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

From: Richard Riley
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] /srv/bzr/emacs/trunk r99650: Put scroll-bar on right by default on UNIX.
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 13:59:09 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

> Richard Riley <address@hidden> writes:
>> Yavor Doganov <address@hidden> writes:
>>> Chong Yidong wrote:
>>>> Every graphical user interface created in the last X years puts the
>>>> scroll bar on the right.
>>> Not true -- on GNUstep it is by default on the left (although it can
>>> be controlled via the NSScrollViewInterfaceStyle user default which
>>> was implemented at least 3-4 years ago).
>> GnuStep is the benchmark? Sheesh ...
> Anything is the benchmark if a statement about "Every graphical user
> interface" is made.

The benchmark for me is that the majority use. Its that simple. We can
play silly games and point at obscure data as much as we like to win

>>> David Kastrup wrote:
>>>> But the scrollbar is on the left for a reason: _if_ you use the
>>>> mouse for editing, you'll use it more often than not on the left
>>>> (until Eli's work gets merged).  And the larger the windows are made
>>>> horizontally, the more of a nuisance it is to move the mouse.
>>> This makes sense to me.  I suspect that's one of the reasons why NeXT
>>> made such decision.
>> It makes no sense to me.
> Then you should reread it until it does.  You'll be better equipped to
> weigh the relative advantages when you understand your opponents'
> position.

Re-reading does not make it make any sense in comparison to other

>> Most people I watch, and myself, position the mouse on the right hand
>> side of something in which we freetype. The only time I would use a
>> mouse in emacs would be to hilite a url maybe or to move the scroll
>> bar and it makes far more sense for that to be on the right.
> Are URLs more often than not on the right?  Does your text move only to
> the right?

Huh? What are you talking about? The point is that its not a very common
thing to do regardless. Like using the mouse to scroll.
> As I already explained: with the variable-height scrolling control of
> Athena-style scrollbars (by the way: for Xaw applications like xterm,
> xman, xmessage, the default is consistently on the left), it is
> important to have the scrollbar close to the text in order to do aimed
> scrolling.  It is very easy with this scrollbar type, of which the
> toolkit-less is one, to move the beginning of a function to the top of
> the screen with a single click without losing cursor position.

Yes you did. Although why I'm not sure. That in no way cancels out the
reasons for the bar NOT being on the left.

>> For me the real reason is this : I read and write left to write. I dont
>> want a chunk of the left hand side of my screen taken by a control I
>> rarely use. It seems so obvious that I kind of wonder if I am losing the
>> plot here and missing something so terribly obvious.
> Have you disabled all window decorations as well?  And the gutter?

Most. I use xmonad.

> And anyway, the scrollbar takes the same amount of space whether left or
> right.

Are you purposely missing the point? As you put it -reread until you
understand ;)

The point is that its rarely used a text UI such as emacs. THUS it is
not of benefit to have it "in your face". This is pretty basic UI
design. You do not present rarely used controls with a higher

>> But trawling back through the thread all I see to counter this and
>> obvious consistency benefits
> There is none.  There is a familiarity benefit.  We don't give them
> priority over usability, or we would not be using Emacs in the first
> place.

It doesnt mean you need to pick an obscure and non standard positioning
for a commonly used UI control. And left hand side is non standard and

>> is that GnuStep does it on the left (with dus respect almost nothing
>> uses GnuStep) and that it minimises mouse movement in an application
>> that is primarily keyboard driven and then ONLY if the mouse is on the
>> left to start with. I'm at a loss to see how those "for the left"
>> think it any way balances out.
> If there is nothing substantial on the other end of the scale...
>> Still, clearly there are a core element who feel the left is somehow
>> the place and I suspect the decision is made. There's probably not
>> more to add - and thanks for the discussion. Emacs is a wonderful
>> product.
> I think you overlook that a maintainer already did that change without
> even discussing it.  That's what prompted this thread.  So if there is
> any "decision" being made, it would be according to your personal
> preferences.

Customising functionality is always good.

I dont want a cat fight and your "re-read tile you" suggestion prompts me to 
from this thread as your rudeness does not do you justice.



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