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I want to customize the behavior of global-whitespace-mode on a per-major-mode basis, and also define some interactive commands that change what's being highlighted on a per-buffer basis. global-whitespace-mode does something rather more complicated than just turning on whitespace-mode in every buffer, I don't particularly understand why, but anyway it's getting in the way of me writing those interactive commands. Specifically, this function works as a mode hook but not as an interactive command:

(defun turn-off-highlight-long-lines ()
  "Turn off highlighting of long lines via global-whitespace-mode."
  (interactive)
  (let* ((already-active-p (local-variable-p 'whitespace-active-style))
         (desired-style
          (delq 'lines (copy-sequence (if already-active-p
                                          whitespace-active-style
                                        whitespace-style)))))
    (if already-active-p
        (progn (setq whitespace-active-style desired-style)
               (whitespace-color-on))
      (setq-local whitespace-style desired-style))))

But this seems to be exactly what (global-)whitespace-toggle-options does, except buffer-locally, so I'm stumped.

(I'm not using (global-)whitespace-toggle-options because I want the effect to be buffer-local.)

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  • M-x whitespace-toggle-options is buffer-local for me; what was making you think it wasn't? I often do M-x whitespace-toggle-options L to turn off long line visualization in a specific buffer. Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 16:48
  • It's possible that I misunderstood the code and/or tested it wrong, but it sure seems like M-x whitespace-toggle-options globally changes the options for local whitespace-mode, and therefore both has no effect because I'm only using global-whitespace-mode, and wouldn't do what I want anyway.
    – zwol
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 17:21
  • Ah, I'm sure it's my fault: turns out I don't use global-whitespace-mode. Personally I enable whitespace-mode early in my config, then in certain mode hooks (like in go-mode-hook), I do a (whitespace-toggle-options '(lines-tail). That doesn't answer your question but hopefully it helps give some ideas! Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 17:34

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