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Re: Default Emacs keybindings (was: Re: Menu suggestion)

From: Thien-Thi Nguyen
Subject: Re: Default Emacs keybindings (was: Re: Menu suggestion)
Date: 02 May 2004 19:31:24 -0400

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

   It is the difference between "with Emacs, you could" and "with my
   Emacs, I can".  The latter is gloating rather than helping.

the middle path of the superuser is to find a way to say "with our
Emacs, we can", with "our" being the operative word that implies local
customizations set up by the superuser but (with the right attitudes all
around) maintainable by all the users.

   And I don't think we should strive for superuser lock-in: painful
   experiences whenever users switch between administrators.  Emacs
   should by and large be delivered in a useful state for everyone
   without the need for serious reconfiguration.  The better we can
   achieve that goal, the more universal Emacs experience becomes.

hopefully the crafty superusers are also light-hearted and not prone to
such bouts of insecurity, but in general what superusers do we cannot
control anyway.  i disagree w/ the "by and large" statement on grounds
that it is not feasible to know what is useful for everyone.

   They will still need to use Emacs.

yes (i don't see this as a matter of contention).

   Superusers stand on the shoulders of developers.  On the shoulder of
   giants, even dwarfs can look far.

although we cannot control superusers, they learn from attempts by the
programmers to control users, often by emulation.  if we give superusers
the tools they need to do the "leaf-node programming" that befits their
situation, w/o going overboard and attempting to control them, perhaps
they will in turn treat the users around them w/ similar courtesy.

even more abstractly, it is easier to point out flaws in emulation than
it is to maintain the neutral disenfranchisement of the middle layers in
a relationship.  IMHO, given emacs' maturity and reach, the latter is
not even desirable (although it may have been in the past).


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