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Re: Why was the global-mode-string moved?

From: Kim F. Storm
Subject: Re: Why was the global-mode-string moved?
Date: 02 Nov 2002 01:04:50 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:

> I found this entry:
> 2002-08-21  Kim F. Storm  <address@hidden>
>       * bindings.el (mode-line-format): Moved global-mode-string last.
>       (mode-line-position): Moved %p first.  Added padding to %l/%c to
>       eliminate jumpyness in modeline.  Use (%l,%c) format if both
>       line-number-mode and column-number-mode are enabled.
> Why was this done?  I liked having the time of day, my current
> battery level, etc., *before* the minor-mode-alist.  Since the
> minor-mode-alist has a tendency to be large, it now pushes
> everything so far off to the right that the mode-line is nearly
> useless.

You mean ... the only information in the mode line of interest to
you is the time of day and the battery level?

The main rationale for moving the global mode string to the end was
that other things had suddenly been moved from the end of the mode
line to before the (...) part, making that area pretty cluttered.

But seriously, we had a lengthy discussion on this topic back in
August (search the emacs-devel archives), and other raised the
same concerns.  But in reality, the problem is that the mode-line
is simply too short to contain all the information we want to put into it.

We agreed to pursue a solution where we would put the
global-mode-string at the right side of the echo area (when it is not
used for anything else); that way it would practically always be
visible, and not take precious space from the mode-line.

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to look into implementing that yet.

> I can fix this for myself, but can anyone tell me why it shouldn't
> be moved back?  I think the minor-mode-alist should be close to the
> end, since the information it conveys is less often reference than
> the other details on the mode-line.

That's a matter of taste.  The minor mode alist may not be used very
often, but IMO it's important to be able to see it when I actually
need it.

Kim F. Storm <address@hidden> http://www.cua.dk

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