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RE: change cursor type when idle

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: change cursor type when idle
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 16:13:28 -0700

    > I actually also use code that (optionally) changes the cursor type,
    > depending on whether the mode is overwrite (bar) or read-only
    > (box), and changes the cursor color, depending on whether or not
    > you are using an input method (thx to a suggestion from Juri).
    > I mention this only to point out that users might also change the
    > cursor type or color independently of the idle/active state of
    > Emacs, so we don't want to trample on such functionality.

    I like your proposed feature, but I have one doubt.  Usually I use the
    bar cursor, and sometimes it is hard to locate it in dense text areas.
    Changing its type to a box cursor (and/or its color) would help,
    but any delay before changing it (e.g. 2 sec) seems arbitrary.
    I need to make the cursor more visible not after some delay, but
    only when I need to locate it.

Ah, I see... The version that lights up and screams "Here!" *ONLY* when you
in fact need to locate it is an expensive option ;-). Mind-reading is never
cheap, if it's accurate.

Seriously, yes, 2 sec is arbitrary, and you can choose another period that
you might prefer. For me, 1 sec is usually too short, and 3 is usually too

    I usually use cursor movement keys
    to move the cursor foreward-backward to find its location, but
    this is not convenient.

Agreed. Been there; done that. My guess is that anyone who has tried to use
the bar cursor has ended up doing that.

    > (And I take advantage of this opportunity to again support Juri's
    > suggestion to add command `set-cursor-type' to Emacs.)

    I guess `set-cursor-type' is not yet in Emacs, because there are more
    than one way to change the cursor type (via the `default-cursor-type'
    and `cursor-type' variables, and via the frame parameter), so it's
    not clear which one to use in the implementation.  Is it so?

I can't answer why. If that's the only reason, then let's decide.

I set the `cursor-type' property of the selected frame, in my version. If
it's important to be able to set the default type sometimes, then why not
let the command do that with a prefix arg? End of story (no?).

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