This looks really interesting.

I haven't examined the code very closely, but I have some high level comments.

It seems that the code is simultaneously trying to do something very
general, but also hard-coding a lot of behaviors, and I think the
code's complexity suffers for it.  What would this look like if the
*entire* hello screen were replaced by a configurable list of
sections?  What I'm imagining could be as simple as a list of
section-generating functions plus a collection of standard functions
for generating standard sections (probably known to customize to make
it easy for non-elispers to control).

For more-configurable sections, there could be a mechanism for passing
arguments, but this quickly enters the land of hair-raising defcustoms
and confusing flexibility.  I think it would be much simpler and more
user-friendly to require the functions in this list to take no
arguments (at least, none that are user-configurable).  Flexible
sections could be implemented then as a low-level function that takes
arguments and one or more no-argument high-level functions that call
the low-level section generator either with fixed arguments, or with
the values of other customize variables.  This would keep things
simple and fairly flexible for non-elispers, without sacrificing
complete flexibility if you're willing to write a few lines of elisp.

Maybe you also want to configure the title of each section.  But, IMO,
this is also confusing flexibility.  In fact, with the no-argument
section generators, it would make a lot of sense to simply put the
section name in the function's plist.

This wouldn't fit well with the current logic to compute the
cross-section widest tag, but personally I've always found that
behavior extremely confusing (not to mention buggy) and wouldn't miss
it at all.

The use of the term "title" for pretty-printed tags is confusing.  To
me, "title" means the section title.  For example, I couldn't figure
out what "Return widest title string in SECTION." meant until I read
the code (*flashback* "a section only has one title, what the heck is
the widest one?")

This patch should probably be split into a few patches, as it seems to
also introduce new functionality for some of the sections (and does
little things like moving notmuch-remove-if-not).

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Daniel Schoepe
<daniel.scho...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 27 May 2011 20:52:01 +0200, Daniel Schoepe 
> <daniel.scho...@googlemail.com> wrote:
>> I'll also work on some tests for this functionality, (if no one
>> has big, structural complaints about the code).
>
> I rebased my patch against the current master and wrote some tests.
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