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Re: Customizing the mode line

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Customizing the mode line
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:15:28 +0200

> From: Stefan Monnier <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden
> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 09:38:16 -0400
> > Should I file a "wish-list" bug for this?
> Yes, please


> > the percentage of the file before the window start
> I indeed never look at it, but I'm uneasy removing it: basically I find
> it redundant when you have scrollbars, but in case you don't have
> scrollbars (e.g. in a non-GUI terminal) it's not redundant (but I got
> so used to using the scrollbars that it never occurs to me to look at
> the modeline for that info.  Actually, I do look at the mode-line when
> I need to figure out "where am I" but then I look at the line number
> rather than the percentage).

Right, I also think that both percentage and the line number is
redundant, and we could remove one of them, at least by default,
leaving an option to restore it for those who want that.

And "C-x l" could be enhanced to show more of that information.

> I think the major-mode/minor mode display is important, but I agree that
> it often takes up a lot of space to display unchanging info.  It would
> be good to come up with some way to make it more space efficient.
> Maybe we could replace "(Mail Fly Abbrev Fill)" with "(Mail..FAF)" and
> then expand the FAF to "Fly Abbrev Fill" in a tooltip.

We could simply display only the major mode by default, and show the
rest in a tooltip, or with some easily-typed command.

> Maybe we should also come up with a scheme to shrink the displayed
> buffer-name if it exceeds some number of chars.

It should probably be moved to the right edge, because if it does not
show in full, or even not at all, it's not a disaster: the user
generally knows what buffer she is in.

> Another thing we could consider is a generic "make the modeline fit"
> feature: after building the complete unshrunk modeline, we look at its
> length and if it exceeds the window's width, we shrink it
> "intelligently" (e.g. using shrink functions provided via
> text-properties on the various parts of the modeline).

We could also make the mode line take 2 lines, but I think this would
be a big job, because I think various places in the display engine
assume it's only one line.

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