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RE: Why @#! is not Emacs using the Recycle bin on w32?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Why @#! is not Emacs using the Recycle bin on w32?
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 08:06:37 -0700

> > We are talking about Emacs here.  Emacs behavior was always that it
> > deletes a file, not moves it somewhere.  So any change in that
> > behavior _by_default_ will surprise Emacs users.
> Then maybe a compromize could be to tell it in a prominent way so that
> users have a good chance to notice it?

I agree that it should be mentioned prominently.

IIUC, `delete-by-moving-to-trash' works similarly on all platforms that have
some sort of trash can (recycle bin) - is that correct? It's important that
something like this be similar for all platforms.

My preference is that this not be turned on by default - that is, keep the
traditional Emacs behavior. But I recognize the counter arguments. The
traditional behavior here is better for overall Emacs use, IMO, but I won't
argue about it. 

I would argue though that the default behavior for file deletion should be the
same on all platforms. Users should not need to worry about differences in this
regard when they use Emacs on different platforms. For me, differences between
the default behaviors of Emacs and a given platform (outside of Emacs) are less
important than differences for Emacs across platforms. In this case, I care more
that Emacs file deletion default behavior be the same on GNU/Linux, Mac, and
Windows than I care whether Emacs file deletion default behavior on Windows
respects the user's Recycle Bin setting (preference) on Windows.  

Lennart is right however that newbies (on all platforms) need to be made aware
of the default Emacs behavior regarding file deletion and how to change it. I'd
suggest adding some use of Dired to the tutorial (if it's not already there),
explicitly pointing out _by example_ that your file is gone after you confirm
its deletion, and explicitly showing you by example how you can get the
alternative backup/trash can/recycle bin behavior.

[BTW - I am astounded that Lennart, who is no newbie, just discovered the
default behavior and doesn't use Dired much. I can't imagine using Emacs without
Dired. Perhaps it's related to using Viper?]

In sum: (1) Regardless of whether we change the default behavior, this option
and the default needs to be documented prominently. (2) My preference is to keep
the traditional default behavior. (3) The default behavior should be the same
across platforms.


In general, I do not agree that Emacs should aim to be as close as possible to
what newbies are used to on their particular platform. Instead, each default
behavior we choose needs to be decided on its own merits, and especially with an
eye to how it fits with Emacs use overall.

Emacs should give you useful, coherent overall behavior out of the box - not
necessarily a UI that is optimal and not necessarily a UI as close as possible
to newbie habits or expectations. (Yes, I know that some will disagree.) And we
should make it clear how to customize the default behavior in each case. Wrt
newbies, we should try to make adjustment to Emacs not too difficult, but we
should not sacrifice Emacs strengths just to minimize newbie surprise.

Overall, learning Emacs should be about learning a new and better way of
working, and we should facilitate that learning by documenting the advantages
and differences. We don't want newbies to get frustrated (e.g. lose important
files) because of a lack of easily accessible information. But some of the
responsibility is on their shoulders - they need to at least follow the tutorial
and perhaps read a little. Perhaps this needs to be said to them up front. Emacs
is not Windows or Mac or even GNU/Linux. (Yes, I know that some will disagree.)

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