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Re: xterm-mouse-mode gives incorrect posn-object-x-y with display space

From: Akib Azmain Turja
Subject: Re: xterm-mouse-mode gives incorrect posn-object-x-y with display space
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2022 00:56:06 +0600

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> From: JD Smith <jdtsmith@gmail.com>
>> Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2022 16:42:29 -0500
>> Cc: emacs-devel@gnu.org
>> Thanks.  The documentation on posn-object-* provides no guidance that a 
>> “string object” would not include a
>> stretched string with specified space.  So it was not at all surprising to 
>> me that it worked "as expected" in the
>> GUI.  In further support of this impression (leaving aside specified space), 
>> posn-object-x-y works perfectly
>> well on normal width characters in the buffer, providing pixel level 
>> information on where *within the
>> character* you clicked.  In fact I cannot think what "pixel-based x and y 
>> coordinates relative to the upper left
>> corner” would mean other than this for a "string object".  Surely that is 
>> not an accident of the
>> implementation!
> posn-object-x-y for a display/overlay string measure from the nearest glyph
> of the string character, not from the beginning of the string.
>> > Yes, but on TTY frames the DX/DY _within_ the character glyph are always
>> > zero, because each character is considered to be exactly one "pixel".  And
>> > if I tell you that stretches of whitespace produced by 'space' display 
>> > specs
>> > are implemented on TTY as sequences of SPC characters (of course, what
>> > else?), then I think you will understand why the DX/DY values, defined in
>> > the ELisp manual as "the coordinates relative to the top left corner of the
>> > character glyph clicked on", on a TTY are always zero: wherever the click
>> > is, it is always on a glyph of some SPC character from those that represent
>> > the stretch of whitespace.
>> Thanks for these details.  This I had indeed understood; with char
>> units, you can’t and won't get any pixel offsets within a single
>> char glyph.  Since for the TTY, Emacs implements a specified space
>> under the hood as a “series of spaces”, the natural thing for
>> consistency with the GUI would be for posn-object-x-y to report
>> click position offsets (in integer character units, naturally)
>> within that stretched space.  It sounds like this may be challenging
>> to implement internally, but it would be the most consistent.  It
>> must be possible, since Emacs 1) knows it drew a specified space as
>> a series of space chars in the TTY, and 2) knows (or could know)
>> where the click occurred within that group of space chars it drew.
> The problem is that the "knowledge" about stretch implementation is on a
> much lower level than the one on which posn-object-x-y operates.  On the
> level of posn-object-x-y there's no stretch, just the position and the
> metrics of the glyphs it produced.
>> To summarize, the fact that in the TTY a stretched space is
>> implemented as a collection of space chars, and on GUI, some other
>> type of pixel-precise graphical element is IMO just an
>> implementation detail.  What if TTY’s of the future allow drawing
>> small graphical elements at pixel precision? How is the user of
>> posn-object-* to know which of the two different and incompatible
>> result flavors they will get?
> If that ever happens, "Someone" will have a lot of work on their hands.
>> This is how I implement mlscroll, a mode line scroll bar we’ve
>> discussed here before.  The basic design is 3 specified spaces in a
>> row , usually right-aligned in the mode line. Together these 3
>> (varying width) spaces indicate the number of lines: i) above ii)
>> showing, and iii) after the window.  Just like a “real” scrollbar,
>> the user can interact with it by clicking/dragging/etc.  When
>> clicking on the bar, the precise relative click position determines
>> what lines are scrolled into view (again, just like a real
>> scrollbar).  Surprisingly it looks pretty good on TTY without any
>> special casing, though obviously with char- instead of
>> pixel-granularity.  But this happy consistency breaks down with
>> xterm-mouse-mode, since clicks on the modeline scrollbar are not
>> reportable as positions w.r.t. the clicked element, i.e. since
>> posn-object-x-y always reports 0 on TTY.
> I don't understand what you mean by "surprisingly it looks pretty good on
> TTY without any special casing", if mouse clicks on TTY frames give you this
> problem.  Are you saying that you only see this with xterm-mouse-mode, but
> not with some other mouse which works with Emacs TTY frames?
>> >  (let* ((event-posn (posn-point (event-start ev)))
>> >         (click-x-y (posn-x-y (event-start ev)))
>> >         (obj-x-y (posn-x-y (posn-at-point event-posn))))
>> >    (cons (- (car click-x-y) (car obj-x-y))
>> >          (- (cdr click-x-y) (cdr obj-x-y))))
>> > 
>> > IOW, don't trust DX/DY, but calculate the offsets "by hand".
>> Thanks for your good suggestion; this would indeed work as desired
>> in the buffer, since posn-at-point does seem to “know” it’s in a
>> specified space in both GUI and TTY (which makes me think
>> posn-object-x-y should also be able to know this).
>> Unfortunately posn-point returns nil for posn-area = mode-line, so
>> this does not solve the problem.  Is there any other way you know to
>> determine the starting char position of the _group of spaces_ that
>> TTY Emacs translates a specified space into, in the mode line?
>> Calculating the char-start of the scrollbar myself will be
>> challenging given dynamic modeline elements and the possibility for
>> the user to place the scrollbar anywhere they want (i.e. not just
>> right-aligned).
> Why challenging?  On TTY frames, align-to always aligns to some character
> position, and the mouse clicks are reported in terms of character positions
> as well.  Why do you even need the fine details of the POSITION part of the
> mouse-click events on TTY frames?

They (probably a grammatical mistake) are the maintainer of the mlscroll
package, that implement scroll bar in mode line, but using specified
space.  That's why they need the click position *precisely*.

Akib Azmain Turja, GPG key: 70018CE5819F17A3BBA666AFE74F0EFA922AE7F5
Fediverse: akib@hostux.social
Codeberg: akib
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