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RE: Pretest

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Pretest
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 19:11:11 -0700

> >> After Martin relentlessly and carefully worked out the 
> >> bugs from his humongous, many-faceted, and detailed
> >> buffer-display changes, you suddenly changed it all again
> >> (recently).  And during a feature freeze, no less.  Even
> >> Martin (our resident window/buffer-display expert) has
> >> admitted that he does not yet understand the new code.
> >> Does that count as "something coming up"?
> >
> > No.
> Just to put some argument behind it: the new code that 
> replaces Martin's is not humongous, not many-faceted, ...
> instead it's a fairly small change, localized change, with
> a reasonably clear "backward compatibility argument".

However simple, it still needs time for testing - pre-pretesting.

> That's why we haven't seen too many bug reports since this
> new scheme has been installed.

Is it a joke?  I've had the new changes for a little over a week now, in Emacs
Windows builds.  As soon as the changes were in, things were broken for me and I
filed a bug.

It's not surprising that few bugs have been reported yet - the change has not
been in the code for long.  Reminds me of the elementary school teacher who
said, "Take-out-your-books--take-out-your-books--take-out-your-books. That's 3
times and your books aren't out yet!"

> Sadly, it goes much less far than Martin's change, so some of the more
> interesting developments end up postponed to 24.2.

I have no problem with that.  My main concerns with this, or Martin's, or any
other such changes are (a) backward compatibility, (b) conceptual simplicity,
(c) usage simplicity, and (d) covering the use cases I use (hey, I'm one user)
as well as before (that is, once I've learned how to go beyond backward
compatibility and use the new system).

Martin's stuff never reached the point where people understood it enough to
explain it in simple terms.  But it at least had the advantage (for me) that it
worked (for my use cases).  I know that he spent a _lot_ of time fixing bugs to
cover various use cases: mine and those of others.

I have nothing against a new approach, if it covers the various use cases and it
is reasonably simple to use.  But I think more than a couple of weeks should
pass before you declare it ready for pretest.

Presumably the reason (or at least one of the main reasons) for all these
changes is to simply the interface for users.  And perhaps to cover more use
cases (dunno).  I'm unaware of any users having actually asked for this
(solution looking for a problem?), but that's OK if it is really an improvement.

On the other hand, if it doesn't match the old system in simplicity and use-case
coverage, then I don't see the point.  People need time to judge.

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