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Re: Propertizing the minor-mode-alist

From: James Clark
Subject: Re: Propertizing the minor-mode-alist
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 09:29:56 +0700

On Mon, 2004-09-20 at 07:05, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     On the other hand, it's normal Emacs behavior that clicking on a word on
>     the mode-line does something useful, somehow related to that word.
> What it does is toggle the mode in question.

Clicking different words on the mode-line does a variety of different

- mouse-1/mouse-3 on the buffer name goes to the previous/next buffer
- mouse-2 on the major mode name pops up a buffer with help on the major
- mouse-2 on a minor mode gives help on that minor mode; mouse-3 pops up
a menu allowing individual mode
- mouse-2 on Narrow widens

> Moving point is
> something very different.  That's the sort of command that is normally
> found in the menu bar, never in the mode line, and certainly not among
> the minor modes.
> If this interface is a great practical convenience, maybe it is
> important enough to justify the inconsistency.  But I'd expect that it
> is not a great practical convenience, because the keystroke is more
> efficient--isn't that so?

The fact that validation is handled as a separate minor mode is not
something a typical user is aware of; they perceive it as a feature of
the major mode. The default behavior of a minor mode menu is not really
appropriate in this case.  But that's my fault for getting the
invalidity indicator into the mode-line via minor-mode-alist; so I've
changed to a different approach.

I misspoke earlier: there's a keystroke for goto to next error, but not
for goto first error.  Obviously I could add one, but when you have a
complex major mode, it's hard to find mnemonic key bindings for all the
commands, and it's hard for the user to remember all of them (at least I
find it hard to remember them). I find the click interface convenient
because it's more efficient than the menu bar, but easier to remember
that a keystroke interface would be.

However, I take your point about moving point being a strange thing for
a mode-line click to do.  The underlying idea is that clicking on the
invalidity indicator ought to give information about the invalidity.
Moving point to the location  of the first error was an easy way to do
this, but perhaps a better way would be to pop up a buffer giving a
summary of all the errors in the buffer.  Do you think that would be


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