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Re: NeXTStep port preferences

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: NeXTStep port preferences
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 17:32:13 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (http://gmane.org/)

David Reitter <david.reitter <at> gmail.com> writes:

> The new NeXTStep / Cocoa port contains a "Preferences" dialog.
> Is this wanted, or just a mistake when merging?  It is inconsistent  
> with all the other customizations, at least in terms of UI.

The logic is similar to the "Options" menu, which itself
is "inconsistent with all other customizations": put a few of the
most frequently desired quick changes in a convenient place.

>  Where are these preferences stored?

They are stored using the NS equivalent to X resources, as has
been discussed previously on this list and various OS X emacs

> A better preferences system would be much welcomed, but it should be  
> compatible with existing customizations.  The selection of preferences  
> seems arbitrary; why the cursor type, or line spacing?

The preferences window controls surface aspects of the GUI that
were not already controlled by other GUI methods.  Font, color,
frame dimensions, and toolbar presence are handled by mouse
actions or popup windows (at least, until the font and color
panels will be removed from Emacs.app).  The modifier key
mappings were also added because they are a notorious point of
varying preferences among OS X users.

Anyway, the functioning of this facility is already broken by
recent checkins which override the system highlight color and
antialiasing selections.  I suspect it will quickly be removed.
Unfortunately users will never be consulted.  It is also not
something easy to maintain outside of GNU Emacs itself (e.g. in a
distribution like Aquamacs) because it involves integrated
Objective C code and additional files going into the bundle.

The desire to keep all GUI interfaces to Emacs similar to one
another is a reasonable one.  However, some concessions to
platform convention and user convenience ought to be tolerated on
a case-by- case basis depending on the user-benefit to
obtrusiveness ratio.  Otherwise, at least in this case, there's
no real reason not to just use the X11 version on OS X (and
GNUstep platforms).  Apple has not said they will stop supporting X.

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