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Re: emacs daemon on win32?

From: David De La Harpe Golden
Subject: Re: emacs daemon on win32?
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 16:33:31 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20081018)

Juanma Barranquero wrote:

The cool thing would be to have a Windows Emacs server start as a
systray app. I'd love for Emacs not to use space in the taskbar, just
in the tray, until I bring it forward with emacsclient. David De La
Harpe Golden proposed as much back in August (though he was talking
about GNU/Linux, I think).

I was, or rather freedesktop.org compliant desktops in general that follow the relevant systray spec*, but only because that's the environment I personally know or care about, similar functionality on other platforms with GUI conventions for such things is presumably equally desirable.

While I believe the spec is straightforward, I personally won't have time to look implementing it in the next few days anyway (tax filing deadline is Hallowe'en in Ireland, appropriately enough!), so below find my (trivial) design notes.


I imagined an emacs icon in the systray, clicking left button just opening a new frame, right button bringing up a small menu with something like
Open File...                                            [1]
New Frame
New Frame on Display...                                 [2]
Start Emacs Server [/ Stop Emacs Server]                [3]
Settings...                                             [4]
Quit Emacs                                              [5]

I really don't think you'd want more than that on the menu, keep it simple.

Note that the systray support could also be used for popup balloon message notifications too, in the manner described in *, e.g. new mail notifications for intra-emacs mail/news clients. (biff being long-dead for all practical purposes)

[1] - Jumping straight to open file dialog, opening in new frame.
(or of course new frame and show file list if you've turned the dire-on-gtk/gnome system GUI file dialog off)

[2] Not sure about this one, might be considered advanced functionality.

[3] I think for the present people will want to be able to restart the emacsclient server from the menu (since in my experience it's fairly easy to accidentally nuke the socket with another emacs or whatever, and then the only practical option is to restart it). I guess a tooltip should say something like "when the server is running, you can use emacsclient from the command line to edit files in this emacs session". The started/stopped state should probably be persistent across sessions
(i.e. whether emacs starts the server when emacs is started upon login).

[4] jumping straight to a new frame opened on the customize toplevel I guess.

[5] This should probably give a modified close dialog asking if you want emacs restarted upon next login or not, most systray apps do AFAIK even if it's strictly kinda redundant (since one could just not quit it or restart it before logout if you wanted the session to save the fact it's there...)

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