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bug#11028: 24.0.94; bad lighter and menus for `text-scale-mode'

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#11028: 24.0.94; bad lighter and menus for `text-scale-mode'
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 11:54:49 -0700

I appreciate the intention of keeping the lighter short, but currently
it is meaningless, if not misleading, to users.  They need to fiddle
around to find out what it means.

The lighter text is " " by default (but fortunately an all-space lighter
is not shown).  When you scale the text the lighter changes to a signed
integer, such as "-1" or "+3".

Seeing only that does not help users, unless they've already figured out
what it stands for.  It just makes them wonder, especially if they do
not notice the lighter immediately after they change the text scale.

You put your mouse over the lighter, to see what's up.  The tooltip
says only this, of course:

 Minor mode
 mouse-1: Display minor mode menu
 mouse-2: Show help for minor mode
 mouse-3: Toggle minor modes

Not much help so far.  You try mouse-1 and see this menu:

 Turn Off minor mode
 Help for minor mode

("Off" should not be capitalized, BTW.)

Which minor mode?  No idea still.  

This menu would be better if it included (at least the scaling) items
from the menu shown by `S-mouse-1', i.e.:

 Change Default Buffer Face
 Change Buffer Font...
 Increase Buffer Text Size
 Decrease Buffer Text Size
 Reset to Default

You try mouse-3.  That shows you menu `Minor Modes' which has a list of
minor modes you can toggle.  But this mysterious "-1" minor mode is not
one of them.  Neither is `text-scale-mode', for that matter.  Our
mysterious mode is nowhere to be seen.  Menu `Minor Modes' does not help
with this minor mode, even though you can toggle this mode in other

You try mouse-2.  And now you see that this mysterious "-1" or "-4" or
"+3" in fact stands for `text-scale-mode'.

Emacs users deserve better.

If you cannot come up with something shorter and more meaningful for the
lighter, then I would suggest "Zoom:-1" or "Text:-1" or "Scale:-1".  I
don't claim these suggestions are ideal, but they would at least be more
helpful to users than just "-1".

In GNU Emacs (i386-mingw-nt5.1.2600)
 of 2012-02-26 on MARVIN
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 5.1.2600
Configured using:
 `configure --with-gcc (4.6) --no-opt --enable-checking --cflags

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