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Re: easy mode-line manipulation

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: easy mode-line manipulation
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 13:16:47 +0100

On Sun, 28 Oct 2001 07:07:18 -0700 (MST), Richard Stallman <address@hidden> 

> Some parts of the mode line are already kept in separate
> variables--for instance, mode-line-buffer-identification.
> If we made similar variables for the other portions of the
> mode line, would that do the job?

Well, it would certainly make the mode-line more configurable, but I
still think it would fall short. Being Emacs the Extensible,
Customizable display editor as it is, customization of the modeline is
too difficult a proposition for normal users (IMO). The current model
seems to be: either you customize it a little (through the variables),
or replace it for good, if you dare. And still in that case you have
to think about modes that do their own customization, etc.

The current model does not give easily to such trivial customizations
as reverting the order of "fields". For example, I certainly would
prefer having the buffer and/or file name as the last field in the
modeline. Other things I currently do are putting the mode name in
strike-through to show that the buffer is in overwrite mode, and
changing its color to show that the buffer is protected from deletion.
It'd be wonderful too to be able to do something like diminish.el; I
was once trying to collapse minor modes, setting a one-character
identifier for each one, so I could have "(Emacs-Lisp View Overwrite)"
show like "(Emacs Lisp VO)", but I abandoned it because it was too
tricky/hackish. Those things are difficult (though :eval helps a lot)
right now.

All in all, is a matter of how easy/deep we want the configuration of
the mode-line be, and how much complication it costs. If the current
model is deemed enough, then yes, a few more variables (notably one at
the end, after the current column-number spec) would help.


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