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Re: Is Emacs on Aqua crippleware or is it just broken?


From: Oliver Scholz
Subject: Re: Is Emacs on Aqua crippleware or is it just broken?
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 17:27:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090019 (Oort Gnus v0.19) Emacs/21.3.50 (windows-nt)

address@hidden (BK) writes:

> Oliver Scholz <address@hidden> wrote ...
>
>> > On a Mac, cut/copy/paste is Cmd-x/c/v. Emacs doesn't adhere to this,
>> > but in principle, this can be changed back to normal by defining
>> > keyboard macros.
>> 
>> It is like a school-kid saying: "Why don't the people abroad speak
>> German? It would be so much easier for them to talk to each other if they
>> did not insist of using foreign languages at home."
>
> Wrong example. You just shot yourself in the foot. :-)
>
> On the Mac, HIG is the local custom and therefore it is only
> reasonable to expecrt that any foreign application coming to Mac land
> can will respect the native customs and accept them as being normal,
> while its own foreign customs, although they might be accepted, will
> remain foreign.
[...]

I don't use Mac OS, but when I don't work under GNU/Linux, I sometimes
do use MS Windows, where the same weird (IMHO) C-x/C-c/C-v stuff
predominates. Every time I try to copy a region in MS Word, the window
suddenly closes. Every time I try to jump to the beginning of a line,
to my surprise the whole buffer in MS Word is selected. I am glad that
Emacs behaves the same on MS Windows. It makes MS Windows usable for
me and I could live with it happily if only I could change the Window
manager to something more user friendly (to Ion for example). I would
spit fire and swearwords in every Emacs related mailing list, if Emacs
would ever get different defaults on different platforms. Fortunately
that is never going to happen, at least not for GNU Emacs.

Well, yes, there are Emacs users who prefer C-x/C-c/C-v; they use
cua-mode or something similar. I probably would be one of them, if I
had to use MS Windows applications more often (for the very reason
that I'd like to avoid keyboard-schizophreny). Fortunately I am used
to do everything from inside Emacs, and the few non-Emacs applications
that I sometimes use under GNU/Linux fortunately accept Emacs-like
keybindings. So does Emacs have a unixoid keybindings? No, it is the
other way around: most GNU/Linux applications provide Emacs-like
keybindings. But that's not the real point.

The real point is that C-x/C-c/C-v is only the top of the
iceberg. *The whole design of the user interface is different.* The
very idea of how a program should behave, the very concept of buffers
and windows and frames is different from Mac OS, MS Windows, Gnome,
KDE, FVWM, whatever. People implemented Mailreaders, Newsreader,
Browsers, Z-Code interpreters, IRC-clients in Emacs Lisp, because they
want to do those things in an Emacs-like UI. They created interfaces
for various tools (grep, cvs, MH, various shells, whatever), not
because they were too dumb to use a client of its own, but because
they want to use those applications in a way that follows the Emacs
HIG.

I could try to point out some of the benefits of the Emacs UI, but you
are obviously not willing to even consider them, so I leave it at that
and conclude: Emacs is not the right tool for you. The question
whether your installation is broken or whether the particular version
you have installed is flaky is of no real concern. You won't get happy
with Emacs even if you got it running flawlessly, unless you change
your attitude and try to experience the Emacs UI on its own
terms. There is nothing haughty in saying that Emacs is not the right
tool for you. It simply isn't supposed to do, what you expect it to
do. So please stop annoying yourself and the people in gnu.emacs.help.

I seem to recall that there once was a section in the Emacs Manual
(?) saying that Apple once tried to enforce the Mac HIG more strictly
and that GNU Emacs did boykott the Macintosh for this very
reason. Things have changed now, as it seems. Some people are
seemlingly glad that they did change.

And no, I did not shot myself in the foot. My example was meant as a
hint that there is nothing natural in a particular choice between
keybindings. It is entirely arbitrary. As every example has its
limitations, this one has its limitations, too. There is no point in
carrying it out too far. 

[But even if we'd like to stretch the example a bit beyond its
boundaries: I do not expect every foreigner who comes into my country
to adopt my language and my customs (hey, and I thought, *I* am the
German here ...). Especially (but not only), when he or she came on
invitation. In fact it is worse: it was you who fired up Emacs on your
platform, it was you who posted to an Emacs newsgroup. It was you who
entered Emacs land. But as I said: the example has its limitations.]

The moral is: if you want a Macintosh-HIG-editor, use a
Macintosh-HIG-editor. If you want Emacs, use Emacs. Don't complain
about Emacs being Emacs.

    Oliver
-- 
17 Floréal an 211 de la Révolution
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!


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