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Re: visual line mode

From: Peter Dyballa
Subject: Re: visual line mode
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 23:54:54 +0200

Am 13.10.2012 um 09:41 schrieb Eli Zaretskii:

> (Why do you care about how columns
> increase/decrease?  For that matter, why do you turn on
> column-number-mode at all?)

Because columns play an important role in *shell* buffer: if the cursor or line 
length is around 1,000 it can happen that this lengthy command cannot be 

While trying to find this or that recipe you requested, I found that effect:

Create a file containing that line with TABS between "6)" and "von":

        Tausendschönchen (Sedmikrasky) (1966)                           von 
Vera Chytilová

Launch GNU Emacs with -Q and visit that file read-only. Activate visual line 
mode. Resize the frame's width to 15 columns ("C-a C-u 14 C-f" should put the 
cursor into the last, right-most column). Position the cursor at the SPACE in 
the name "Vera Chytilová" and use the cursor movement keys to make the text 
cursor move upwards. In the visible line with TABs it will not go upwards but 
leftwards, in a left-to-right script one TAB backwards, as it will do on the 
visible line above, where UP makes it jump to column 0, i.e., left of "(1966)". 
On next UP it's back in the column where the cursor started.

When I position the text cursor with the mouse on the second "n" in 
"Tausendschönchen" and then press CURSOR DOWN it jumps over all the TABs after 
"(1966)" and lands on the "a" in "Very Chytilová" instead of the SPACE…

>> And while I was testing this behaviour again it happened that I could not 
>> position by means of the mouse the cursor onto every column of a long broken 
>> line, i.e., most columns, for example those of the first part or the 
>> beginning of the broken line, could not be reached.
> I have no problem with this when I try it now.  Does it happen for you
> in "emacs -Q", if you just turn on visual-line-mode?

I certainly have to click a lot more. What I encountered is that I clicked into 
column X on some line and repeatedly the text from the last column until where 
I clicked was high-lighted. Or when I clicked into column Y on some other line 
the text cursor was put into column (X - N).

>> And although I removed any white space on the lines after the (black) text 
>> had ended, I can see the cursor stay in that deleted white space:
> I cannot reproduce this.  Can you give a recipe?

I cannot reproduce that as well – because I failed to see that the text was

        % \DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.pdf,.png,.jpeg}

which was broken into what you see in the screen-shot. But what I can do with 
the text line

        % \DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.pdf,.png,.jpeg}    % in pdfTeX allowed 
graphics formats


a) position the cursor in column 0 on the "%"
b) perform RIGHT C-u C-x = RIGHT C-u C-x = RIGHT C-u C-x = RIGHT C-u C-x = 
(this is exactly four times right on exactly one SPACE character)

The *Messages* buffer contains:

        Char: % (37, #o45, #x25) point=2577 of 37255 (7%) column=0
        Char: SPC (32, #o40, #x20) point=2578 of 37255 (7%) column=1
        Char: SPC (32, #o40, #x20) point=2579 of 37255 (7%) column=2
        Char: SPC (32, #o40, #x20) point=2580 of 37255 (7%) column=3
        Char: SPC (32, #o40, #x20) point=2581 of 37255 (7%) column=4

And here is an excerpt, the end, of *Help* buffer:

 <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement>
<mouse-1> C-a C-u C-x = <right> C-u C-x = <right> C-u
C-x = <right> C-u C-x = <right> C-u C-x = <down-mouse-1>
<mouse-movement> <mouse-1> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement>
<mouse-movement> <drag-mouse-1> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement>
<mouse-1> C-a <right> <right> <right> <right> <right>
<help-echo> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-1> C-x b * M e s
s <tab> <return> <up> <up> <up> <up> <up> <up> <up>
<up> <up> <up> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement> <mouse-1>
<down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement> <mouse-movement> <help-echo>
<mouse-movement> <mouse-movement> <mouse-movement>
<mouse-movement> <drag-mouse-1> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement>
<mouse-1> <help-echo> C-h l

Eli, right now and possibly the next few years I am not and shall not be 
interested in visual-line-mode. I don't like it and I shall not like it 
presumingly another few years long. Whether it has bugs or not – I don't care. 
During the described period of time I think working on visual-line-mode will be 
a waste of time for me. For me less annoying and more satisfying thing exist, 
so I am stopping now this thread for me. If you want, then I can send you the 
two files I used for "testing". I was using the Lucid/Xaw3d variant of a 
recently, 10.10., updated GNU Emacs 24.2.50.

I prefer to have a GNU Emacs that is as true and reliable as Honest John, the 
sheriff with the hat of the Mounted Police, played by W.C. Fields, in the film 
“Six Of A Kind”, who explains at a billiard pool why he carries the honourable 
name "Honest". (I also don't like org-mode. It's cheating as well. IMO. And I 
don't want to explain that and return to that trauma.) GNU Emacs should stay a 
reliable computer programme and not quantum physics where nothing is certain, 
only more or less likely. I like tools that *I* can control, not the other way 


Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint.
                                – Mark Twain

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