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RE: Dired enhancements for possible inclusion

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Dired enhancements for possible inclusion
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 22:37:28 -0700

>     * The entire line is highlighted on mouse-over, regardless
>       of where on the line the mouse is. Click `mouse-2'
>       anywhere on the line to open its file or directory.
> I don't understand that one.

Screenshot attached.

I've mentioned this before, in the context also of grep (where I do the same
thing). The idea is to apply the `mouse-face' highlight to the entire line,
not just to the file name.

I prefer this because:

* You can scan lines by moving the mouse up and down, without needing to
hold it in a narrow vertical band at the right. Think of this as the effect
of holding a ruler horizontally when trying to scan a tabular list. It helps
you visually align everything in the same row - there's no risk of reading
the wrong file permissions for a given file, for instance. Similarly,
there's no risk of clicking mouse-2 on the left somewhere and opening the
wrong file.

* Without this, you can of course still click mouse-2 anywhere on the line
to open a file, but the visual feedback doesn't tell you that that is the
case - nothing indicates that the entire line is a hot zone (link) for

IIRC, some others didn't like the idea when I described it previously
(perhaps in the context of grep; I don't remember).

A disadvantage I can think of, for people who use non-nil
`mouse-1-click-follows-link' (the default), is that they cannot then just
click mouse-1 somewhere to the left of the file name to set point (e.g. to
select a file size or time for subsequent yanking), without waiting for the
link-following behavior to time out. IOW, with this enhancement, mouse-1 and
mouse-2 are treated identically if you have non-nil
`mouse-1-click-follows-link': the entire line is a hot zone for both.

To me, not being able to set point as easily is not a big loss, and it is
wrong anyway, in UI terms, not to have visual feedback that the entire line
is a hot zone for mouse-2. I personally think it is also wrong to have
mouse-1 act like mouse-2 on only part of the line and reserve the mouse-over
feedback for only the mouse-2 hot zone. If mouse-1 is to act like mouse-2,
then it should do so generally, not over just part of the line, and the
visual feedback should reflect that.

Attachment: drew-emacs-dired-line-highlight.png
Description: PNG image

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