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Re: lisp/ChangeLog coding system

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: lisp/ChangeLog coding system
Date: 29 Apr 2002 10:10:10 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Common Lisp)

>>>>> "Eli" == Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

    Eli> However, surprise and corruption are two different things...

That's right.  The user can recover trivially from a "surprise"
without help; otherwise it's corruption.

I don't think it's our call to make.  And I think it should be
reasonably easy to protect users substantially better than Emacs
currently does.  (And XEmacs is worse.)

One aspect is making better guesses about desired coding systems.
Another is getting the trash coding systems out of the prompt to the
user.  Eg, I doubt most users _ever_ want to use the -with-esc coding
systems.  (As far as I can tell X Compound Text should serve the
purpose fine, and users can tell for sure that they don't know what it
does.  The ISO-8859-with-esc are tempting for naive users as "the
closest to what I want".)  A sample implementation of these aspects
(for XEmacs only) is latin-unity:

cvs -d pserver:address@hidden:/pack/xemacscvs login  # password "cvs"
cvs -d pserver:address@hidden:/pack/xemacscvs checkout latin-unity

The README describes the features pretty completely.  The prompt
(which the user sees only if one of the user's preferred coding
systems doesn't handle the buffer) is in the function
latin-unity-recommend-representation in file latin-unity.el.  The
user's preferences are captured with the defcustoms in that file.

The two big problems with this package (to the author's mind ;-) are
that it doesn't handle anything but ISO Latin yet, and it doesn't work
on GNU Emacs.  The beta testers seem happy with the functionality.
The UI needs tuning, of course.

Sorry, I don't have time to port to Emacs anytime soon.  However, I'll
be happy to answer questions (cc me, I don't read emacs-devel every
day) and help with factoring out interesting functionality on request.

This is all-new code, contributed to XEmacs, and I have assign.future
on file for XEmacs.  Ie, it's clean for use in GNU Emacs.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
 My nostalgia for Icon makes me forget about any of the bad things.  I don't
have much nostalgia for Perl, so its faults I remember.  Scott Gilbert c.l.py

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