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RE: Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Proposal to improve the nomenclature of scrolling directions
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 07:43:28 -0800

> Once you get used to thinking about things in terms of 
> _either_ viewport or content, scrolling makes sense.
> Apple recently changed the direction;
> http://www.pcworld.com/article/236182/osx_lion_scrolling.html
> I'm not clear whether Emacs matched Apple before or after the change;
> the article talks about "finger motion", not "mouse motion".
> > While I don't dispute that your model is what describe, and don't
> > really have any ground to claim it's a minority view, I believe that
> > "everybody's mental model" is rather more nuanced.  Not to mention
> > "plural". :-)
> +1
> Which means there's not much point in changing Emacs functionality,
> although adding the concept of "viewport" to the documentation
> would be a good idea.

The direction of scrolling and its Emacs jargon gets nominated here periodically
as some people's favorite way in which Emacs is old-fashioned & naughty and
needs to be sent back for regrooving, to be put in step with The One Exo-Emacs
Way (TOEEW).

That such a non-issue rises to the top here occasionally suggests how little
Emacs must really need to be regrooved.  This is one of the silliest ways we
could possibly want to spin our wheels looking for improvements.

As Stephen L. suggests, it just doesn't matter, in terms of use, as long as the
behavior is consistent.

Sure, it can matter a teeny tiny bit for someone who is coding Emacs Lisp and
needs to call scrolling functions.  But it's trivial to check which direction is
which.  Users are rarely even aware of the scrolling-command names.  And if made
aware I doubt they would really care what you call them.

There have been lots of approaches to scrolling in the history of UIs, and there
still are multiple approaches in specialized UI areas (e.g. CAD/CAM).  There has
never been a real problem for users to understand or adapt, even when they have
had to switch among multiple kinds of scroll bars etc.

The Emacs-needs-to-fit-The-One-Way-now crowd is the fruit of a period when, yes,
there is less variety and experimentation when it comes to such basic UI
constructs.  It does not follow that Emacs needs to TOEEW the line.  This is a

Trying to cram the splendid sculpture that is Emacs into a perceived TOEEW
pinhole is about as misguided as it gets.  Just let it be.  Circulez ; il n'y a
rien a voir.

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