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Re: soft wrapping and line numbers

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: soft wrapping and line numbers
Date: 02 May 2003 17:23:18 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

> With the refill mode in standard text mode using the tab, the tab will tab
> every line right after that.

Indeed (unless you manually untab the second line, sine the lines after the
second are indented like the second).

> With paragraph-indent-text-mode I had problems with the size of the tab
> indents varying. That is, sometimes they might be  the equivalent of eight
> spaces, sometimes five. Cutting and pasting from  DOS files seemed to
> exacerbate this. Sometimes they'd be spaces rather than  actual
> tabs. Since the original files were tabbed, and not spaced, I don't  know
> why this is. It also did this with just general cut and pasting within
> the file.

Sounds like bugs.

> For what it's worth, I'm using version 21.1.1. Maybe there's a better answer
> out there and I didn't have to go to all this trouble. Maybe I just
> displayed my ignorance in front of the world. But it still seems to me like
> the most sophisticated editor in the world should have the basic capability
> of wordwrap without newlines. Like I said, Windows Notepad can handle it.
> Emacs should also. I suspect it would become a whole lot more popular among
> writers if it could do this without going to a lot of trouble.

Emacs is still pretty strongly aimed at "editing fixed-width 80 column
text".  I suspect most Emacs hackers still use it mostly in that
kind of context and are hence not strongly interested in improving it
in the direction you'd like it to go.

Another problem is that soft-wrapping as in Notepad tends to be of very
limited use when you want indented paragraphs or quoted paragraphs,
and so you quickly end up needing something more like Word where
there is a notion of page-width, margin and where the document is not
purely text but has various formatting info embedded in it.

It's probably not *that* hard to add soft-wrapping, but it looks
like none of the few people able to do it have any serious interest in such
a feature.


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