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bug#24518: 25.2.50; dired-mark-extension with prefix arg fails

From: Tino Calancha
Subject: bug#24518: 25.2.50; dired-mark-extension with prefix arg fails
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 02:49:23 +0900 (JST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.20 (DEB 67 2015-01-07)

On Sat, 24 Sep 2016, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

From: Tino Calancha <address@hidden>
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 02:14:14 +0900 (JST)
cc: Andreas Schwab <address@hidden>, address@hidden,

I believe my recent commit fixed all of the above
Yeah, you fixed something, and we are exactly in the same point
that before fixing such thing.  We didn't get something better.

We don't have this command signal an error anymore, do we?  I think
that's a definite improvement.
Yes, it is.  But i doubt that in 22 years someone tried intentionally
such behaviour:  I guess you was the first in History when you proposed
your example.  Congratulations.

Besides, you yourself told me to fix the bug, so I did.
Thank you very much.
The point here is that a Dired user would expect/wish that the
interactive call behaves differently.  I do.
Do you know how i noticed the bug?
Because i assumed that a prefix argument will unmark as other
Dired marks, and i got an error (!).

But it isn't true that every Dired command that marks files will
unmark them if invoked with an argument.  E.g., dired-mark doesn't.
So this doesn't look like a universal convention in Dired, only a
frequent feature.
The reason why dired-mark do not follow that idiom is because we have a dedicated command dired-unmark. Indeed, you can see that it is very
universal convention that if we don't have the dedicated-unmark-command
for the task in hands, then the marking command _unmark_ with a prefix
OTOH, since Dired allows the user to use different marker characters
in other places, IMO it is not very reasonable to exempt this
particular command.  Especially since it did have a (semi-broken) way
of doing that.
There better ways to mark with a different character in Dired than that. We should respect the 'prefix arg unmark' idiom.


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