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Re: Troubles with abbrev-mode

From: Tassilo Horn
Subject: Re: Troubles with abbrev-mode
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 11:36:59 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Reiner Steib <address@hidden> writes:

Hi Reiner,

>> Hm, in my opinion that's a really bad behavior, because...
>>   a) if the user wants that behavior, he can set in `message-mode-hook'.
> And if he doesn't want the current behavior, he can probably also do
> it in `message-mode-hook' now? [1]

Yes, he can. But I think the current behavior patronizes the user too
much. It's not logical to use a abbrev-table from a different mode, even
if the current mode is derived from it, when newly added abbrevs go into
the current mode's abbrev-table, thus have no effect at all.

If you know what's going on, you can handle it, but for a normal user
without any knowledge about how abbrev-mode works it's simply wrong
accoring to the docs.

,----[ (info "(emacs)Defining Abbrevs") ]
| `C-x a g'
|      Define an abbrev, using one or more words before point as its
|      expansion (`add-global-abbrev').
| `C-x a l'
|      Similar, but define an abbrev specific to the current major mode
|      (`add-mode-abbrev').          ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| `C-x a i g'
|      Define a word in the buffer as an abbrev
|      (`inverse-add-global-abbrev').
| `C-x a i l'
|      Define a word in the buffer as a mode-specific abbrev
|      (`inverse-add-mode-abbrev').     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>>   b) adding abbrevs in message mode (with `add-mode-abbrev' or
>>      `inverse-add-mode-abbrev') adds it to
>>      `message-mode-abbrev-table'. So you effectively cannot add abbrevs
>>      interactively.
>> So I see two possible fixes:
>>   1) Delete the setq. (To me that seems right and proper.)
> This will break existing configurations, wouldn't it?

Yep, but it would be easy to fix. The user could copy his abbrevs to
`message-mode-abbrev-table' or setq `local-abbrev-table' back to
`text-mode-abbrev-table' in `message-mode-hook' (or
`gnus-message-setup-hook'). Ok, the second solution still suffers from
this adding-abbrevs-problem...

> `message-mode' derived from `text-mode': Do we have guidelines /
> conventions / best practice in Emacs on how to deal with abbrevs in
> derived modes?

As I'm not really involved in emacs development I don't know. Should I
start a new thread about point 2 in gmane.emacs.devel?

>>   2) Fix `add-mode-abbrev' and `inverse-add-mode-abbrev', so that they
>>      insert into `local-abbrev-table'.
>> To me the second point should be done, too, because that's what a
>> user would expect. Only then he has the possibility to use a
>> abbrev-table for multiple modes, e.g. text-mode-abbrev-table for
>> message-mode-abbrev-table.
>> What do you mean?
> I don't have a strong opinion here (as I don't know what the docs
> suggest here).

At least you have to admit that it's inconvenient for the user if he
adds abbrevs interactively, but they don't work.

> [1] BTW, in my init files I find...
> (add-hook
>  'gnus-message-setup-hook
>  '(lambda ()
>     (when (boundp 'rs-message-mode-abbrev-table)
>       (setq local-abbrev-table rs-message-mode-abbrev-table))
>     [...]
> ... but I don't exactly recall it's purpose. At least, I have some
> abbrevs in message-mode that are not present in text-mode.

But you alway added them with `edit-abbrevs', not interactively with
`add-mode-abbrev' or `inverse-add-mode-abbrev', right?

A morning without coffee is like something without something else.

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