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Re: delete-selection-mode (was: Put scroll-bar on right by defaulton UNI

From: Chad Brown
Subject: Re: delete-selection-mode (was: Put scroll-bar on right by defaulton UNIX.)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 01:03:12 -0700


On Mar 18, 2010, at 11:54 AM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:

You're being very dismissive of my experience simply because you're
different and don't share it.  I am by no means unique - there will
certainly be lots of other people who suffer this feature likewise;
there're another one or two on this mailing list.  The degree of
suffering d-s-m inflicts on us far outweighs the slight increase in
convenience for you.

The degree of suffering `inflicted' on some undetermined number of users probably does outweigh the convenience for one person, but if that's the calculus you want to consider, the lack of d-s-m inflicts pain on a far, far greater percentage of the potential user base than will ever feel anxiety about mouse-based interfaces in an editing environment.

However, with simple transient-mark-mode, the problem doesn't exist.
Even a naive newbie would very quickly learn to hit the <delete> key if
d-s-m weren't enabled.  Heavens, they do it already.  Do they complain
about it?

Yes, they do -- they complain, and they also just stop using emacs, because the anxiety that you complain about affects so vastly many more of them.  You've made it clear that you don't like delete-selection-mode, and you don't like transient-mark-mode -- and for you, it is great that emacs is an extensible, customizable editing environment.  The question is not, and has never been ``which mode is better''.  It is not, and has never been ``which mode will new users expect''.  The question is just this:  do you want to change emacs' default behavior out-of-the-box to try to match what new users expect, or do you want to make the default configuration more comfortable for advanced, experienced, long-term emacs devotees.  This isn't an easy question, but it's not going to be answered by arguing over which mode is preferable for which audience, or which audience is `more right'.


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