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Re: Future of display engine and lines

From: Lars Ingebrigtsen
Subject: Re: Future of display engine and lines
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2021 14:38:07 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

> Perhaps I misunderstand what "multiple columns" mean, then.  Doesn't
> it mean that buffer text is displayed in separate rectangular
> portions, like this:
>    aaaaaaaaaaaa bbbbbbbb ccccccc    xxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx
>    dddddddd eeeeeeee fffffff ggg    yyyyyy yyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy
>    hhhhhhhh iiiiiiiiii jjjj kkkk    zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzz
> where buffer position of the first "xxx" follows the buffer position
> of the last "kkkk"? 

Well, it depends.  Perhaps these the next point after "xxx" is before
"where".  Or perhaps if you enter more text after "kkk", that box should
get a scroll bar, or perhaps it should extend downwards.

We're basically in the same design territory that HTML + CSS 3 covers,
and It's Just Very Difficult.  And as you say, the main problem isn't
displaying the glyphs on the screen -- but it's defining the semantics
about how the blocks interoperate, and making a command like `M-q' do
something sensible within a block.

Within the current Emacs structure, it would have to look like a bunch
of buffers that we glue together as sub-panes inside one window, where
your example ("xxx" follows "kkkk") would be as two sub-panes from one
of these sub-buffers, and where the second sub-pane displays the text
after line 3, with the layout in question.

I mean...  it'd be great, but I think we're basically talking about a
different editor.

(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
   bloggy blog: http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no

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