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bug#39902: 28.0.50; Marking in dired with active region

From: martin rudalics
Subject: bug#39902: 28.0.50; Marking in dired with active region
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2020 18:12:23 +0100

>> Such "graphical" file browsers are line-based, they do not have a way
>> to specify a position within such a line unless you are in the
>> (usually F2 invoked) rename mode which puts a mask on the file name
>> whose contents you can modify.
> I don't get your argument.  FWIW, most of these browsers have different
> kinds of "views", and I have in mind the view that is not line based but
> uses a grid of icons with names under them.  Marking a region with the
> mouse happens continuously.

I used the line-based (aka "detailed view") paradigm because it's the
nearest equivalence to 'dired' those file browsers usually provide.  If
you prefer the "a grid of icons with names under them" paradigm, then
the difference is just as evident: You cannot, for example, mark only an
icon and not mark its name in such a view.

The point I want to make is that in file browsers and managers the thing
that stands for a file on the screen - text, icon or thumbnail - is an
atomic entity.  You cannot mark only part of it (apart from in-place

> What I want to say here is that the current behavior makes no sense to
> me.  And I very much think that I'm not the only one.  I don't want to
> justify why I have this expectation and be told that my mental model is
> wrong.  There is no way to mathematically prove whose expectations are
> right and whose are wrong.  These expectations are always subjective.
> When some users are confused by the current behavior, it would be good
> to improve Emacs when it's simple as it is here.

The only way to put this into work reliably is to provide a special mode
that restricts highlighting to whole lines.


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