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Re: Understanding atomic window groups

From: Eric Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: Understanding atomic window groups
Date: Sat, 25 May 2019 09:26:26 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

martin rudalics <address@hidden> writes:

>> `quit-window' just behaved unpredictably.
> The idea behind `quit-window' is that it should _never_ bark at the
> user but silently use the next-best solution when the predefined one
> fails.  For example, typing C-h m usually displays a new *Help*
> window.  Typing 'q' in that window conceptually deletes that window
> because it did not exist before showing *Help*.  But if you do C-x 1
> in the *Help* window first and then type 'q', that window can't be
> deleted and thus will have to show some other buffer instead.

Okay, I do see that `quit-window' has a more complicated job to do, and
multiple conditions are checked. I guess I was hoping/expecting that
`quit-window' in a member of an atomic window group could somehow be
altered to act on the whole group, rather than just the current window.

>> This is really helpful, and I see that the docstring of `delete-window'
>> actually mentions the case of atomic windows. I agree with Eli that
>> maybe more documentation is in order. I feel like all the pieces are
>> present (here and there), but there's no one place to get a full
>> overview.
> The "one place" should be section 28.18 of the Elisp manual.  If
> something is missing there, please complain right away.  I'll now try
> to amend the manual entries for 'split-window', 'delete-window' and
> 'delete-other-windows' appropriately as Eli suggested.  There I'll
> then have to talk about side windows as well so this may take some
> time.

I would at least add the fact that atomic groups can be nested, and say
something about how to get _rid_ of an atomic group. When I was first
experimenting, I ended up having to reboot emacs, because I couldn't
figure out how to un-atomic the frame.

It would be great to have more examples in the side windows section as
well. The two features together feel like they could be very powerful,
there's just a bit of a documentation gap.

I've had it in the back of my mind to try replacing Gnus' homemade
windowing functionality with side windows, because they do pretty much
the same thing, but I'm not sure where to start. In particular, the doc
examples show a setup where certain buffers appear to _always_ be
displayed in certain side buffers. My assumption is that in the vast
majority of cases, people would want to display _this_ particular group
of buffers in a certain way on _this_ frame, and not pollute the global

> And if you want a function like the below please tell me.

Now that I've seen it, I don't need you to add it :)

Generally, the code I've ended up writing for windowing stuff has always
been pretty simple, once I figure it out. But some more help figuring it
out would be very welcome.


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