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Re: Customizing the mode line

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: Customizing the mode line
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 14:16:47 +0900

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:
>> information that is much less important, like
>> 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).
> What do other people think about it?

I very much like the percentages, scroll-bars or no.  Even if the
information presented is theoretically equivalent, I find the form
matters too.

> 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.

I agree, kinda... but... _some_ minor modes seem fairly important to
know about -- e.g., "Narrow", in a mode where narrowing isn't normal,
and "Fill" -- whereas others are less so.  Ideally, it would be possible
to see the "important" things, and replace the others with "..." or
whatever, but I'm not sure an easy way to distinguish them.

> 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).

That seems a very good idea.


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