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Re: make-progress-reporter suggestions: 'modeline and customizable progr

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Re: make-progress-reporter suggestions: 'modeline and customizable progress-reporter--pulse-characters
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 21:01:35 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:

> DA> If we really must have something like this, let it be limited to a
> DA> particular buffer (show the buffer if you're interested in
> DA> following the progress; don't show it when you don't want to see
> DA> it).  Optionally show the buffer in a separate frame - it could be
> DA> as small as you like (e.g tooltip-like, with no decoration).
> That's a LOT of work for a simple effect.  What's the benefit of more
> than 1 spinning indicator in a single-threaded editor?  At best they are
> distracting.  What's an example where it would be useful?

We could add a feature to progress reporters, optionally binding the
reporter to a specific buffer.  For the subset of uses of the progress
reporter that concern activities specific to a particular buffer, this
would allow the progress reporter to be used to update the mode-line for
windows showing that buffer.

That would solve the question of which mode-line to use for displaying
the spinner.  (It won't address the general problem of global
indicators, though.)

> ...if only there was an area that doesn't overlap messages or the
> minibuffer...  :) Really, looking at Emacs visually, I can't see any
> other area more appropriate than the mode line.  Maybe the fringe
> area?  But the mode line has a chance to work in text mode too.  Only
> the echo area can compete with that but with the other messages there
> it will become visual spaghetti.

One problem that our mode-lines are fairly bursting at the seams.  In
the Message buffer where I'm typing this, it's up 90 columns wide,
overflowing the available space on my 85-column Emacs frame.

Another problem is that when you have lots of windows, each with its own
mode-line, mode-lines become much less appealing locations for global
indicators.  Ideally, you want to be able to glance at the same spot on
the Emacs frame, regardless of which window is active.  (Using the
mode-line to show the date, battery life, etc. is problematic for the
same reason).

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