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From: ken manheimer
Subject: "scroll-fringe"
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 13:36:06 -0400

i tend to run emacs with minimal decorations, and would *love* to see
an option to use the fringes for some of the scrollbar functionality.
i am not close enough to the details of the display, scrollbars, or
fringe to implement it myself, but i think this idea would be a
winning UI improvement, if anyone is interested.

i've been thinking for a while about the usefulness of the scrollbar
versus its space consumption and visual incongruity, and recently
turned the scrollbar off.  the only thing i miss is the opportunity to
see at a glance the proportion of the buffer that the window covers,
and it seems like that would not at all be a hard thing to implement
in the fringes, given the right knowledge.  a couple of frames
customization options to turn on "fringe buffer proportion
indicators", and i would be quite happy!

it might not be that hard to implement grab-and-drag scrolling with
the fringe indicators, as well. i don't really care about that - find
scrollbar dragging much less useful than keyboard navigation - but it
would make replacement of the scrollbar so much more viable as an
option for more people that it could help justify the invested work.
i would be perfectly happy if only the proportion indicators were
implemented, however.  the frame is really so much more tidy and
compact without the darn scrollbars!

by way of context, i run emacs without buffer tabs, menu bar, or even
window manager decorations.  i happen to find the fringe indicators
proportioned quite well for their purpose, particularly with their
size and style configurability.  i kept the scrollbar until recently
only for the sake of buffer/window proportion, and recently decided it
just wasn't important enough for the space consumed and the visual
discrepancy between the scroll bars with the rest of the frame.  (i
also run my frames with white text on black background, which probably
only increases the scrollbar's incongruity.)

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