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Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 14:55:54 +0000 (GMT)

On Wed, 10 Mar 2004, Richard Stallman wrote:

>    I'm rather surprised at the preference for leaving an Emacs command
>    like `clone-buffers' _undocumented_.  Does this perhaps signal an
>    intention to remove this command from Emacs?  If so, why?

>Just because someone added the command does not mean we have to put it
>in the Emacs manual.

I find that truly surprising.  The quality of the Emacs documentation is
one of its most attractive features.  Certainly when compared with the
dire gobbledygook which accompanies some proprietary competitors.

>The Emacs manual does not attempt to document all Emacs features.
>Probably half of them are not included.  It would be a bad idea to add
>them; that would make the book too expensive.  Please don't think they
>are "missing".

Ah, right, the book.  I hadn't thought of that, and most people round
emacs-devel probably never use it anyway.  But it's presumably an
important source of income for the FSF.  It would seem there are three
desirable attributes goals for the manual:

1/- It should be complete and accurate.
2/- The printed and online versions should be the same.
3/- The printed version should not be too big.

We can decide upon any two of these, but we can't have all three at the
same time.  :-(

Those undocumented features _are_ missing from the manual.  But it's good
to know that there's a sound reason for this, rather than just
forgetfulness on the part of developers.

Thanks for the elucidation.

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)

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