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Easier Toolbar Customization

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Abstract: One of XEmacs' greatest strengths is its ability to be customized endlessly. Unfortunately, it is often too difficult to figure out how to do this. There has been some recent work like the Custom package, which helps in this regard, but I think there's a lot more work that needs to be done. Here are some ideas (which certainly could use some more thought).

Although there is currently an edit-toolbar package, it is not well integrated with XEmacs, and in general it is much too hard to customize the way toolbars look. I would like to see an interface that works a bit like the way things work under Windows, where you can right-click on a toolbar to get a menu of options that allows you to change aspects of the toolbar. The general idea is that if you right-click on an item itself, you can do things to that item, whereas if you right-click on a blank part of a toolbar, you can change the properties of the toolbar. Some of the items on the right-click menu for a particular toolbar button should be specified by the button itself. Others should be standard. For example, there should be an Execute item which simply does what would happen if you left-click on a toolbar button. There should probably be a Delete item to get rid of the toolbar button and a Properties item, which brings up a property sheet that allows you to do things like change the icon and the command string that's associated with the toolbar button.

The options to change the appearance of the toolbar itself should probably appear both on the context menu for specific buttons, and on the menu that appears when you click on a blank part of the toolbar. That way, if there isn't a blank part of the toolbar, you can still change the toolbar appearance. As for what appears in these items, in Outlook Express, for example, there are three different menu items, one of which is called Buttons, which brings up, or pops up a window which allows you to edit the toolbar, which for us could pop up a new frame, which is running edit-toolbar.el. The second item is called Align, which contains a submenu that says Top, Bottom, Left, and Right, which will be just like setting the default toolbar position. The third one says Text Labels, which would just let you select whether there are captions or not. I think all three of these are useful and are easy to implement in XEmacs. These things also need to be integrated with custom so that a user can control whether these options apply to all sessions, and in such a case can save the settings out to an options file. edit-toolbar.el in particular needs to integrate with custom. Currently it has some sort of hokey stuff of its own, which it saves out to a .toolbar file. Another useful option to have, once we draw the captions dynamically rather than using pre-generated ones, would be the ability to change the font size of the captions. I'm sure that Kyle, for one, would appreciate this.

(This is incomplete.....)

Ben Wing

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