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Re: refill paragraph but visually (like visual-line-mode)?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: refill paragraph but visually (like visual-line-mode)?
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:56:57 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> The current problem of visual-line mode and why I almost never use is up
> to three reasons:
> First of all, the text ends wrapped at the right edge of window, even if
> that means quite long lines (such as more than 66 columns: 111 is the
> default with my default current font), which is more a pain of reading
> (eye must move more, stuff to see are more distant from each others).
> Oddly I found nor in searching variables/functions nor in documentation
> anything to limit automatic visual word-wrapping to something such as
> 66, 72, or something more comfortable.

You might like the visual-fill-column packaqe which widens the margin
such that your 111-wide window only has 66-wide columns (sounds like
a big waste to me: I'd rather make the window narrower and use the
remaining space for something else, but to each his own).

> In second stance, when reading source code, and this is normally the
> case I’d find word-wrap the most useful, the wrap just happens to
> continue the logical line from the *beginning* of the next visual line.
> So indentation is broken, and it hard to correctly read afterwards.  I
> guess this may be complicated to implement, but as emacs auto indent
> works most of time, wouldn’t there a way to put visual indent too?

You might like the adaptive-wrap package for that.
[ Here again, I'd suggest to shorten the source lines as a better
  solution, because long lines in source code are just an abomination,
  but admittedly if it's not your code adaptive-wrap-prefix-mode might
  be helpful.  ]

> And last but not least: if the text (usually human text) I’m reading is
> already wrapped, by fill-paragraph for instance, I end up with pairs of
> filled long-lines + very short lines (lines end) which is really ugly:
> word-wrap only wraps, but not refill.  I’d like an option or mode that
> puts at the end of the visual line the beginning of the next logical
> line, just as fill-paragraph do, but only visually, and keeping an
> (invisible) trace of the original/logical newlines.  Maybe while filling
> at fill-column behind the scenes.  So I stop hitting M-q
> (`fill-paragraph') repetedly while word-wrap is on (isn’t this what
> word-wrap is supposed to stop?) to make text readable.

I don't have a package to suggest here :-(
Hopefully, one exists, tho.

There's `refill-mode` which provides a related feature, but it just
does the M-q for you while you edit the text, which won't help you if
you're only reading the text.

The main difficulty here is that to do a proper refill, you need to find
the paragraph boundaries and there's no reliable rule for that (only
heuristics and conventions), so doing it 100% automatically tends to
come with warts and all (which is why refill-mode only performs the
refill for the paragraphs which you do edit, for example).

But I guess if you do it without modifying the buffer (i.e. only using
features which affect the display but not the buffer's contents), the
warts would at least be "harmless".


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