use PDFLaTeX and I have not looked at
> what the options are there (I did see references to them).

Pretty lousy.  Heiko has written some style (the name of which I keep
forgetting) that is an ugly hack implementing part of source specials.

> By the way (and off topic for this thread): How come the usual
> (non-source-special) way of invoking, say, XDvi, does not require a
> confirmation (C-c C-c RET is sufficient) but working with source
> specials turned on you need to confirm the command line?

Uh, is this so?

>> Still, I like the previews much better.
> They look better and are more attractive, especially to show off to
>someone who has never seen in-line previews :-) .  I personally find
>them a bit odd, as I seem to have a lot less trouble reading the
>plain text in Emacs than the generated previews.  I am referring to
>visual size, anti-aliased blur etc.  Generated previews are just too
>thin and spidery to **read** (as opposed to just admire, not having
>to read complicated LaTeX syntax).

They are made to match your text size.  If this is not the case, then
your font setup is probably faulty and Emacs substitutes some other
font size, while the previews are made to match the size it could not

If you want your formulas scaled larger than the text, take a look at
the manual.

>I also dislike mouse and menus of any sort (have menubar, toolbar,
>scroll bar, and balloons [eh... forgot the right term again] usually
>turned off).  So various mouse menues attached to formula previews
>are not spectacularly useful for me personally.

Why?  The tooltip merely announces the presence of the menu on
mouse-3, but you need to click anyway to get the popup menu.  And
C-mouse-3 will give a mode dependent popup menu anywhere in the

Or don't you even touch the mouse?

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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