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Re: On improving Bookmarks
Re: On improving Bookmarks
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 11:28:30 -0600
Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13)
[I'm combining the original bug-59212 thread with an emacs-devel
On 12 Nov 2022, Eli Zaretskii wrote in Bug #59212:
From: Gabriel <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2022 05:56:22 -0300
Not a bug per se, but a suggestion for improvement in how
displays the Type (added by commit
Currently, bookmark-bmenu-list (C-x r l) displays a column
which has a proper value for all handlers (e.g.: Eshell, VC,
except for regular files, in which an empty string is
believe the current behavior could be improved by displaying a
value ("Files") to make the interface more uniform, explicit
1) emacs -Q
2) M-x eshell
3) C-x r m <RET>
4) C-x C-f ~/foo.bar
5) C-x r m <RET>
6) C-x r b
These steps will add two bookmarks (eshell and foo.bar) and
the Bookmarks list. The Type column will have values "" and
"Eshell". After the patch below is applied, the Type column
values "File" and "Eshell".
Karl, any comments?
I don't have a strong opinion on this UI suggestion.
For users who set mostly file-or-directory bookmarks, and don't
set very many bookmarks of other types, then it probably makes
sense to treat files/directories as the default and not show a
type for them. That way, the unusual bookmarks stand out (which
is useful because they might have different response-time
characteristics, or other interactive idiosyncracies, than that
user's typical bookmark does).
On the other hand, for users for whom file/directory bookmarks are
not more common than other kinds of bookmarks, showing "File" or
"Directory" like any other type would probably be better. Those
users are already accustomed to a variety of interactivity
characteristics from their bookmarks anyway, so it makes less
sense to trade away consistency of display in favor of stand-out
visibility of certain cases.
But these are really minor differences; they're not terribly
persuasive either way. I think I'm still at "no strong opinion".
I wouldn't stand in the way of the change.
Continuing on to the later conversation on emacs-devel about this:
On 16 Nov 2022, Gabriel wrote:
I think there are some opportunities for improvements in
general and in how it support Types) and would like to collect
feedback and directions before reporting bugs or proposing
especially considering if such changes would be useful, the
implement them and how to handle compatibility.
Bookmarks has support for Types besides regular "Files" or
(opened with Dired). A quick xref in current Emacs master branch
the following Types:
1) The empty "Type" column on C-x r l (bookmark-bmenu-list)
Bookmarks shows a proper value in the Type column of
for all Types, except for regular "Files" and "Directories", in
shows an empty string. I believe that displaying the actual Type
an empty string for these cases would make the interface more
and easier for navigation. See bug#59212 for the open
Besides the question regarding the real value of this change, I
currently don't know how to easily distinguish between "Files"
"Directories" without relying on IO calls
(e.g. file-directory-p), which
could degrade performance in case of long Bookmarks lists. We
display the string "File" for both "Files" and "Directories", but
would be a worse experience for users to not provide such
Could we just use a combined term like "File/Dir" or "File/Path"
or just "Path" or something? Not the perfect user experience, but
an 80% solution. Obviously, we'd want to keep the width small.
2) The usage of "File" and "Filename" in docs and interface
In docs (e.g. (info "(emacs)Bookmarks")) and interface (e.g. the
column in bookmark-bmenu-list), we can find several occurrences
terms "File" and "Filename" (and related terms), which I think is
inconsistent since Bookmarks supports Types that do not really
these concepts (e.g. "Help", "Man", "EWW", "Gnus"). A better
be "Location", which is already used in some places
(e.g. bookmark-location, bookmark-relocate, the 'location
Thus, I propose to make "Location" the official term in docs,
and code, and to obsolete "File", "Filename" and related ones.
+1. This makes a lot of sense, independently of whatever we do in
the Type column of the Bookmark Menu.
The rest of your post on emacs-devel isn't really related to bug
#59212, so I'll follow up separately to it in a moment.