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bug#31240: 26.1; mouse-save-then-kill does not kill rectangles

From: Federico Tedin
Subject: bug#31240: 26.1; mouse-save-then-kill does not kill rectangles
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 21:42:54 -0300

> If point-to-paste is on the first line of the original region in
> between its start and end, we would try to replace the text by itself
> on this and all subsequent lines which is just as silly as replacing a
> contiguous region with itself.  So set drag-but-negligible in such a
> case.
> If point-to-paste is not on the first line of the original region but
> the region to insert intersects with the original region, then killing
> the original region after inserting the copy might get me some pretty
> unintelligible result.  So set drag-but-negligible in that case as
> well.
> But moving the rectangle strictly to the left or the right on the same
> lines it originally occupied seems to work here.  So I would not set
> drag-but-negligible in that case.
> I forgot to mention that the second conjunct is probably superfluous
> here because in that case the rectangles won't intersect in the first
> place.  So (<= start point-to-paste) should be sufficient but I have
> not tested it.

Martin, thanks again for your feedback.

As you mentioned, dragging the rectangle to the right of its right
edge will cause rectangle-intersect-p return nil, so that check will
never be evaluated. If I drag the rectangle to the right, but in a way
that it intersects with itself (e.g. one char), then its contents
would be inserted
into the overlays, and it would then be deleted when the original is
deleted (this is why I originally added the intersection check).

If I drag the rectangle to the left in a way it would intersect with
itself, then obviously rectangle-intersect-p will return t. However,
what's interesting about this case is that the insert and delete
operations could be done anyways, as the new content would be inserted
to the left of the overlays, causing them to shift to the right. Then,
the overlays would be deleted, taking with them the original
rectangle. Note that this works even if the drag has a vertical
component (up/down).

So then: moving the rectangle to the left is easy, but moving it to
the right (into itself) is not. My solution was to implement
rectangle-intersection-p to avoid doing the insert and delete if an
intersection was found. One of the conditions you added on your patch
allows moving the rectangle sideways: in my opinion, allowing the user
to move the rectangle only to the left is what's more consistent with
mouse-drag-and-drop-region's behaviour with non-rectangular
regions. You can check this by selecting a word and dragging it one
char to its left: the word is dragged correctly. But if you drag a
word one char to the right, the operation is marked as negligible. It
would make sense that moving a rectangle to the right or to the left
followed the same behaviour.

> Note that I have never written or used rectangle code.  AFAICT
> 'insert-rectangle' inserts spaces (via 'move-to-column') when the
> target line is too short.  And these insertions can make the result of
> a rectangle move look bad when the deletion is done after the copying.
> Is that interpretation correct?  Does it always look intelligible when
> the deletion is done before the copying?

Your guess is probably much better than mine, but I think you're
right. Inserting a rectangle somewhere in a buffer, and then deleting
some text to its left will make it look intelligible. If the deletion
is made before the copying, however, I think the rectangle will always
be inserted correctly (because move-to-column will ensure its content
is aligned correctly).

> IIUC the code of rect.el nowhere provides an operation that kills a
> rectangle and reinserts it in one and the same step not to mention the
> possibility that these operations take place in an overlapping area of
> one and the same buffer.  So I think that you are in uncharted waters
> here and hardly anyone will tell you what to do.
> If worse comes to worst, we can always leave your patch as it is now.

At the moment, my current proposal is: allow the user to drag the
rectangle anywhere to the left (on the same line, or on a different
line), or anywhere else where it would not intersect with itself (I'm
attaching a new patch that allows this).

- Federico

Attachment: mouse.patch
Description: Text Data

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