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Re: how-many/count-matches for non-interactive use

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: how-many/count-matches for non-interactive use
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 00:48:37 -0400

    Trying to solve the problem by changing interactive-p makes in my
    opinion no sense, because if you sometimes need the message in a
    keyboard macro, you automatically also sometimes need the message from
    Lisp, for instance if you translate your keyboard macro into a Lisp
    function for efficiency.

Calling how-many in a translated macro and writing a Lisp program to
call it are different kinds of usage.

    There are many messages that make no sense when called from a keyboard
    macro, so the present behavior of `interactive-p' makes sense.  In
    situations where the message should appear in a keyboard macro, one
    should always use an argument, because then you will sometimes also
    need to print the message from Lisp.

This is an interesting argument.

If this means interactive-p should not be changed, then we really need
to look at the many existing calls to interactive-p and see if they
should be rewritten to use the other technique.

       This argument assumes that people who wrote this code knew what they
       were doing.  I can't assume that.  I want to see what sort of messages
       they really are.  I want someone to look at them.

    The argument assumed that _keyboard macro users_ know what they want
    their macros to do.

It assumes that they chose this behavior deliberately among various
options.  That is clearly not usually so.  They used command FOO
because they wanted its effects, and they probably did not consider
rewriting FOO at all.

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