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RE: Key descriptions in *Help* are too wide

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Key descriptions in *Help* are too wide
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 15:37:55 -0700

    > Perhaps I misunderstand you, but I use Emacs 20 every day,
    > and I see no fringe of any kind on the right (or left).
    > My rightmost character (newline) is snug up against the
    > vertical scroll bar (on the right). That is, if I put
    > the cursor at the end of the longest line, the cursor is
    > against the scroll bar, with no background showing between
    > the two.

    Exactly!  It's in the invisible fringe!  You cannot put any
    other character
    there without the line being continued or truncated!

Actually, it's not so simple, I think.

Turning off the fringe in Emacs 22 does *not* give me what I see in Emacs
20 - there is still a loss of real estate; the cursor is never snug up
against the scroll bar.

See the attached screen shots: 1) Emacs 20, 2) Emacs 22 with fringe off, 3)
Emacs 22 with fringe on. It's a bit hard to tell, but it seems to me that:

 - There is more space, in Emacs 22 than in Emacs 20, between the last
printed character (`)' in the screen shots) and the left edge of the scroll
bar. This is true even with fringe turned off.

 - There is slightly more space wasted when fringe is on than when it is
off, in Emacs 22. I won't swear this is so, but it seems so.

 - There is more space (~2mm vs zero) in Emacs 22 than in Emacs 20, to the
right of the scroll bar. Again, this is true whether fringe is on or off.

 - The scroll bar is slightly wider in Emacs 22.

All told, that means that Emacs 20 is much more economical of space - maybe
8mm difference. And we're talking just one window here (one scroll bar,
one-sided fringe) - multiply that by the number of horizontal windows, and
add even more for left fringe.

Some things I don't understand:

1. Why is there *any* wasted space to the right of the scroll bar? Is that
ever used for anything? It's about 2mm.

2. Why is there *any* wasted space to the right of the fringe (between the
fringe and the scroll bar)? Is that ever used for anything? Again, this is
about 2mm.

3. Why is there wasted space to the right of the cursor (between the cursor
and the scroll bar) when fringe is off? Again, 2mm.

4. Why is the cursor wider when fringe is turned off?

To me, those are sources of wasted space (though #2 = #3, perhaps), none of
which occur in Emacs 20.

(The cursor is even fatter in Emacs 20 than in 22 without fringe, but it
hugs the last character tighter also, so the total space between character
and scroll bar is less in Emacs 20.)

    It is true that this was broken in emacs 21 -- basically making an extra
    visible fringe next to the invisible fringe on the right.

I don't use Emacs 21. I'm not sure what you mean, but I'm not sure I care
about Emacs 21.

    But in emacs 22, the cursor on a "full-width" line is now shown
    IN the fringe.

Yes, that can be seen in my screen shot with fringe on.

    So in emacs 22, the right fringe does not take up
    extra real-estate, just like it was in emacs 20.

False, as my screenshots show. I think it takes up more space relative to
Emacs 22 fringe off, and certainly it does relative to Emacs 20.

Attachment: emacs-20-has-no-fringe.jpg
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: fringe-off.jpg
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: fringe-on.jpg
Description: JPEG image

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