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Re: unnecessary fringe-indicators defcustom creates trouble

From: Richard M. Stallman
Subject: Re: unnecessary fringe-indicators defcustom creates trouble
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2005 14:36:51 -0400

    To be more concrete, enable all boundary indicators, including arrows,
    to the left.  Create an empty buffer.  The boundary indicators
    actually give the impression that the buffer is non-empty.  Typing RET
    does not change the indicators, so you can not tell whether the buffer
    is empty or not.

I think what we are seeing here is that the end-of-buffer indicator
goes on the wrong line.  It goes at the last nonempty line.  I think
it should go at the end of the buffer, which (in the case of ending in
a newline) is one line further down.

Perhaps there should be a different-looking end-of-buffer indicator
for the case of ending in a newline.  It could look like the normal
end-of-buffer indicator rotated 180 degrees, so that it would effectively
suggest "the buffer ends just above this line".  This is not crucial,
but it would make things clearer.

    Now overscroll a buffer ending in a newline completely.  The "Bottom"
    indicator now suggests that there is an extra blank line at the end of
    the buffer, whereas there is not.

In this one case, the end-of-buffer indicator goes in the right place.
But if you assume it's one line too high, as it usually is,
you will think the buffer has an extra newline.

    I wonder whether it would not be more logical to not show any
    indicators in an empty buffer and to just show an up arrow in a
    completely overscrolled buffer.  You can not see the end of the
    buffer, it is scrolled out of view.  So why indicate it?

That would be one consistent thing to do, but I think it is important
to indicate buffer ends when they are visible.  Making the change I've
suggested would also be consistent.

Kim, could you implement this change and ack this message?
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