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Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:54:35 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Hi, Rusi,

In comp.emacs rusi <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Feb 25, 12:16?pm, Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> wrote:

>> For what it's worth, it's not personal. ?A giant fireball blows up
>> when _anybody_ suggests UI changes in Emacs. ?The UI is an important
>> part of what Emacs is, so it's bound to give rise to discussion when
>> anybody wants to change it.

> Hi Alan.

> I remember you suggesting some time an idea that you called
> 'emacsicality' -- basically a grain of customizability larger than
> individual key/function binding or even major mode.  [Subsequently I
> tried to look it up but my google-fu failed me]

> Do you remember what this suggestion was?

I don't remember using "emacsicality" (but it's the sort of "word" I
would use).  An idea I once had was "Emacs personalities" - there'd be
classic Emacs, CUA Emacs, possibly Ergo Emacs each callable from the
command line as its own command.  So you might start the editor with the
command
    % cua-emacs
.  The commands would all be aliases (or the W32 equivalent, whatever
that is) of the plain emacs command.  It would be implemented by a
"personality" configuration file, loaded before site-start.el.

The idea would be to allow newbies, who might otherwise be overwhelmed by
configuration, to get a taste of the variety possible under Emacs.

I think the idea came up when the making of transient-mark-mode on by
default was being discussed on the Emacs development list.  That
discussion was more like a supernova than a fireball.  ;-)

> In any case do you realize that this statement of yours suggests that
> *fact* of emacs encrustation is opposed to the *philosophy* of infinite
> customizability?

:-).  I don't really think so.  More precisely, discussions about UI are
nearly always about the _defaults_, and the wisdom, or otherwise, of
changing them.  Pretty much any new UI feature is welcome, provided it is
an option which is disabled by default.  The stability of the default
features doesn't in any way contradict the philosophy of infinite
customisability.

My view is that the defaults should remain very stable indeed, (but not
totally frozen).  At the same time I have an extensive .emacs.

> Rusi

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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