Let me preface by saying that I don't really care very much about the
behavior of [DEL]
here, but I do care about people trying to call out arguments as
invalid with hogwash.
On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM, ken <address@hidden> wrote:
[Making this change] brings default Emacs behaviour close
to other modern text editors. ....
This is an invalid argument, more an appeal to fashion than an appeal to
reason. When switching from one application to another, we shouldn't expect
the new one to behave just like the former one. They are different pieces
of software, after all. When you start using different software, you should
expect that it will operate differently. You should expect that you'll have
to learn new things.
Other "modern text editors" behavior was not decided upon via reason.
All pieces of software are an island.
I don't disagree that people should expect to learn new things, but I'm also not
ignorant of patterns of behavior in categories of software, and how that can
influence a user's ability to learn things quickly as well as how that
can affect adoption.
Perhaps if you had some evidence that the behavior of [DEL] in other
was pretty much a big unfortunate trend, this argument would hold. If
I had to guess though,
I would guess that at least one of the editors out there with the
behavior have some
closer to empirical data as to why they chose that behavior.
Secondly, there are places in the world where people haven't ever used
Windows; instead, their first and only experience with computers is with
Linux. What sense can it make to them that emacs' behavior is changed
simply to mimic some other editor they've never seen or used?
The Emacs community gives a crap about emacs making sense ;)
In these places in the world, the only editor available is emacs.
From the discussion, it seems more likely that they'd say something like
"Oh, well it looks like emacs does the same thing as these other editors now".
Then again, I wouldn't know. Maybe some of them are on the list, and would
like to say whether or not they'd be totally befuddled if the behavior of [DEL]
I think that over the long term it will trend upwards that more people's
first and only computer experience will be with FOSS. So thinking ahead to
those times, why should we alter the default behavior of Emacs to conform to
a legacy editor?
This is just kinda sidestepping the argument.
A whoooole lot of Emacs behavior is the way it is because it was written before
there were a whole lot of text editors around. Emacs has a lot of
"legacy" behavior and
If, in the future, the majority of text editors decided that a
different behavior for [DEL] was
better, presumably through some sort of study, then at that time we
might want to consider
modifying the behavior of [DEL] again. Oh no!
"Correct behavior" and "usability" and all that are not things that
are set in stone, they're
more like really slow rivers mixed with a clusterfuck of culture. Now,
whether or not the
emacs community cares too much about that is another matter .... but
then again, users
who like and use emacs enough *to* care about keeping the current
behavior are probably
knowledgeable enough to know how to configure emacs to keep it...
Fourth, if we apply your argument to every difference between Emacs and
(e.g.) Word, then we end up with Emacs behaving just like Word, and there
being no difference between Emacs and Word. Then we might as well just use
This is ridiculous. If all differences could be considered equal,
maybe it wouldn't be.
Fifth, if we change emacs to comport with Word, and if in future Word
changes the way it handles highlighted text to way emacs does now, should
emacs then change back again, just to (again) follow the way Word works?
Well, is the emacs community making the change to follow *one* editor,
or to follow a trend in
behavior across multiple editors? If the latter has occured, it might
be worth the
consideration of the community.
Finally, as said at the top, the argument to follow "other modern editors"
is nothing more than an appeal to fashion. And fashion is very subjective
and capricious. We should no more change emacs simply to comport with some
other, even (currently) more popular software than you and I and all the
other guys on this list should start dressing ourselves like the cool dudes
on whatever soap opera is the most popular these days.
This is sort of pointless. AFAICT, keeping the behavior isn't any less
an "appeal to fashion",
it's just an appeal to the current emacs fashion, other than in the
parts of the thread that were
actually bringing up *reasons* for keeping it around or changing it
that weren't just
If the change is *entirely* superficial, then what's going on is a
bunch of bikeshedding, and this
whole discussion should be tossed into the firey inferno.
Let's just talk about what makes sense.