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Re: make-progress-reporter suggestions: 'modeline and customizable progr

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: make-progress-reporter suggestions: 'modeline and customizable progress-reporter--pulse-characters
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 15:35:15 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.110014 (No Gnus v0.14) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 23 Feb 2011 15:56:56 -0500 Chong Yidong <address@hidden> wrote: 

CY> Michael Albinus <address@hidden> writes:
>> I'm waiting, whether there is resistance to that change (Stefan?
>> Chong?). If there is no opposition, I'll install the patch next
>> weekend in the trunk.

CY> I'm dubious about the idea.  The mode-line is supposed to show
CY> information about one window, while the progress-reporter is a global
CY> indicator, so conceptually it's not a good fit.

My modeline has shown the time and the date for many years, so "global"
data is not unprecedented there.  I think it's the right place: always
present, unobtrusive, and won't interfere with normal echo area usage.

CY> What do we do if the user switches windows while the progress reporter
CY> is spinning?  Does the current window take over the spinning?  Or do
CY> inactive mode-lines spin too?  (That would be annoying.)

The active modeline should take over.  I don't know if Michael's patch
does that, I didn't check.

CY> Using the background of the echo area as a progress bar would be nice,
CY> but that may need some redisplay engine changes.  (It won't be annoying
CY> if the color changes are muted enough, and I believe there are many GUI
CY> applications that do something similar.)

I think it would be distracting.  The echo area is big and the user is
often looking for messages there.  The intent is to show progress
without noise in the echo area.

CY> If that's too hard, how about reserving the first character in the echo
CY> area for a spinner instead?

That could work but I think it would be distracting since regular
messages show up in the echo area too.  Really, the modeline seems like
the best place to me.  It "feels" like a classis GUI status bar.  Could
you try Michael's patch for yourself?

Since the modeline progress indicator will be disabled by default, I
think it's a low-risk improvement to Emacs.  It also requires no C-level
changes, I think.


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