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Re: What about "The Modernization of Emacs"?

From: David Reitter
Subject: Re: What about "The Modernization of Emacs"?
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 09:21:21 +0000

On 20 Dec 2007, at 22:44, Lennart Borgman (gmail) wrote:

;; * Make longlines-mode the default editor behavior for any
;;   file. (So that, the up arrow and down arrow keys moves
;;   the cursor by a visual line, not by line-return
;;   character.

I think this deserves some thought.

By default Emacs wraps long lines. This is not the same as longlines- mode. I think it would be useful to be able to use down/up arrows to move to the next/previous visual line. I believe this might be what beginners expect. (Maybe there is already such an option in Emacs?)

Longlines mode is littered with problems. It fails to break lines correctly just when you need soft word wrapping most, i.e. for long prose texts which are displayed with a variable width font, or where lines are shown in different font sizes (AUCTeX). Longlines fails to recognize comments, e.g., in LaTeX (this is a bug!). Because the line- number correspondence between files and buffer lines get lost, a lot of functions simply don't work any longer (this is a bug!), such as jumping to the place of errors in LaTeX files (compiler reports file lines, then jumps to buffer lines). I wrote some code to make `pdfsync' work with longlines in AUCTeX, but these things are really just hacks because the mode rightfully assumes that buffer line = file line. Longlines also isn't recognized automatically when a text file with many long lines is loaded. The setting "use longlines for all text modes" is rather cumbersome.

Rather than going on with this rant, I'd like to point readers to a post by Fernando Pereira:


Instigating change is good. But solving the problems is better. Write code!

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