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RE: describe-mode's treatment of minor-modes is annoying

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: describe-mode's treatment of minor-modes is annoying
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 13:58:35 -0700

> I think it used to put the minor modes after the major mode.  The
> problem was, people did not even know the minor mode info was there.

In Emacs 20, the first two lines said this:

 The major mode is described first.
 For minor modes, see following pages.

So users knew the minor mode info was there, and they saw the major mode
info first.

>>      E.g., make the layout something like:
>>        (Information on [minor modes] comes after the major mode

> This might be ok.  It should also suggest typing C-x ] C-x ] to get to
> the minor mode information.  That should always work, since the major
> mode doc string should never contain a page break.

C-x ] and C-x [ are not obvious. And the pages are all displayed together
(at least in Emacs 20): ^L is all that appears as page separator, so the
buffer is quite busy.

Instead of using separate pages in the same buffer, why not use separate
incarnations of the *Help* buffer. `C-h m' would display just a one-liner
about each mode in *Help*, with a link for each mode (part or all of the
one-liner) to its detailed description:

 Major mode
  SQL[oracle] mode: Major mode to edit SQL.

 Minor modes
  Font-Lock minor mode (no indicator): Toggle Font Lock mode.

If there are no minor modes, just show the major-mode doc directly.

The links would display the individual mode descriptions in *Help*, with a
back button. Less busy. Uses links instead of C-x ] to navigate.

Drawback: cannot see (or print) everything at once. Would that be worth
another link/button that displays everything at once (separate pages)?

 - Drew

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