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Re: enriched-mode and switching major modes.

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: enriched-mode and switching major modes.
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 16:04:51 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

>>> It is basically as you said: you express your intents.  But rather
>>> than doing this via a command or markup language, you do it by
>>> interacting with a UI.
>> It's a false dichotomy: Emacs on a tty is a UI.
>> I guess what you mean to say here is that rather than representing the
>> intent as text you'd represent it somehow graphically.

> This is nitpicking.

Oh, sorry, I misunderstood (nitpicked as well, of course).  I was thinking
in terms of *reading*, not *writing*.  I find the visual representation of
the intent to be very important: if it weren't for that, indeed I wouldn't
care as much whether I was seeing the deep or surface representation.

> The point is that you express your intent while
> not caring about the particular encoding.

But getting the intent from the user to the data is "easy".  It's getting it
the other way around which is the harder part (unless you display the deep
representation, that is).

>> So you don't actually get to see the abstract representation, even though
>> that's really what you're editing.  I.e. you're still editing somewhat
>> blind-folded.

> "somewhat blind-folded" is a vast exaggeration.

I hope you now better understand what I meant by that.

>>> The benefit is that you do this while looking at the "surface
>>> expression".
>> With something like WhyzzyTeX I get to edit while seeing (rather than
>> "looking at") the surface expression.
> I think I already understood that you like this way of editing.  Now,
> it seems that I also have to understand that in your view this is the
> Only True Way of Editing.

I don't think it's the one true way.  I just think it's an interesting point
in the design space, like preview-latex, tex-mode, Lyx, TeXmacs, FrameMaker,
OpenOffice, ...

> Do you really think, that /I/ or anybody else who wants "word
> processing" in Emacs would be content with WhyzzyTeX-style functionality?

I'm sorry if you got the impression I thought the answer is yes.

> A gedankenexperiment: Suppose we have the inverse of WhizzyTeX: you edit
> the visual appearance WP-style and Emacs would constantly update the
> encoded document in a read-only buffer and show it in another window.

It's not the inverse.  WhyzzyTeX (assuming it's implemented differently so
as to work around the severely rough edges) does exactly that, both ways:
the only detail is whether the window manager's focus is on one window
rather than another.


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