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

From: Xavier Maillard
Subject: bug#2473: usability issues on emacs's describe-mode
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 12:25:02 +0100
User-agent: Rmail GNU emacs 23.0 on Slackware 12.2.0

   > From: Richard M Stallman <address@hidden>
   > Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 05:10:49 -0500
   > Cc: address@hidden
   > We list the minor mode info here as well as the major mode info,
   > because otherwise we would need a separate command to give info about
   > them, and that would be burdensome in another way.  The way we present
   > it is the best possible compromise between the various goals.  It
   > gives the minor mode info in brief form at the front, but puts most of
   > it at the end, out of the way.
   > I do see two ways to improve this:

   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

   Clicking on a plus near Major Mode would then expand to the text we
   currently show for that major mode, for example:

     - Major Mode: RMAIL mode
            Rmail Mode is used by M-x rmail for editing Rmail files.
            All normal editing commands are turned off.
            Instead, these commands are available:

            .    Move point to front of this message.
            /    Move point to bottom of this message.
            SPC  Scroll to next screen of this message.
            DEL  Scroll to previous screen of this message.
            n    Move to Next non-deleted message.
            p    Move to Previous non-deleted message.

     + Minor Modes

   Clicking on "Minor Modes" would show only the list of modes with short

     - Minor Modes:
       + Auto-Compression -- automatic file compression and uncompression.
       + Blink-Cursor -- blink cursor in current window.
       + Desktop-Save -- save Emacs session on exit.
       + Display-Time -- display time, load average, and mail flag in modeline.
       + File-Name-Shadow -- shadow ignored part of file name in minibuffer.

   etc., you get the picture.  (We could also have a tooltip on each line
   showing more info for that mode.)  Clicking on any of the plus signs
   near a minor mode would display the full documentation for that minor
   mode, the one we show today unconditionally.



This is a really good suggestion and would greatly improve C-h m
usability (which is the OP's main complaint.


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