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Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions

From: Dani Moncayo
Subject: Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 15:10:55 +0100


After reading (info "(emacs) Scrolling"), I think the Emacs
terminology for specifying scrolling directions is pretty confusing:

1.  The terms "up" and "down" have the opposite meanings of the ones
commonly used in the (non-emacs) world.  The info node explains that
this is for historical reasons; OK, but then, why don't we try to find
a solution?  (see below)

2.  The terms "forward" and "backward" are used as synonyms for "up"
and "down" respectively.  I guess this was an attempt to mitigate the
previous problem [*], but IMO it worsens it, because:
(a) They are ambiguous: here we are talking about _vertical_
scrolling, and "forward"/"backward" could refer to horizontal
scrolling too.
(b) They take the opposite criterion: while "up"/"down" refer to the
movement of the text (relative to the window), "forward"/"backward"
refer to the movement of the window (relative to the text).  So we end
up with a confusing mix of criteria.

So here is my proposal for solving these problems:
1.  Rename the command `scroll-up' to `scroll-window-down' (an
unambiguous name, which uses the standard approach of describing the
window movement), and define `scroll-up' as an obsolete alias for
`scroll-window-down'.  Likewise for the rest of scroll commands with
"up"/"down" in their names.
2.  Remove the use of "forward" and "backward" to refer to scrolling directions.


--- Footnotes ---

[*] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2011-03/msg01063.html

Dani Moncayo

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