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Re: Avoiding moving point into minibuffer prompt area

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Avoiding moving point into minibuffer prompt area
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 00:15:20 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.6 (Windows/20050716)

Richard M. Stallman wrote:

BTW the message "Text is readonly" is also confusing when "Inviolable" is set.

I do not understand.

You expect the prompt to be readonly and the message is disturbing when you delete character by character and then suddenly this text appears over the prompt.

I can't follow.

Would you please give a clear test case, so we can understand
what behavior you are complaining about?
This is not very important, but I did find it very annoying indeed. If you at a minibuffer prompt just hold down backspace to delete entered characters (this is quite common behaviour in situations like that) then Emacs will delete all characters up to the prompt and then show "Text is read-only".

That message sits there in front of the prompt and you really wonder what has happened. This is nothing you are used to from other applications in similar situations. "What could I have done? Did I do something else than just delete those characters? How can I know?"

Then you discover that the message disappear but you still feel a bit unsure. After a while you begin to understand (after carefully checking for changes in the files, shutting down Emacs and starting it again perhaps). Even when you find the message most annoying because you have to wait until it disappears - at least you believe that because you have not yet learned...

Making a good UI is of course about carefully thinking about issues like the one above. What to do is by no means easy to decide. My intention is just to draw your attention to this and tell my view.

And I am sorry that I was not able to state this short and clear from the beginning. But it is not easy since I have noticed that issues like this often get handled on the wrong level. No surprise of course, thinking is not a small bit about beeing able to simplify. That is good, I know of no other way, but sometimes you must go back and see what might have been lost, maybe even changing the strategy a bit.

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