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Re: [Emacs-diffs] /srv/bzr/emacs/trunk r99650: Put scroll-bar on right b

From: James Cloos
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] /srv/bzr/emacs/trunk r99650: Put scroll-bar on right by default on UNIX.
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 16:25:57 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.1.90 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> "EZ" == Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> The most important use of the scroll bar in a keyboard-controlable app
>> like Emacs is as a visual reference to the size of the buffer as compared
>> to the size of the visible window.

EZ> Do you really need this indication so often as to make this a serious
EZ> argument?

Yes, I do.  Almost every day in Gnus *Aritcle* buffers; regularly when
editing outouting mail, source code, TeX, html and the like.  It is
fast, easy, does not require re-focusing my eyes.  It just works.

And it is a useful metric for how long-winded I missive might be, how
far point (assuming it is currently displayed) is from some other
section of code, and whether the file is getting long enough that it
ought to be split.

I also use the bar in 'zilla that way, although it isn't quite as good as
Emacs' and Xaw3d's implementations.  (In Seamonkey keyboard control works 
almost as well as in Emacs, so I don't need its bar for scrolling either.
Firfox, however, broke keyboard control; only there and in links' graphic
mode do I regularly need to use the bar to scroll.)

EZ> Guess what? most apps I've seen don't change their scroll bar location
EZ> no matter which directionality is the prevailing one in the current
EZ> locale.

I'm not surprised that they don't, but if that means they always have
the bar on the right, then that benefits the r2l users more than it
benefits l2r users like myself.

EZ> And what is ``r2l locale'', anyway?

Shorthand for users who do something like LANG=ar_XX.UTF-8, LANG=fa_XX.utf8
or LANG=he_XX.utf8, to pick some semi-random examples (with XX in place of
any majuscule, 2-letter country code) and thus get all of their UI elements
in r2l.  As an example, I've seen screenshots where the menus started on
the right instread of the left.

By mentioning that possibility, I was simply trying to be inclusionist
rather than exclusionist.

EZ> Let's say I have on the same frame one buffer with prose in R2L
EZ> script, and another buffer with a C or Lisp source -- do you want
EZ> Emacs to display the scroll bar for each buffer on different sides?
EZ> in the same frame?

I wouldn't.  But my point, given that I was arguing that the bar should
be closer to the text, was that if all of the text a user tends to edit
is tied to the right margin rather than to the left margin, then their
scrollbar location preferences may also be the opposite of mine, even
if their usage pattern and needs are otherwise the same.

(I hope that explains the point well enough.)

What I would want, in the case you decribe above, is to keep the bar on
the left, but have the right margin of the r2l text positioned close
enought to the left margin of the buffer, that the text would be in
about the same part of the screen as if it were l2r text.  (I got the
impression that fill-column might end up overloaded for that function
from one of the emacs-bidi threads; I am very much in favour of that
or something like that.)

I can see that this buffer is now more than twice as tall as the
frame; seems like a good point to stop writing. ;)

James Cloos <address@hidden>         OpenPGP: 1024D/ED7DAEA6

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