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Re: Copy-scrollback mode -- VIsual feedback in window caption?

From: Hugo Heden
Subject: Re: Copy-scrollback mode -- VIsual feedback in window caption?
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 11:03:39 +0100

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 6:13 AM, Chris Jones <address@hidden> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 05:19:57AM EST, Hugo Heden wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 7:51 AM, Sadrul Habib Chowdhury <address@hidden>wrote:

> > * Hugo Heden had this to say on [10 Dec 2009, 15:31:53 +0100]:
> > > Good day all,
> > >
> > > I would like to add some visual feedback for whether a window is
> > > in copy/scrollback mode  or not, perhaps by showing a different
> > > colour in the
> > > window caption. Some other visual feedback would work too.
> >
> > Suggestions for a good *visual* feedback for this would indeed be
> > welcome.
> >

> Suggestion, sort of: Make it possible to change the colour of (or
> change the string in, or do whatever with) the *window caption* when
> copy-scrollback-mode is in effect.

> (I usually use a blue window caption, but it'd be lovely if I could
> make is so that it was green whenever copy-scrollback-mode was in
> effect. The reason is that I use scrollback pretty extensively,
> looking for logged data in big terminal print-outs. And sometimes when
> I'm back from getting a cup of coffe, I sort of forget that the window
> is in copy-scrollback-mode, so I start typing -- and the window exits
> copy-scroll-back-mode, and I realize that I just lost the valuable
> scrolling position that I had spent ten minutes searching for..

That must be rather annoying ;-)
But the problem about the visual feedback is that unless it is something
really disruptive, you could just as well forget to look.

Well, sure, but on the other hand something "really disruptive" would probably be more disturbing than helpful in the long run.

I *do* think that some gentle visual feedback for copy-scrollback-mode would have its place, even though it does not guarantee that the user actually notices it. I figure that in time I would sort of get a "feeling" that "copy-scrollback-mode is currently enabled" without really thinking about it. Much like many text editors has a gentle visual feed-back for "this is currently an unsaved file", and I sort of get unconsciously aware of that.

Another way of looking at this would be to have screen keep track of the
state of your previous copy-scrollback session, so that if you
inadvertenly bailed out, starting a new one would by default take you
back to where you were - or have a new 'copy-recall' command to take
care of this , if you feel that this might interfere with the existing
behavior (?)

Sounds reasonable, but I think this would perhaps be overkill for my use-case.. (I was probably overly dramatic describing my use-case above, with the coffee and all.) I would just want a little visual mark when copy-scrollback-mode is enabled, that's all.

So, let me rephrase: There are cases when I am not able to figure out whether copy-scrollback-mode is enabled or not from looking at the screen (because, as mentioned by Mark Eichin somewhere in this thread, "the output [in the terminal] is bursty so the lack of scrolling isn't actually a reminder") and this is what I would like the visual indicator to help me with. (So the case of *forgetting/screwing up* is one thing, but I guess I'm rather looking for a visual indicator for the case when I am *not* forgetting..)

> Not sure this sounds like an obscure use case.. But I would love it if
> I could configure some visual feedback for when being in
> copy-scroll-back-mode.)

Otherwise, if you really feel visual feedback is a good idea, I guess a
permanent blinking message in reverse video in the current status area
would probably do the trick and cover all the bases, even for thos who
do no use a caption/status line (?)

Yes, that sounds reasonable, though I *think* it'd be enough with something that isn't actually blinking. Something Vim like perhaps (as suggested by Dustin Kirkland elsewhere in this thread)? (Though I'm not sure what the "line number" would be helpful for.. Should the lines be counted from the top or the bottom of the scrollback buffer?)
Best Regards

Hugo Heden

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