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M-x compile: stay in middle; Bonus: nil/non-nil

From: Dan Jacobson
Subject: M-x compile: stay in middle; Bonus: nil/non-nil
Date: 08 Jan 2002 08:26:14 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.1

You know how in your [nutscrape] browser, forward and back buttons get
you right back to the middle of the file you were looking at.  Let's
especially examine the reload button there, if it can do it too, then
there's no reason one shouldn't be able to also do this in emacs M-x

I've got my nose buried in examining line 268 of M-x compile output, I
hit M-x compile again, I have my choice of being presented with the
top of the output, bottom of the output, but not just where I was.

> Then just do "|sed 268!d" silly

My head is buried in the output, like Batman in the Batlab. I need no
such distractions.  I don't want to bat an eye, I want to keep staring
at the whole screen and watch for any differences with my bat-eye and

Info>    If you want to watch the compilation transcript as it appears, switch
Info> to the `*compilation*' buffer and move point to the end of the buffer.
Info> When point is at the end, new compilation output is inserted above
Info> point, which remains at the end.  If point is not at the end of the
Info> buffer, it remains fixed while more compilation output is added at the
Info> end of the buffer.
Info>    If you set the variable `compilation-scroll-output' to a non-`nil'
Info> value, then the compilation buffer always scrolls to follow output as
Info> it comes in.

Hmm, C-h f compile and C-h m don't mention this.

Anyway, compilation-scroll-output should also take 'stay-where-i-was
[but then this would be non-nil -------- which brings up another
point: why do the emacs designers always start their functions with
two possible values, nil and non-nil, thus using up every possible
value and not leaving any other values for later additions that one
might not necessarily want not to cause the 'non-nil' behaviour if
accidentally used with an earlier emacs --- jeez.

It's like the census bureau software saying that nil is male and
non-nil is female and never will there be any room for exceptions, not
now, never.]
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