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Re: display-buffer-alist simplifications

From: martin rudalics
Subject: Re: display-buffer-alist simplifications
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 20:39:53 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

> A comment from a naive bystander: these values are getting more and
> more close to Lisp code than to a value of a user variable.  Aren't we
> burdening users with too much Lisp-like structures for options that
> are supposed to be easily customizable by people who don't know Lisp?
> I mean, using a single level of parentheses around some list, or the
> `setq' syntax, is one thing -- users can still form some simple mental
> model of that which doesn't require understanding of Lisp.  But the
> above is something else: they are nested, with some lists requiring
> '() quoting, others not, some members use `:', others don't, some are
> cons cells, others lists; etc.
> If we cannot find a simpler syntax, perhaps we should provide an
> interactive function for customizing display-buffer's behavior, some
> kind of wizard that would lead the user through a series of questions
> with detailed description of the result of each setting, and in the
> end generate the value needed for the user-specified behavior.  (The
> series of questions could be expressed as a nifty GUI dialog with
> check-boxes in GUI sessions.)

Most of these are completely hidden by the customization interface.  In
particular, the user of the latter should not be aware of the underlying
Lisp-like structures, cons cells, lists, `:'.  Maybe you could try
customizing `display-buffer-alist' at least once just in order to tell
me how a naive bystander might react.


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