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Re: Is Emacs becoming Word?

From: Joe Corneli
Subject: Re: Is Emacs becoming Word?
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 11:11:40 -0600

   > While I'm not against implementing these wacky new feature, I request
   > that they remain _off by default_.

   Since you do like some of the ``wacky'' new features, please give a
   list of those which you request to be left off by default.  We cannot
   possibly guess them, and the two problems you mentioned _are_ already
   off by default, see below.


   > The other day I was editing Lisp code and found that instead of the
   > usual paren highlighting, Emacs was highlighting the entire enclosed
   > expression.

   This feature is off by default as well.  Something in your .emacs
   turns it on.

Saying that things are "off by default" and "something in your .emacs
turns them on" is not really what anyone needs to hear (except _maybe_
Greg Novak, in this particular case - but I'm not sure about that).  I
mean, just for example, running

  (setq font-lock-maximum-decoration 3)

in your .emacs has a different effect on subscripts in LaTeX buffers
now than it did a year ago.

I think the real point is that the same .emacs can produce different
behavior when the emacs version (or environment) changes.

But this is so obvious that no one (except persons who are extremely
confused about how computers work) needs to have it pointed out to
them.  And it is also true & obvious that emacs versions _do_ change.

As hinted at in my message

in emacs-devel, I find these discussions of "how to turn features off"
to be somewhat tiresome.

There are certainly plenty of legitimate questions (Karl's question
yesterday comes to mind), but then there are also posts that border on
being flame-bait (and which may also contain legitimate questions).

The difference seems to have to do with how low-level the feature
being turned off is (low-level features somehow being less
contentious, remarkably).

In my opinion, it would be better if Emacs handled a considerably
larger portion of "on/off" concerns automatically, on a private,
individual basis.  See the aforementioned post for one set of ideas
and conjectures about how this might be done.

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