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Re: annoyances [Was: shrink-window-if-larger-than-buffer in VC-diff]

From: Uday S Reddy
Subject: Re: annoyances [Was: shrink-window-if-larger-than-buffer in VC-diff]
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 09:54:32 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100802 Thunderbird/3.1.2

On 8/16/2010 2:45 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

I understand, but don't necessarily sympathize.  For example, with
find-file, it's pretty clear that automatically switching windows is a
good thing.

As you can tell, it is not "clear" to me that it is a good thing. When the user is displaying two windows, Emacs doesn't really know which window the user wants to be in. The best thing to do would be to make no assumption. The documentation of dired-find-file-other-window doesn't say that it is going to switch windows. You might say that that is included in the semantics of "find-file". But, then, would the semantics of "next-error" include putting focus on the error message?

These switching actions are an example of over-enthusiasm on the part of Emacs, just as s-w-i-l-t-b is. Whoever wrote these functions was thinking of one particular workflow and forgetting that less can often be more.

  Maybe in the case of C-x ` (is that `next-error' in your
context, as it is for me?) it should be optional.  I admit I'm an
infrequent user of next-error, but I think it's quite natural to
switch windows since it's documented as visiting the error buffer and
the corresponding source file.  This is almost always what I want.  If
you don't like that behavior, you need to write your own function that
implements the workflow you want.  As usual.[1]

I suppose you are right. I am a bit spoilt by VM, which seems to know how to do just the right thing in terms of the user interface. One of the ideas I have is to write a generic "browser" mode, using VM ideas, which can be inherited by all modes like dired, diff, buffer-menu, VM, Gnus etc. and provide a uniform user interface to all of them. This should also address some of the key binding issues we were talking about in the other thread. I don't yet know when I will get time to do it.


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