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Re: Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions

From: Daniel Hackney
Subject: Re: Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 13:05:09 -0500

Dani Moncayo <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,
> 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)

Wow. I've been using Emacs hardcore for 6 years and never noticed this!
I can understand the window/frame naming, but I never imagined that
Emacs would do things backwards for scrolling. The idea that "down"
would mean "up" is baffling.

I suppose a transition would be difficult, but I can't imagine why it
should stick with the opposite definition from everything else. Emacs
uses "down" to mean "move downwards" in its documentation already:

  - =next-line= :: Move cursor vertically down ARG lines.
  - =outline-move-subtree-up= :: Move the current subtree up past ARG
       headlines of the same level.
  - bindings.el :: (define-key global-map [up] 'previous-line)
  - =end-of-defun= :: Move forward to next end of defun.
  - =eobp= :: Return t if point is at the end of the buffer.
  - =erc-scroll-to-bottom= :: Recenter WINDOW so that `point' is on
the last line.

Plus, it's what every other program uses:

* Firefox
  - scroll on mobile ::
  - page down ::
* LibreOffice
  - Writer navigation :: http://help.libreoffice.org/Writer/Navigation
* Gnome terminal
  - Scroll through commands ::
* Microsoft Office
  - Through a worksheet ::
* Gnumeric
  - Scrollbars ::
* Gtk
  - =GtkScrolledWindow= :: http://www.gtk.org/api/2.6/gtk/GtkScrolledWindow.html
  - left moves towards the top ::

Et Cetera.

All of the documentation refers to "movement towards =(point-max)=" as
going towards the end or bottom of the buffer/window. It wouldn't make
sense to say "scroll up to the end of the window" or "scroll all the way
down until you reach the beginning."

Daniel Hackney

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