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bug#2473: usability issues on emacs's describe-mode

From: xah lee
Subject: bug#2473: usability issues on emacs's describe-mode
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 01:12:00 -0800

For me, so far i personally prefer the solution where Ctrl+h m would just show the major mode's inline doc.

I think that pretty much fixed it, very simple solution.

Showing the inline doc of major mode is a frequent operation. Perhaps daily, or few times per week. Showing the inline doc of ALL minor modes, is probably not used much. (personally, i can't think i needed it in 10 years)

For people who want to display inline doc of all minor modes at once, the describe-mode can work as it is.

As for the ^L char, I think Drew Adam's code works well.

So, overall, for the above, the following simple code does the job.

(defun describe-major-mode ()
  "Show inline doc for current major-mode."
  ;; code by Kevin Rodgers. 2009-02-25
  (describe-function major-mode))

(global-set-key (kbd "C-h m") 'describe-major-mode)

(require 'pp-c-l)
(pretty-control-l-mode 1)


For the hide/show solution, i think it's too complex. Complex in UI, complex in implementation too. For me, if i wanted to discribe them all, i rather prefer they all show, and not having to click each to expand, or click on some Expand All button.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

∑ http://xahlee.org/



On Feb 27, 2009, at 8:34 PM, Stefan Monnier wrote:

I see a 3rd way: make the buffer present an expandable list of modes, starting with just 2 items: the current major modes and "minor modes",
    e.g. similar to what we do in Speedbar, or maybe in Outline Mode
    (under "Hide Sublevels").  In ASCII art:

      + Major Mode: RMAIL Mode
      + Minor Modes

Using hiding is a good idea -- thanks.

I think that partcular way would be inconvenient.  Specifically, it
would be a hassle to initially hide the major mode documentation.
That is what users most often want to see; making them type a command
to expose it would be a gratuitous hassle.

So I suggest putting the partly-hidden minor mode list first,
followed by the totally visible major mode documentation.

I don't think the difference with what we have now is worth
the trouble.  Basically, it's just a question of shortening the "list of
minor modes" at the beginning of the buffer (e.g. by removing global
minor modes from that list).



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