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Re: typo in frame.el

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: typo in frame.el
Date: 10 Apr 2004 00:37:19 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

"Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:

> Hmmm...  I suppose so. But two silly counter-arguments, then I'll rest:
> 1) The unwashed masses seem to have digested ":)" OK...

"Digested"?  I'd say they created it.  I doubt that hackers need
explicit warning labels for nonobvious humor.

> And they can handle magic-eye SIRDS dinosaurs OK. Bringing them up
> to speed on an ASCII arrow that pretty-much shows what it says
> should be a piece of cake, non?

"<=>" is far from being anything like an arrow.  It is probably a
long time since you last played with a bow.  If anything, and arrow
is something like "-------->".  The symbol is shortened beyond
recognition, and also it has a doubled shaft.  The doubled shaft
carries the mathematical meaning of "for all variables" or "always".
a->b is a statement with a truth value.  a=>b states that for all
possible variables, this statement is true.

a <=> b is a pretty complex concept.  And I don't agree with
"pretty-much shows what is says".  If a shoots an arrow at b, I fail
to see how this makes b at least as truthful as a.  Even if you
consider an arrow a treacherous weapon, the truthfulness of b does
not depend on the treachery of a.

> 2) Most emacs users are, and have been, (dare-I-say-it?)
> programmers. I doubt that "<=>" is very foreign to most of them. If
> foreign, I doubt they would have difficulty picking it up. And
> emacsers already speak "C-" and "M-". How hard is this?

It's nothing at all related to "C-" and "M-".  The latter are not
mathematician-specific, but Emacs specific lingo.  They are explained
right on Emacs' splash screen.  And they serve an important purpose:
that of talking about key bindings that have no other equally short

Do you want to put on Emacs' splash screen "a <=> b  means  a if and
only if b"?  Really?

> Yeah, I know, Emacs is not *aimed* only at programmers, and I would
> love to see the Emacs word-processing functionality (and more!) that
> RMS dreams of.

Really, I don't know why I am working on getting AUCTeX and
preview-latex to create easy interfaces to WYSIWYG LaTeX creation.  I
am working hard to provide an increasingly compelling environment also
for non-programmers for text processing.

I just fail to see what purpose <=> would serve that could not be done
otherwise.  Even "iff" is wagonloads better.  People that don't
understand that terminology are probably prone to not interpreting
"if" in the mathematical way, anyhow.  So if they consider it as a
typo and apply the everyday meaning of "if" to it instead of the
mathematical meaning, they are pretty much fine.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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