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bug#23403: 25.1.50; cua-mode does not interact with cursor-face and them

From: Jeremy T. Braun
Subject: bug#23403: 25.1.50; cua-mode does not interact with cursor-face and themes well
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:19:06 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.7.2

I've had issues where themes couldn't change cursor colors.  I finally
figured out the culprit, cua-mode.  Details on what I noticed and how I
found it follow.

I believe the "correct" way for themes to interact with the cursor color
is to modify the :background attribute of the face named cursor.  See:

cua-mode defines a variable cua-normal-cursor-color.  By default this is
set to one of initial-cursor-color, cursor-color from initial-frame-alis
or default-frame-alist, the frame-parameter 'cursor-color, or "red" if
those are all not true.

When cua-enable-cursor-indications is enabled, cua--update-indications
is run as a part of cua--post-command-handler, which is added to

When run, cua-enable-cursor-indications typically calls set-cursor-color
to one of the cua-*-cursor-color variables.

The result?  Themes can change the cursor-color (via the face or via
set-cursor-color, but after they are loaded/run, the post-command-hook
eventually runs cua--update-indications, which overwrites the theme's
new "normal" cursor color with whatever was previously stored in
cua-normal-cursor-color (for "normal" buffers, anyway).

I first noticed this because I run emacs in --daemon mode a lot.  When
emacs is in --daemon mode, I think that .emacs/init.el is run in the
frame/context of the terminal or background emacs process. When my
init.el is run, (frame-parameter nil 'cursor-color) returns "white",
which cua-normal-cursor-color is set to.  When I switch between the
background-mode = dark/light color themes linked below, the cursor
always stays white, and it's illegible in the "light" theme.

When I launch emacs without --daemon, my init.el loads the theme first,
which sets frame-parameter.cursor-color to #839496, which initializes
cua-normal-cursor-color, which is legible in both dark and light modes.

I'm not sure how "best" to fix this.  Options I see:
* Change documentation on custom themes, requiring that in addition to
  modifying the cursor face, they should also modify cua-*-cursor-color.
* Change cua-mode to be aware that themes may modify the cursor face,
  and either update cua-normal-cursor-face to reflect the cursor face's
  :background attribute, or maybe have cua--update-indications use
  something like:
(or cua-normal-cursor-face (grab the :background attribute of cursor-face))
  And then the user can set/customize cua-normal-cursor-face to nil to
  allow the theme to control it.
* Document this, and require the user to hook theme loading and
  after-make-frame-functions to update cua-normal-cursor-color to be
  (frame-parameter frame 'cursor-color), which would have been set by
  the theme at that point.
* Other?


In GNU Emacs (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.10.8)
 of 2016-04-25 built on lgw01-57
Windowing system distributor 'The X.Org Foundation', version 11.0.11501000
System Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS

Configured using:
 'configure --build=x86_64-linux-gnu --prefix=/usr
 '--includedir=${prefix}/include' '--mandir=${prefix}/share/man'
 '--infodir=${prefix}/share/info' --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var
 '--libexecdir=${prefix}/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu' --disable-maintainer-mode
 --disable-dependency-tracking --prefix=/usr --sharedstatedir=/var/lib
 --program-suffix=-snapshot --with-x=yes --with-x-toolkit=gtk3
 'CFLAGS=-g -O2 -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -Wformat
 -Werror=format-security' CPPFLAGS=-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2
 'LDFLAGS=-Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -Wl,-z,relro''

Configured features:

Important settings:
  value of $LANG: en_US.UTF-8
  value of $XMODIFIERS: @im=ibus
  locale-coding-system: utf-8-unix

Major mode: Lisp Interaction

Minor modes in effect:
  tooltip-mode: t
  global-eldoc-mode: t
  electric-indent-mode: t
  mouse-wheel-mode: t
  tool-bar-mode: t
  menu-bar-mode: t
  file-name-shadow-mode: t
  global-font-lock-mode: t
  font-lock-mode: t
  blink-cursor-mode: t
  auto-composition-mode: t
  auto-encryption-mode: t
  auto-compression-mode: t
  line-number-mode: t
  transient-mark-mode: t

Recent messages:
For information about GNU Emacs and the GNU system, type C-h C-a.

Load-path shadows:
None found.

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macroexp files text-properties overlay sha1 md5 base64 format env
code-pages mule custom widget hashtable-print-readable backquote
dbusbind inotify dynamic-setting system-font-setting font-render-setting
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Memory information:
((conses 16 97251 6761)
 (symbols 48 20808 0)
 (miscs 40 433 132)
 (strings 32 17940 4659)
 (string-bytes 1 555138)
 (vectors 16 13743)
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 (heap 1024 33150 1055))

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