Does there exist an Emacs mode that replaces the contemporary interpretation of tabs (move to 8, 16, 24, .. or a multiple of some constant) with their original typewriter interpretation (set stops at 40, at 60, or at any fixed columns)?
text-mode or without, either is fine.
The objective is to easily enter dual-language texts, side-by-side. The following example highlights why resorting, say, to csv-mode is inadequate:
Stabat mater dolorósa At the Cross her station keeping, juxta Crucem lacrimósa, At the Cross her station keeping, dum pendébat Fílius. close to her Son to the last. Cuius ánimam geméntem, Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, contristátam et doléntem all His bitter anguish bearing, pertransívit gládius. now at length the sword has passed.
There is no way to set the separator within the file, and—excluding that one would change the default—it's a nuisance to select it at each edit.
I'm not seeking something as sophisticated as counting rhythms, nor something as simple as adjusting
tab-width. It would be nice if it works for prose (paragraphs wrap around in columns 0-39 and also wrap around independently in columns 40-79) as well as for poetry (lines match strictly one-to-one), but support for just the latter (again, as in a typewriter) would be nice.
This appears to be the implementation behind
indent-dwim in programming modes, or at least in
c++-mode. I haven't figured out why
python-mode does not align comments vertically (some PEP mandated it?), but that's an altogether separate question.