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RE: Mention mouse-face changes mouse pointer shape

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Mention mouse-face changes mouse pointer shape
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 08:23:11 -0800

>     But shouldn't the cursor change to a hand cursor rather than an arrow
>     cursor when hoovering over a mouse-face?
> I think the change was a mistake, instead we should have arranged the
> relevant areas to have both mouse-face and pointer text properties. But
> I don't know how much effort it will be now to go back and change this.

I haven't followed this thread closely, but this does indeed sound like a
(design) mistake. The two, mouse-face and pointer shape, should be
independent, by default. If some particular code wants to couple them for
some purpose, that's fine, but such a coupling should not be hard-coded or
the default behavior.

The use and the interpretation of these properties should be open, IMO. Code
that uses them should be able to decide what their relation, if any, should
be in any given context.

It is wrong to assume that mouse-face always indicates a link. If it
indicates anything particular a priori, it is only that the mouse can
operate on the text in question somehow, and even that interpretation is not
required. It is also wrong to assume that the finger pointer always
indicates a link. The meaning of each of these two properties is open, by
default, and it makes no sense to hard-couple them.

If some people think that wedding them is helpful in general, then we could
have an option that does that. But 1) the default value of the option should
not couple them, and 2) even if generally coupled by the non-default option
value, this coupling should be easily overridable in any given context.

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