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Re: User interaction from multiple threads

From: Phil Sainty
Subject: Re: User interaction from multiple threads
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2018 22:32:01 +1200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.9.1

On 25/08/18 19:51, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> I'm saying that fixing the prompt itself is a better alternative,
> because we will always give the prompt more screen estate than to
> the thread ID.

I'm a big fan of how eldoc support was added to `eval-expression'
such that when you enter elisp into the minibuffer, the mode line
is used to display the eldoc information.

It occurs to me that a similar thing could be done to display the
thread identifiers for prompts without taking real-estate away from
the prompt itself, by placing that contextual information in the
mode line.

This would mean that the thread identifier does not appear to be
a part of the prompt itself (which I think is good, because it's
not actually part of the prompt, but rather the context in which
the prompt is happening).

This should also help alleviate related concerns about the thread
identifiers needing to be exceptionally short.

Perhaps this approach to the idea makes it more appealing?

> Also, the thread ID is fixed for each thread, whereas we
> could add different text to each prompt to make each one more
> self-describing.
> But in general, I see no significant difference between these
> two alternatives, because they both add some text to the prompt.

Personally I feel the differences are significant because they're
each adding distinctly different text.

The thread identifier/context is adding text which the prompt is
incapable of adding for itself, because it has no knowledge of
whether or not it is being executed in the main thread or not.

That aside, it also provides an indicator to the user that the
prompt in question has been triggered by asynchronous activity,
which I think would be helpful information even *without* a
specific ID.

Adding a thread identifier and improving the prompt text also
don't seem to me like mutually exclusive enhancements.  If a
given prompt can be clarified without it seeming excessive in
synchronous situations, that's still a good improvement even
when a thread identifier is also present.


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