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RE: up & down keys in Dired [was: M-= in Dired]

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: up & down keys in Dired [was: M-= in Dired]
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 13:42:15 -0700

> >> I don't like that behaviour either.
> >
> > Once more - you might be unhappy, but you do not say why.
> Sometimes I don't want point to jump back to the file name because I
> might be reading some other column, say the file sizes. At 
> least C-n and C-p could run regular next/previous-line. The way
> it is now it feels very intrusive.

Thanks for giving a reason.  And a reasonable one.

I don't disagree with the usefulness sometimes of staying in the same column.

I do think that if you start separating the bindings of pairs n/p, C-n/C-p, and
down/up then some people will want one or the other pair to have one or the
other behavior.

Unless we add a user option for that (unlikely), IMO this essentially comes down
to a suggestion that individuals bind whichever keys they like in
`dired-mode-map', which is trivial to do.  IOW, I don't see a good reason to
change the default binding for any one of these pairs in particular.

Coming back to your reason, and FWIW, there are also other ways to provide for
help seeing which date, permissions, etc. belong to which files:

1. I already mentioned toggling `wdired', which is no big deal if you bind it to
a key.  Then anyone can use your `C-n' approach without needing to change
C-n/C-p bindings.  It depends how often you need to use `C-n' that way, I guess.

2. Another answer would be `hl-line' highlighting.  That too can be quickly
toggled on/off.

3. To me, it makes sense for highlighting of a line in Dired to be across the
entire line - like using a ruler with tabular data.  Printed tables often have
rules or zebra striping for just that reason.

But I personally prefer not to use `hl-line' mode all the time in Dired.  I
don't want to always see the current line highlighted.  But I do want to see it
highlighted in some contexts.

So as an alternative to toggling `hl-line' highlighting on/off, I use full-line
highlighting for Dired mouseover and for marked lines.

The suggestion for vanilla Emacs to do likewise was rejected long ago, but I
wouldn't be without it.  I do the same thing for grep output, buffer menu, etc.
You can see the effect for Dired here:

> NB: Once more?

"Once more" referred to my reply: "I'm saying this once again."  I had just
finished replying the same thing to the OP: he gave no reason for his annoyance.
Sorry for any confusion about that.

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