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RE: Customizing the mode line

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Customizing the mode line
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 10:03:25 -0700

> > `U' instead of `Unix'.
> This one can be customized with eol-mnemonic-unix, so it's not a
> problem.  (I have it customized to just "/".)  The non-native
> mnemonics (Unix on DOS/Windows, DOS on Unix, etc.) are explicit
> because users demanded that back when EOL decoding was introduced in
> Emacs 20.

Good to know; thanks.

But we could instead use a shorter form for the default, and let users customize
it to something longer if they like.

> Maybe there's no need to do this anymore, but OTOH maybe
> there will be a rebellion.

Dunno about possible rebellions, but the place to start is to provide full field
info in tooltips. The tooltip for eol style is already fixed in this regard.

In general, we should start with the smallest changes that bring the greatest
benefit. In order:

1. Fix tooltips to convey full field/state info. Currently, most simply show the
name of the field.

2. _After_ that, think about shortening some of the long mode indicators. Both
major and minor - major-mode indicators are generally the longest, and sometimes
gratuitously long. With meaningful tooltips, all that's needed for the indicator
itself is, well, a brief indicator (!) - just a reminder, not an explanation.

These small changes will take us a long way toward freeing up space, I predict.
And with no significant information loss.

_After_ #1 and #2, if need be (and I don't really expect the need), we can get
down to discussing what else might be done, to free up yet more space.

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