WISH: More Rectangular Emacs

Niels Larsen niels at phylo.life.uiuc.edu
Tue Jan 17 15:11:56 EST 1995


Earlier Mark Charney asked for the ability to move rectangular regions
with the mouse.  Karl Fogel has done this here, but he thinks the 
interface is not good enough for general purpose.  We will give the 
code to anyone interested in improving it, or better, implement a C
version.  We did this feature for an extensive modification of Emacs
that is good for handling biological gene sequences (will be released
when ready). 

Would anyone be interested in creating the following feature:  A Lisp-
visible function that sets the display background to a given color (or
pattern) for a given set of rows and columns.  Text would not follow, 
but could slide underneath the pattern.  In addition to our special 
purpose, this seems a useful feature in spread-sheets, as
multi-position cursor, good for preparing input for programs using 
fixed-width columns (S, SPSS-X, Fortran), and wherever text must fit
into a template (page-layout) or align with something that is off-
screen (tables, spreadsheets).  I have proposed the feature to 
Stallman, who thinks the need may not be big enough for him to work
on it, and says:  "I suggest that users implement this and play around
with it, and if it proves to be useful, I will install it.".  Please 
mail or call me if you are interested in something like this.

I also agree Emacs should be as good horizontally as it is
vertically. 

                                            Sincerely, Niels Larsen

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|  Niels Larsen, PhD                 E-mail niels at darwin.life.uiuc.edu   |
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