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Re: Documentation of transient-mark-mode is sloppy, wrong, and confuse

From: Andreas Roehler
Subject: Re: Documentation of transient-mark-mode is sloppy, wrong, and confused.
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 07:47:50 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20081227)

Kevin Rodgers wrote:
> Stefan Monnier wrote:
>>> Hmmm.  No you haven't.  You have noted one of the circumstances in which
>>> a mark becomes active, yet haven't said what it is for a mark to BE
>>> active.  It is as though a young child has asked you what "pregnant"
>>> means, and the entire gist of your answer is "a woman becomes pregnant
>>> after a kissing and cuddling session".  Unless you mention the growing
>>> foetus, your answer is evasive and unhelpful, in fact not really an
>>> answer at all.  What, exactly, is the essence of "active"ness, in the
>>> same way that the foetus is the essence of pregnancy?
>> The problkem is that the activeness of the mark doesn't describe some
>> property of some other state.  It's a state itself.  In your analogy,
>> there's no foetus that would allow us to determine whether the mark
>> is active.  All we have is the `mark-active' variable, so in the end all
>> we can say is "the mark is active if the mark is active".
> Can't we say that "the mark is active if `mark-active' is non-nil"?
> Note that mark-active is not mentioned in the Emacs manual, only in the
> Emacs Lisp manual.

We have three states but two words for now to describe it

States are:

- the mark is set
- the mark is set and exists at different location from point, i.e. region has 
an extent
- region has an extent and is visible (transient-mark-mode on)

The both first may be described with `exist'
The both latter with `active'

Confusion might be solved naming the states

1) region-exists-p
2) region-has-extent
3) region-is-visible

Best regards

Andreas Röhler

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