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Re: Fix width tabs

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Fix width tabs
Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2022 19:28:43 +0200

> From: Juri Linkov <juri@linkov.net>
> Cc: orontee@gmail.com,  emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2022 19:12:54 +0200
> > This begs the question: what is the fixed width to which the tabs are
> > resized? if it's "fixed", then the value is known in advance, right?
> > Moreover, if the tab sizes are fixed, why does the doc string say
> > "automatically resize"? "resizing" is the antithesis of "fixed width".
> Maybe a better name would be `tab-bar-auto-resize'?
> But this name will be confused with the existing
> `auto-resize-tab-bars' that resizes the tab-bar's height,
> not width.

We can think about a good name for the variable when we have a good
understanding of the behavior it changes.

> > Can you explain in plain words what this option does, when it is
> > non-nil?  (There's a hint to that in the doc string of
> > tab-bar-fixed-width-max, but that's not the right place for this
> > information.)  Also, what does it do when it's nil?
> When tab-bar-fixed-width is non-nil, tabs are distributed evenly
> across the tab-bar.  When also tab-bar-fixed-width-max is a number,
> then tab names are truncated to the defined width.
> In any case, short tab names are filled with spaces.
> Currently there is no option to avoid filling with spaces.
> Maybe tab-bar-fixed-width could also support a new value
> 'shrink-only' for this.

Ok, and what happens when tab-bar-fixed-width is nil?

> > The style of the doc string is also problematic: we shouldn't describe
> > in a doc string of user option what problems it solves.  Instead, we
> > should tell what is the behavior for each valid value of the option;
> > the judgment of what is a "problem" and what isn't is left to the
> > user, because the needs of users may differ, and what is a "problem"
> > for some is a "solution" to others.  That's why we have user options
> > to begin with.
> >
> > The NEWS entry is also problematic, basically for the same reason.
> Maybe the description of problems should be moved from the doc string
> to NEWS?

No, I don't think so.  I believe if we explain the behavior with both
nil and non-nil values, users will understand what it does for them in
various situations, and we won't need to qualify anything as a


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