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Re: Improving the gtk2 port

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Improving the gtk2 port
Date: 20 Jan 2004 00:26:56 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Pierre Chanial <address@hidden> writes:

> We, at mozilla.org, are looking forwards really tight integrations
> with the OSes especially for Mozilla Firebird. For each port, we have
> a look and feel file
> (http://lxr.mozilla.org/mozilla/source/widget/src/gtk2/nsLookAndFeel.cpp
> ) and additional skin files. There's still a lot of work to make
> mozilla integrate gracefully in the Gnome desktop. Since we're doing
> the same job, let me share the most visible problems I've
> noticed. Don't get me wrong, I know that most of them can be tweaked
> via the pref file, but they should be resolved out of the box.

Let me state one thing: Emacs is by far the most common application I
use.  I rather prefer that it works well than that it mimics other

> - vertical scrollbar should be on the right (for LTR, at least).

No.  Emacs' main task is editing of plain text files, such as program
texts.  Program texts (as opposed to justified text) are oriented on
the left border.  Ergonomics demand that the scroll bar be at the
side where I am editing most of the time.  That is the left.  With a
browser, you might get away with scroll bar to the right since you
are not actually doing anything with the content of the pane, but
this is an editor.

> - background and foreground colors for the default font should be
> white and black.

They are here, unless overridden.

>  - the text cursor should be like a |, not an filled rectangle.

Forget it.  We are talking an editor here.  The whole screen area is a
potential target for the cursor, not some tiny input line.  One of
the most important tasks when leafing through a text is finding your
cursor again.  The | line is simply too small for finding reliably
when it is static (the mouse text cursor _is_ of the | variety, but
since it moves synchronously with you hand, you can easily find it
with a bit of manual help).

> Its default color should be black and not pink.

It is here.

> - on the content area, even outside of the text, the mouse cursor
> should not be an arrow but a |--| rotated 90° and by no way pink but
> black.

Why?  Aiming is easier when it is an arrow.  And packages like
preview-latex <URL:http://preview-latex.sourceforge.net> offer
targets which you have to click on.

> - tooltips haven't the system background and foreground colors and
> should appear below the mouse pointer.

What is the advantage in tooltips having the same colors?  Does Gtk2
not have a separately customizable tooltip color?

While integration is a nice thought, Emacs is very idiosyncratic in a
lot of ways, and quite a few of them have particular reasons.  And
not too few reasons are related to the fact that Emacs is, after all,
an editor.

So one should weigh differences on their merits before trying to
plough them under.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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