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Re: Feeling lost without tabs

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Feeling lost without tabs
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:25:23 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Emanuel Berg wrote:
> Bob Proulx writes:
> > I bind C-x C-b to electric-buffer-list.  I couldn't
> > live without it now.  In MNHO it is soooo much nicer
> > than list-buffers.
> Could you just short say what the differences are and
> how you experience them to be better? I never used
> `electric-buffer-list' but it looks kind of the same at
> first glance.

As others have said it opens a buffer window, places the point at the
first file in that buffer window.  This shows me a buffer window list
and focuses there.  I can review my buffer windows.  Hitting SPACE
selects a buffer window.  If I hit SPACE immediately then I return to
the same buffer window I left.  Otherwise I can n, n, n down to the
buffer window I want and SPACE to select it.  The newly selected
buffer now replaces the previously selected buffer window.  The new
emacs window configuration with regard to split windows is the same
for all other windows but the currently focused window only is changed
to another buffer.

I had previously said C-n C-p to move through the menu list.  But of
course n and p also work.  I usually already have my finger on the
control so had not really taken notice of the flexibility.

With list-buffers the buffer list splits the current frame into two
windows and puts the buffer window list into the other window.
Whatever buffer I had in the other split window is now gone.  In order
to focus on the buffer list I need to either C-x 0 or C-x o.  Then in
the *Buffer list* window I use n or p to position on the desired
buffer.  Then press f or o or any of a variety of keys to select that
buffer in either the current window or the other window.

The result is that with list-buffers it is disruptive to the window
layout that I have active at the moment I want to switch one of the
windows to a different buffer.  Plus there are more steps needed to
perform the same function.

With electric-buffer-list bound: C-x C-b n n SPACE

With buffer-list bound: C-x C-b C-o n n f C-x 4 b C-x 4 b C-x 4 b

The C-x 4 b times three is the finger memory way I rotate through two
windows in order to swap their contents.  Because using list-buffers
splits the current frame or replaces the other window in the frame it
causes order of windows to be reversed from the previous arrangement.
That requires a window buffer swap in order to restore the desired
ordering.  For example I prefer a code window above and a gdb debugger
window below and not the other way around.  Maybe there is a better
way to use list-buffers that avoids that problem but I just looked
again and I didn't see it.  The window order issue is completely
avoided by using electric-buffer-list since that only affects the
current window and does not modify any others.

I hadn't been aware of buffer-menu.  Playing with it now shows that it
works very similarly to electric-buffer-list.  I think anyone using
either buffer-menu or electric-buffer-list are in the same group and
want the same thing and could use either of those almost
interchangeably.  I assume electric-buffer-list came first and
buffer-menu duplicated the behavior since I have been using
electric-buffer-list for a very many years and had not ever heard of
buffer-menu before?  That is my assumption until I learn otherwise.


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