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Re: Framework extending window functions for Follow Mode (etc.).

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Framework extending window functions for Follow Mode (etc.).
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2015 15:41:24 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Juri.

On Mon, Nov 09, 2015 at 02:50:04AM +0200, Juri Linkov wrote:
> >> This problem is already solved by enabling lazy-highlighting of the whole
> >> follow-mode buffer, but I postponed installing that patch to not create 
> >> merge
> >> conflicts with your work in the same functions.

> > My solution is to lazily highlight just the part visible in windows (but
> > in all pertinent windows).  Isn't highlighting all of it going to be a
> > bit slow on a large buffer?

> It shouldn't be slow with a sufficiently low value of 
> lazy-highlight-max-at-a-time.

OK, I see it: it would be slow if it had to go to completion, but any
key/mouse/other event will terminate it.  So the only place it might be a
problem is somewhere where CPU cycles are at a premium.

> > Part 3 of the bug is most assuredly NOT an intrinsic limitation of
> > isearch-allow-scroll.  It's caused by the variables w-L1 and w-L-1, the
> > bounds for the permissible scrolling range in
> > isearch-string-out-of-window, being set to the top and botom of the
> > _single_ window.  When these variables are set to the top of bottom of
> > the entire FM group of windows, the bug is solved.  This requires my new
> > framework, or something like it.

> I tried to not use isearch-string-out-of-window/isearch-back-into-window
> at all, but I can't get a useful behavior in such situation of scrolling
> out of the window with the current search hit.  Could you show how you see
> it should work in this case in follow-mode?

To start with, set

  (global-set-key [next] 'follow-scroll-up)
  (global-set-key [prior] 'follow-scroll-down)
  (setq isearch-allow-scroll t)

.  Then start an Isearch not too close to the start of a buffer with
Follow Mode enabled with at least two windows.  Type something to get a
search match highlighted.  Now <PageUp> and <PageDown> should scroll that
match between Follow Mode windows, the boundaries of that scrolling being
the top of the LH window and the bottom of the RH window.

To make this work properly, the four variables in
isearch-string-out-of-window, w-start, w-end, w-L1, w-L-1, are set to the
positions in the entire group of windows, by setting the proposed
&optional argument GROUP to t in the calls to certain window functions,

     (let ((w-start (window-start nil t))

> >> > 4: With point near the bottom of a Follow Mode window, start an Isearch,
> >> >   and repeatedly do M-s C-e, until the highlighted match continues on to
> >> >   the next window.  Continue doing M-s C-e until the string in the
> >> >   minibuffer expands by a line.  At this point the top of the RH window
> >> >   gets spuriously scrolled into the middle of the window, leaving the FM
> >> >   windows unsynchronised.

> >> I see the same behavior even without Isearch.

> > The buggy behaviour I've described is explicitly and essentially an
> > Isearch scenario.  What do you mean by "the same behavior" and what
> > sequence of commands generates it?

> > The solution to problem 4 involves making sure point is at the right
> > place at the right time when invoking isearch-message.  I have made
> > changes to fix it.

> I meant such things as 'M-: (message "x\ny\nz") RET' causes jumping too.

It causes some scrolling of windows to keep them properly aligned when
the echo area expands to three lines.  This is expected and proper.
However, when the echo area goes back to one line, the windows don't
scroll back again, leaving them unaligned.  I raised a bug for this this
morning.  It seems it is a known problem which is tricky to solve.

> >> Honestly, I see here nothing that requires a new multi-window framework.

> > I want these bugs to be solved.  What, then, are the alternatives to
> > this framework (or something like it)?  Isearch needs information about
> > the Follow Mode windows, or it can't work properly.

[ .... ]

> > So, where do we go from here?  I would like these bugs fixed for 25.1.

> The problem is that you are trying to design a new framework,
> but not demonstrated yet how it would be useful generally in cases
> other than a specific combination of isearch/follow-mode.

Any elisp software which manipulates windows will be able to work better
by considering entire FM groups.  I did some grepping: here are some
examples which the new framework could improve:

`kill-ring-save' should blink the cursor on the matching other-end, if
that is visible.  With FM active, and other end being in a different
window, currently it wrongly outputs a message instead.

`window-screen-lines' could be enhanced (optionally) to return the number
of screen lines in the entire group.

`blink-matching-open' could be enhanced to handle FM windows properly.

`ns-scroll-bar-move' (probably) should `set-window-start' for the entire
window group.  This (might) avoid scrolling such that the RH follow
window is displaying empty space.

One point about this new framework is that it is "harmless" in the sense
that anything which worked (or failed to work) prior to it will continue
unchanged unless specifically amended.  It's disadvantage is that it adds
a little to the bulk of things people need to know or to look up in

I think Follow Mode should become easier to use, both for users and for
hackers, especially given that wide screens (>200 characters) are now the
norm rather than the exception.  At the moment Follow Mode is
ridiculously difficult to start (manually splitting windows, doing M-x
follow-mode) and even more difficult to hack for - just what interfaces
are currently available for making a package work with FM?  Answer: none
at all.  This new framework is intended to go some way to closing the

The alternative to a framework is a bugfix which is specific to Isearch.
Even this would require some sort of interface definition and
abstraction.  At a minimum, for "part 3" of the bug, Isearch would need
somehow to obtain the bounds of the group of windows.

The last alternative is a quick and dirty fix where Isearch would just
call Follow Mode functions.  I don't think anybody really wants this.

Would it help if I actually made the source available?  If so, where?  I
don't really think it would be appropriate to dump a patch of this size
on emacs-devel, and the time to commit the changes to master has clearly
not yet arrived.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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