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Re: virtual space?


From: Kai Grossjohann
Subject: Re: virtual space?
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 21:04:59 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.2 (gnu/linux)

"Michael Durland" <address@hidden> writes:

> Having the cursor move to somewhere where I didn't tell it to go is
> annoying.  For example, imagine holding down the up or down arrow key to
> move some distance in a file, like from the bottom of a window to somewhere
> in the middle.  The cursor should move directly up the column it started in.
> But emacs doesn't do that.  The cursor jumps around all over the place.  It
> is very distracting.  Regardless of where typing actually occurs, the cursor
> shouldn't move except exactly where it's told to go.  If I tell it to go up,
> it should go up one line and not change columns.  Period.

That's really interesting.  It never occurred to me that somebody
would want to have the cursor in a spot where there is no character in
the file.  Just goes to show how people are different and have
different expectations.

FWIW, exiting picture-mode removes trailing spaces on lines.  That's
intended to remove the spaces it added itself, but of course that
feature has its own problems -- it could remove spaces that were there
before.

Hm.  I think you could kind of fake things by doing something similar
to picture mode.  But instead of just adding whitespace to the end of
the line, you mark the whitespace with a special text property.  Then,
when the cursor leaves the line, you can remove the whitespace again.
Or you remove the whitespace on saving the buffer.

Another piece of data is that the cursor remembers the column it likes
to be in.  That is, if you're on column 27 and move across a line with
less characters into a line with more than 27 characters, then the
cursor will still be in column 27 in the long line.  It will just be
towards the left in the short line.

Yet another piece of data is the track-eol variable.  I set it to
true.  It's way cool.  But I think it's kind of the opposite behavior
of what you want 8-)

> I researched this a little more and indeed this is not something
> that can be changed in emacs.

Hah!  Few things are impossible here ;-)  Just a SMOP...

> But it just lacks key features.  e.g. virtual space and popup
> windows being the ones I can't live without.  Emacs windows and
> frames do not cut it for popup windows.  On this note, I saw another
> post requesting popup windows as well, e.g. in order to implement
> something akin to the C++ class member autocompletion popups of many
> editors.  I read this can be somewhat faked with the new tooltip
> concept, but it is not a complete solution. *sigh*

I've always found them popup thingies to be a kind of a pain in the
neck.  At the moment I use Eclipse for Java coding, and it uses
tooltip-like popup windows for completion.  The Eclipse implementation
is quite good, but I'm still not convinced...

Emacs just opens a new window for completion.  Type C-x C-f TAB TAB to
see that window in action.  Maybe with much wailing and gnashing of
teeth, you can get used to these windows.

(What Emacs calls a window is probably different from what everybody
else calls a window.  Type C-x 2 and now you have two windows.)

Kai


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