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Re: delete-selection-mode (was: Put scroll-bar on right by default on UN

From: Chad Brown
Subject: Re: delete-selection-mode (was: Put scroll-bar on right by default on UNIX.)
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 16:33:55 -0700

On Mar 17, 2010, at 7:35 AM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> The answer is to ask them why they want this.  C-w is easy to type, as is
> <delete>.  delete-select-mode is such an irritating distraction that it
> should only be enabled for those who really, truly want it. 

Currently, when you highlight something with the mouse and then type normal 
characters, in Emacs:  new characters are added at point and the highlight is 
removed, while in basically every other editing situation a user faces, the 
highlighted text is replaced with the typed characters.   For the vast majority 
of users, the ``irritating distraction'' is that emacs ignores their 
mouse-selection action as if it had no purpose.  

Honestly, aside from ``you're used to the other way'', what is the upside of 
intentionally ignoring the user's efforts?   Making the mark stack slightly 
easier to operate?  You really think that's the way to optimize for new users?

> We've had this discussion often enough in the past.  Do we really have to
> go through these motions yet again?

We're planning for a major release.  Conversations about things that might 
change have included bidi support, lexical binding, threading, replacing Emacs 
Lisp with Guile, and replacing the display engine.  Not all of these 
discussions are going to result in changes to emacs (such as Alin Soare's 
suggestion to change the display engine), but when Richard is suggesting 
replacing Emacs Lisp with another language, I think we're in *Exactly* the 
right time to talk about changing aspects of the default UI for new users.


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