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Re: Reducing mouse-dependency In Emacs.

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: Reducing mouse-dependency In Emacs.
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 18:09:24 -0500 (CDT)

Stefan Monnier wrote:

   Sounds like overengineering to me.  It's already hard enough to
   get people to add the `help-echo' property (additionally to docstrings,
   comments, and the manual).

And the NEWS.  But the text properties would be optional, defaulting
to `help-echo'.  The reason for a separate `short-help' is that a much
too large percentage of the help-echo properties are like:

mouse-2: visit this file in other window

on a file name in dired.  There is no reason to single out this
command among the zillion possible, other than that the user has the
mouse in the hand and hence is planning to use the mouse, so only
mouse commands "make sense".  If 100% of the help-echo's were like
that, there would be no need at all to access `help-echo' from the
keyboard.  If 0% were like that, you would be completely right.  The
problem is that it is not close to 0, but not close to 100 either.

In the case of `long-help', there might be instances where an author
might want to provide more information than would comfortably fit in
the echo area.

There are some bugs in the version of `print-local-help' I sent, but
they are easy to correct.  Anyway, we need to decide what we want to
do with these new text properties.  If one definitely does not want
them, the function would get shorter.

   What you suggested sounds pretty good.  We could also have a more noisy
   option that always echos the help-echo property around point (after some
   idle delay, of course).  Or some other that hilights text with the
   `mouse-face' face when point is inside.

In as far as an option to automatically display the help-echo text on
"point-over" is concerned, I told Eli, who suggested the same thing,
this morning that it would be a good idea, but after actually
implementing it, I completely changed my mind.  I found all that text
popping up in the echo area very distracting.  Most of it was of the
"mouse-2: do something you do not want to do" type.

I believe something should be done with highlighting, but at the
moment I am not sure what the best thing would be.



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