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Re: easy mode-line manipulation

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: easy mode-line manipulation
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 11:22:34 +0200

On Wed, 24 Oct 2001 10:45:39 +0200 (IST), Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:

> But your suggestion started from the Lisp level

Well, yes, because I always had thought about it from the
elisp-programmer side, not the interface.

My frustration with mode-line-format is that what I want, most of the
time, is something very user-level, not programmer-level. For example,
changing the way the line and columns are shown. How would a common
user do that and still maintain the help, etc.?

OTOH, most customizations will require some elisp programming, unless
a default toolkit of useful functions is provided.

> Do you envision how this will be 
> presented to the user?  Could you describe that?

Not very precisely, alas. What I suggested in my first post, only
through a customize interface: dividing the mode-line in sections and
elements, doing some logical grouping. Currently I think the sections
are (from the user perspective, because of the way the modeline is

- mule, modified, read-only, frame-id
- buffer name (or file name)
- modes
- file position (perhaps including which-func)

Perhaps a refactoring would be in order.

I think the user should have the posibility of adding new sections,
removing sections and modifying the elements that compose each one.
And for each element pre-canned values (processing functions) would be
offered, and also the ability to use a user-defined lisp function, and
to chaing processing.

For example, using which-func should be available as a mode-line
customization, as should uniquify. Also it should be easy to define a
custom mode-line and make it the default for some modes and not for
others (like woman, help, etc.).

I know all that is rather vague. But if it is deemed useful, people
who knows more than I do about user-interface issues can offer advice.
One of my goals is that the user wants something as easy as making the
buffer name always uppercase, he will be able to do:

(mode-line-set 'default-mode-line 'buffer-name :filter 'upcase)

on his .emacs, or the equivalent through M-x customize.


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