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Re: address@hidden: Re: Emacs 20.0.91 pretest available]

From: Bill Wohler
Subject: Re: address@hidden: Re: Emacs 20.0.91 pretest available]
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 21:18:08 -0800

Olivier Lecarme <address@hidden> wrote:

> I'm using [Emacs 22] on a daily basis on all these machines, and did not yet
> encounter any problem. My only remark, for the present, is that in MH-E
> folder mode, the icon showing mail available is so far on the right that
> it cannot be seen in a normal window (if the date and time are shown in
> the mode line). This was not the case in the previous version.

Hi Olivier!

Richard had originally contacted me and I responded to him as follows:

Bill Wohler <address@hidden> wrote:

> This is actually something I've noticed as well. This is not due to a
> change in MH-E--we've only added a logo which added 2 characters. The
> big change is the reorganization of the mode line between Emacs 21 and
> 22: the file location information such as "All L12", which was
> previously on the right, was swapped with the time, load average, and
> mail indicator. Instead of being in the middle, the mail indicator is
> now on the far right and is often cut off, and not only in MH-E buffers.
> To fix this, I'd suggest removing some space around the file location so
> that there is always just two spaces on either side of it. There is
> currently three spaces before it, and up to five spaces after it. The
> first three can certainly be two; I understand that the remaining space
> is there to keep the mode line from flickering as you move around the
> file, but I think the redrawing of the mode line is less of a problem
> than the loss of information.

While removing the extra space will help, upon further reflection, I
have a feeling that we (the MH-E team) will have to clean up the
mode-line some. I'm widening the distribution to get some feedback and

For example, I'm looking at the following mode line:

1:%%  XX  {+outbox/select} 60 msgs (15266-15325)   Bot L60    (MH-Folder Show MC

Note how with a lot of messages, the mode-line real estate is chewed up.

Here's another example:

1:%%  XX  {+mhe-index/foo_and_bar__and_baz} no msgs   All L1     (MH-Folder MC-r

So, long folder names will chew up real estate too.

Here are a couple of ideas:

1. Remove the number of messages in the MH-Folder mode line. In the
   example above, the "60 msgs" text is usually redundant and can be
   largely inferred (if there aren't many holes) from the range of

2. Remove the number of messages and the range of messages from the mode
   line (for example, "60 msgs (15266-15325)" above) since you can
   easily get that information by looking at the first message and last
   message in the buffer.

3. Remove the /select from the folder name (which shows that we're only
   looking at a part of a folder--see
   mh-partial-folder-mode-line-annotation). Alternatively, setting
   mh-partial-folder-mode-line-annotation to a single character such as
   `-' might enough to show that you'd only looking at a subset of a

4. Use a variant of the Gnus newsgroup abbreviation if the folder name
   is longer than a certain threshold. For example, gmane.emacs.devel is
   g.e.devel. Would we use a similar heuristic?

5. Truncate folder names to 20 characters.

If you're an MH-E user, are any of these ideas repugnant to you? Do any
appeal to you? If you're an Emacs/Gnus developer, can you suggest best
practices for the mode line that our users can evaluate?


Bill Wohler <address@hidden>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/  GnuPG ID:610BD9AD

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