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RE: "Why is emacs so square?"

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: "Why is emacs so square?"
Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 08:53:30 -0700 (PDT)

> FWIW, I wrote up a bug report to the `better-defaults' package asking
> to please keep [menu-bar and toolbar) enabled:
> https://github.com/technomancy/better-defaults/issues/37
> I believe this blanket advice to disable the menu and tool-bar should
> be similarly discouraged whenever and wherever we can.  (EmacsWiki could
> be a good place to start, and maybe some of the other "starter packs".)

I agree.

But I agree much more strongly wrt menu-bar.

Wrt the Emacs tool-bar, I think (so far) it's
mainly useful for one-off actions (e.g. click
a button to do something - no subsequent
tool-bar interaction).

That is, I'm not sure how often a tool-bar
user clicks tool-bar buttons/icons.  I kinda
doubt that someone does click-click-click on
icons.  I think it's more likely that a user
uses a particular icon fairly often, as a
shortcut to using a menu, than it is that a
user interacts frequently with multiple icons
on the tool-bar.  (I could be wrong.)

As a result of this assumption, I provide
library `tool-bar+.el', which lets you hide
the tool-bar, replacing it by just one menu-bar
pseudo-menu, `Buttons'.  Clicking that pops
up the tool-bar for the duration of one
interaction.  This is available using minor
mode `tool-bar-pop-up-mode'.


(The same library offers an alternative,
minor mode `tool-bar-here-mode', which is the
same as the global `tool-bar-mode' except that
it affects only the current frame -- it saves
screen real estate on frames other than those
with a tool-bar.)

I think it would make sense for Emacs default
behavior to be similar to that you get by
turning on `tool-bar-pop-up-mode'.  Users would
soon enough discover `Buttons'.

One useful thing that could be added and might
be useful, which I haven't done, would be to
provide a button in every tool-bar, which
toggles the mode, e.g., turns it off, so the
tool-bar is shown by default, or turns it on,
so it is hidden by default and replaced by
pseudo-menu `Buttons'.

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