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Re: Native display of line numbers: visual line-counting

From: Joseph Garvin
Subject: Re: Native display of line numbers: visual line-counting
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:13:32 -0500

On Jun 24, 2017 2:22 PM, "Eli Zaretskii" <address@hidden> wrote:
> From: Joseph Garvin <address@hidden>
> Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 14:03:27 -0500
> Cc: address@hidden
> For my own use of relative line numbers (speech recognition controlled programming) what's important is
> that the line numbering matches the number of times I'd press the up/down arrow keys or C-p/C-n to move
> my cursor to the labeled line. The whole reason for me to use the feature is to make it easier by eyeballing to
> predict where the cursor will land after I say "up 4", "down 7", etc. So I don't care at all about the numbering
> matching physical lines in the file.

What about lines where cursor cannot enter?  Are you saying you don't
want to count them?

I was just trying to illustrate my use case, I didn't mean to imply anything about lines you can't enter. I typically am editing source files where all lines can be entered. But now that you mention it, if for example there was an overlay making it appear as if more lines were in the buffer than there actually were, then yes ideally those would not count. That's not something I run into very often though. A solution that didn't handle this edge case but otherwise had relative visual line numbers would still be a big improvement.

Also, you seem to be saying that lines that span multiple screen lines
should be counted that many times.  If so, the numbers are not really
"line numbers" anymore, but something else. 

From a text editor programmer's perspective line number may be defined by something like, "number of preceding newline characters" but I think most users think in terms of the lines of text as they are rendered on the display. Most non-emacs editors and IDEs nowadays use wrapping that acts like visual line mode by default. I would call them "visual line numbers."

Moreover, these lines
cannot be communicated to anyone else, as their window geometry could
be different.

Relative line numbers already can't be communicated anyway, since the other person would have to have their cursor on the same line. But I don't think users of relative lines are using it for communicating with other people. They're using it so they can more easily plan a series of keystrokes or voice commands that they're going to issue themselves.

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