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Re: emacs 21


From: Sven Utcke
Subject: Re: emacs 21
Date: 20 Feb 2001 14:02:09 +0100

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> Sven Utcke wrote:
> > 
> > This is a bit like the silent conversion which Emacs does
> > between DOS and UNIX, which caused (and still causes) lots of grief.
> 
> It's not analogous: the markup in Enriched is something the user must
> introduce, it doesn't appear automatically.  You must type "M-g b" to get
> the region turn bold.

So what happens if you save the file and then read it in again?  The
text is bold, but you don't know (and certainly don't see) why.  Which
is not what people might expect from an editor.  Imagine you read in a
C-file which doesn't compile, and all you see is a bold identifier "i"
somewhere.  Now, imagine that this i was silently made bold by the
following sequence of characters (^ denotes Ctrl): "i^Hi".  This would
not be a good thing (tm).

You can create the same situation now with Enriched:  I just created a
file xxx.c containing the line

int i;

where the i is bold, using enriched.  I then saved that file and read
it back in.  My modeline now tells me (C), so there is absolutely no
indication to me that I am not editing a C-file.  The line still reads

int i;

with a bold i.  But alas,  running this through a compiler I get:

kogs12>/home/utcke% gcc xxx.c
xxx.c:1: parse error before `-'

And the file actually looks like

--- snip ---
Content-Type: text/enriched
Text-Width: 70

main ()

{

  int <bold>i</bold>;

}
--- snip ---

This is a_very_bad_thing (tm).  Actually, now that I think about it I
would consider it a bug (and have consequently added gnu.emacs.bug).

> > I really think that Enriched is closer to WinWord in
> > implementation and spirit than it is to LaTeX.
> 
> That is true, but that's not necessarily a Bad Thing.  As long as a
> feature needs to be turned on on purpose, and doesn't get in the way of
> those who don't want it, it cannot do any harm, IMHO.

But it obviously does get in the way (or at leat used to when my Emacs
was current :-), see the above example.

Sven

GNU Emacs 20.3.1 (sparc-sun-solaris2.6, X toolkit) of Mon Dec 14 1998 on 
kogs4.informatik.uni-hamburg.de

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