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Re: mouse-1-click-follows-link

From: Daniel Brockman
Subject: Re: mouse-1-click-follows-link
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 18:21:46 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Nick Roberts <address@hidden> writes:

>> Most mice these days seem to come with two proper buttons and a
>> clickable scroll wheel.  On these devices, you usually need to
>> _click_ the scroll wheel to generate a mouse-2 event.  This is
>> often much more difficult than clicking two ordinary
>> buttons simultaneously.
>> I currently don't have a mouse, but when I do use one I generally
>> don't use it for moving around in the buffer a lot.  I do tend to
>> use it to follow links such as URLs and those in Customize buffers.
> Perhaps this is an argument for using mouse-1 just in those
> situations i.e generally where text is underlined, if possible (the
> Help buffer is another example)

Yes, the ``underlined text = clickable link'' identification is pretty
strong these days (with the ``World Wide Web'' and all that nonsense).

>> Besides, most buffers don't have a high link density, so you can
>> usually just click next to one and then move point into place using
>> the keyboard.  Dragging works as usual in any case.
> Some like grep, seem to cover a lot of the buffer.  I'm not saying
> that you can't get round it, just that it requires thought.

Good point.  I'm much less sure that it's good in the case of grep.
Maybe it could work to put a little jump button next to each entry,
instead of using each whole line as a link?  Though that wouldn't be
good for keyboard users...  What if there was a button for clicking,
but you could also press RET anywhere on a line to follow the link?

>>> I was constantly going places that I didn't want to go and I find
>>> the old behaviour a lot easier.
>> I suspect most people who feel like you will instantly realize that
>> they liked the old behavior better, type C-h n and search for
>> `mouse'.  This will immediately give clues about how to
>> switch back.
>> On the other hand, many people new to Emacs will not even attempt
>> to click the scroll wheel to follow a link.  (Even given the
>> tooltip.)  After seeing that nothing happens when you click links
>> using mouse-1, people will conclude that Emacs does not support
>> clickable links.
> If they are able to to find mouse-1-click-follows-link in the manual
> then clicking on the scroll wheel shouldn't be too difficult.

If you accidentally turn the wheel in the process of pressing it down,
you can end up clicking somewhere else in the buffer.  Of course, you
can't really blame Emacs for the brain-dead design of input devices.
But I don't know any other application that uses the middle button for
this purpose; most X applications use it exclusively for pasting text.

And not that it's incredibly relevant, but most Windows users probably
don't even know that there _is_ a middle mouse button, and the last I
heard was that Macintosh computers ship with _single-button_ mice to
discourage UI designers from putting a lot of different functions on
different mouse buttons, which is supposedly confusing.

>> I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really think the current
>> default is the most useful and reasonable, _especially_ to
>> newcomers, but also to lots of experienced people (myself
>> included).
> You have expressed your preference but I'm not sure that it
> generalises to others.

I have expressed my preference, but I have also tried to speculate
about what other people might like.  Maybe that isn't very useful.

Daniel Brockman <address@hidden>

   ``Why fix an old bug if you can write three new ones
     in the same time?'' --- David Kastrup

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