GNU bug report logs - #13810
24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing

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Package: emacs; Severity: minor; Reported by: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>; dated Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:06:02 UTC; Maintainer for emacs is bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN.

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Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 05:46:44 +0200
From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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> Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 06:33:11 +0800
> From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
> Cc: stephen.berman@HIDDEN, 13810 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
> 
> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 17:50:14 +0200
> Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN> wrote:
> 
> > The glossary is not the place where to look for all the possible
> > meanings of "margin".
> 
> Why?  Because it has to be brief?

Because it doesn't pretend to cover everything.

I do agree that it would be good in this particular case to add the
other meaning of "margin" to the glossary, though.




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bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 06:33:11 +0800
From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
To: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 17:50:14 +0200
Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN> wrote:

> The glossary is not the place where to look for all the possible
> meanings of "margin".

Why?  Because it has to be brief?

-- 
Best regards, Xue Fuqiao.
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/XueFuqiao




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From: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:30:50 -0500 Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> wrote:

>> The doc string of newline says "Call `auto-fill-function'..."; you can
>> only call a function, not a variable (I suppose you can call a variable
>> something, but not just call it).
>
> Yet, I think that newline doesn't call the `auto-fill-function'
> function, but the function contained in the
> `auto-fill-function' variable.

Still, it doesn't "call the variable" ;-).  Anyway, isn't the potential
for confusion here rather limited, since the function auto-fill-function
is a noop just there for its doc string?

Steve Berman




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> Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:27:42 +0800
> From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
> Cc: 13810 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
> 
> > > What does the "left margin" mean?  I'm a little confused here.  Does it mean
> > > the "margin" in the variable `left-margin-width'?
> > No, it's referring to (the result of setting) the variable left-margin,
> > which is different from left-margin-width.
> 
> Ah, I see.  But in (info "(emacs) Glossary"), the term "margin" only contains
> the meaning from `left-margin-width'.  Is it another bug?

The glossary is not the place where to look for all the possible
meanings of "margin".  Type "i margin RET" and see there; if it tells
you there are more than one hit, type comma ',' to walk through all of
them.




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> The doc string of newline says "Call `auto-fill-function'..."; you can
> only call a function, not a variable (I suppose you can call a variable
> something, but not just call it).

Yet, I think that newline doesn't call the `auto-fill-function'
function, but the function contained in the
`auto-fill-function' variable.


        Stefan




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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:35:22 +0800
From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
To: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:18:59 +0100
Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:
> >> > In the doc string of the function `newline':
> >> >   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
> >> >   blank.
> >> > To reproduce this bug:
> >> >    emacs -Q
> >> >    M-<
> >> >    M-: (newline) RET
> >> > A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
> >> > first line.  
> >> I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
> >> the left margin of the *new* line.
> > You mean the *new* line is the second line (now)?
> In the doc string the two
> words "new line" unambiguously refer to the line after the inserted
> newline character that results from calling newline, but the first word
> "newline" should perhaps be replaced by "newline character" or "line
> feed".

Sounds fine for me.

> Steve Berman

-- 
Best regards, Xue Fuqiao.
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/XueFuqiao




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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:27:42 +0800
From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
To: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:05:31 +0100
Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:48:06 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:
> > On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:23:14 +0100
> > Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:
> >> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:
> >> > In the doc string of the function `newline':
> >> >   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
> >> >   blank.
> >> > To reproduce this bug:
> >> >
> >> >    emacs -Q
> >> >    M-<
> >> >    M-: (newline) RET
> >> > A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
> >> > first line.  
> >> I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
> >> the left margin of the *new* line.
> > You mean the *new* line is the second line (now)?
> Yes; I think that's the only interpretation that makes sense when
> newline is called at point-max, so for consistency it should be
> interpreted that way everywhere.

I see, thanks.

> >> Your report prompted me to check the code of newline and I think I found
> >> a bug: a comment says, "If the newline leaves the previous line blank,
> >> and we have a left margin, delete that from the blank line", but the
> >> code only checks whether the previous line consists of a *single* space
> >> or tab, so if there's more than one space or tab and the line is
> >> otherwise blank, these won't be deleted.
> > What does the "left margin" mean?  I'm a little confused here.  Does it mean
> > the "margin" in the variable `left-margin-width'?
> No, it's referring to (the result of setting) the variable left-margin,
> which is different from left-margin-width.

Ah, I see.  But in (info "(emacs) Glossary"), the term "margin" only contains
the meaning from `left-margin-width'.  Is it another bug?

> > BTW there is another problem with the doc string of the function `newline'.
> > The `auto-fill-function' in the doc string is somewhat ambiguous.  It is a
> > Lisp function in simple.el, but it is also is a variable defined in buffer.c.
> The doc string of newline says "Call `auto-fill-function'..."; you can
> only call a function, not a variable (I suppose you can call a variable
> something, but not just call it).

1. The variable contains the *function* called to perform auto-fill;

2. In (info "(elisp) Documentation Tips"):

  However, when a symbol has both a function definition and a
  variable definition, and you want to refer to just one of them,
  you can specify which one by writing one of the words `variable',
  `option', `function', or `command', immediately before the symbol
  name.

However, I think most people know that the `auto-fill-function' here refers to
its function cell.  So it is a very minor problem.

> Steve Berman

-- 
Best regards, Xue Fuqiao.
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/XueFuqiao




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
To: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:48:06 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:23:14 +0100
> Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:
>> > In the doc string of the function `newline':
>> >   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
>> >   blank.
>> > To reproduce this bug:
>> >
>> >    emacs -Q
>> >    M-<
>> >    M-: (newline) RET
>> > A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
>> > first line.  
>> I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
>> the left margin of the *new* line.
>
> You mean the *new* line is the second line (now)?

It just occurred to me that your confusion was probably due to thinking
of the newline character (C-j, line feed, "\n"), which is inserted at
the end of the line before the new line.  In the doc string the two
words "new line" unambiguously refer to the line after the inserted
newline character that results from calling newline, but the first word
"newline" should perhaps be replaced by "newline character" or "line
feed".

Steve Berman




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
To: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:48:06 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:23:14 +0100
> Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:
>> > In the doc string of the function `newline':
>> >   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
>> >   blank.
>> > To reproduce this bug:
>> >
>> >    emacs -Q
>> >    M-<
>> >    M-: (newline) RET
>> > A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
>> > first line.  
>> I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
>> the left margin of the *new* line.
>
> You mean the *new* line is the second line (now)?

Yes; I think that's the only interpretation that makes sense when
newline is called at point-max, so for consistency it should be
interpreted that way everywhere.

>> Your report prompted me to check the code of newline and I think I found
>> a bug: a comment says, "If the newline leaves the previous line blank,
>> and we have a left margin, delete that from the blank line", but the
>> code only checks whether the previous line consists of a *single* space
>> or tab, so if there's more than one space or tab and the line is
>> otherwise blank, these won't be deleted.
>
> What does the "left margin" mean?  I'm a little confused here.  Does it mean
> the "margin" in the variable `left-margin-width'?

No, it's referring to (the result of setting) the variable left-margin,
which is different from left-margin-width.

> BTW there is another problem with the doc string of the function `newline'.
> The `auto-fill-function' in the doc string is somewhat ambiguous.  It is a
> Lisp function in simple.el, but it is also is a variable defined in buffer.c.

The doc string of newline says "Call `auto-fill-function'..."; you can
only call a function, not a variable (I suppose you can call a variable
something, but not just call it).

Steve Berman




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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:48:06 +0800
From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
To: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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	<87y5ecshu5.fsf@HIDDEN>
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:23:14 +0100
Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN> wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:
> > In the doc string of the function `newline':
> >   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
> >   blank.
> > To reproduce this bug:
> >
> >    emacs -Q
> >    M-<
> >    M-: (newline) RET
> > A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
> > first line.  
> I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
> the left margin of the *new* line.

You mean the *new* line is the second line (now)?

> Your report prompted me to check the code of newline and I think I found
> a bug: a comment says, "If the newline leaves the previous line blank,
> and we have a left margin, delete that from the blank line", but the
> code only checks whether the previous line consists of a *single* space
> or tab, so if there's more than one space or tab and the line is
> otherwise blank, these won't be deleted.

What does the "left margin" mean?  I'm a little confused here.  Does it mean the "margin" in the variable `left-margin-width'?

BTW there is another problem with the doc string of the function `newline'.  The `auto-fill-function' in the doc string is somewhat ambiguous.  It is a Lisp function in simple.el, but it is also is a variable defined in buffer.c.

> Steve Berman

-- 
Best regards, Xue Fuqiao.
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/XueFuqiao




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 13810 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Stephen Berman <stephen.berman@HIDDEN>
To: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13810: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800 Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN> wrote:

> In the doc string of the function `newline':
>
>   Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
>   blank.
>
> To reproduce this bug:
>
>    emacs -Q
>    M-<
>    M-: (newline) RET
>
> A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
> first line.  

I think you misread the doc string: point should -- and does -- move to
the left margin of the *new* line.

>              Maybe the doc string of this function should be improved.

However, unless I'm misreading it, there is indeed room for improvement,
since point moves to the left margin of the new line whether or not it
is blank, so "if it's blank" is misleading and should be deleted.

Your report prompted me to check the code of newline and I think I found
a bug: a comment says, "If the newline leaves the previous line blank,
and we have a left margin, delete that from the blank line", but the
code only checks whether the previous line consists of a *single* space
or tab, so if there's more than one space or tab and the line is
otherwise blank, these won't be deleted.  I doubt this asymmetry is
intended, so at least the following patch should be made:

=== modified file 'lisp/simple.el'
*** lisp/simple.el	2013-02-15 23:47:50 +0000
--- lisp/simple.el	2013-02-25 12:20:47 +0000
***************
*** 400,406 ****
    "Propertized string representing a hard newline character.")
  
  (defun newline (&optional arg)
!   "Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's blank.
  If option `use-hard-newlines' is non-nil, the newline is marked with the
  text-property `hard'.
  With ARG, insert that many newlines.
--- 400,406 ----
    "Propertized string representing a hard newline character.")
  
  (defun newline (&optional arg)
!   "Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line.
  If option `use-hard-newlines' is non-nil, the newline is marked with the
  text-property `hard'.
  With ARG, insert that many newlines.
***************
*** 428,434 ****
              (save-excursion
                (goto-char beforepos)
                (beginning-of-line)
!               (and (looking-at "[ \t]$")
                     (> (current-left-margin) 0)
                     (delete-region (point)
                                    (line-end-position))))
--- 428,434 ----
              (save-excursion
                (goto-char beforepos)
                (beginning-of-line)
!               (and (looking-at "[ \t]+$")
                     (> (current-left-margin) 0)
                     (delete-region (point)
                                    (line-end-position))))



Actually, if we take the comment literally, the code should check that
the space left on the previous line has the length of left-margin, and
only in that case delete it.  But I think the comment doesn't really
intend that, but rather to delete any whitespace left on an otherwise
blank line, which the above patch does.

Steve Berman




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:03:09 +0800
From: Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>
To: bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN
Subject: 24.3.50; Docstring of `newline' is confusing
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In the doc string of the function `newline':

  Insert a newline, and move to left margin of the new line if it's
  blank.

To reproduce this bug:

   emacs -Q
   M-<
   M-: (newline) RET

A new line appears, but the point doesn't move to left margin of the
first line.  Maybe the doc string of this function should be improved.



In GNU Emacs 24.3.50.1 (x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.6.0)
 of 2013-02-24 on Emacs
Bzr revision: 111865 rgm@HIDDEN
Windowing system distributor `The X.Org Foundation', version 11.0.11300000
System Description:	Ubuntu 12.10

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 `configure --config-cache --enable-link-time-optimization'

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-- 
Best regards, Xue Fuqiao.
http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/XueFuqiao




Acknowledgement sent to Xue Fuqiao <xfq.free@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#13810; Package emacs. Full text available.
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