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RE: Binding a command to the down-event of a toolbar button

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Binding a command to the down-event of a toolbar button
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 08:21:08 -0800

    > My guess is that many (most?) of the most important Emacs
    > features were not developed because users asked for them or
    > because other UIs already had them. They were invented or
    > discovered by Emacs user-developers (many by you!). Such
    > stuff is being created everyday, with varying degrees of
    > usefulness ;-).

    Actually, as far as GUI features are concerned, AFAIR most of them
    were added because other GUI programs had them and users expected
    them. Non-GUI features are another matter.

I said "feature", which includes but is not limited to "GUI feature".

I mentioned the Emacs mouse behavior as one example (is it GUI or just UI? I
don't care). Another is incremental search (GUI or UI?). Emacs was
relatively late to the GUI game (at least what most people understand by
GUI), so it's probable that there were more user requests to "catch up" in
that area.

But that's irrelevant; Emacs's superiority was not achieved by playing
catch-up, fulfilling user requests to do what other apps do already. Someone
might have requested adding a mouse to Emacs, but I doubt if anyone asked
for the (superior) mouse behavior that we ended up with. Emacs has the
advantage of innovation that comes from many user-developers and, most
important, source code.

I'm the first to welcome borrowing ideas from other apps. I think there are
still some things that Dired could learn from Windows (not Internet)
Explorer, for instance. But we can always do better, and lack of user
requests for a feature or lack of the feature in other UIs is no argument
for not pursuing a feature in Emacs. Those can be arguments in favor of
developing a feature, but they are not good arguments against doing so.
Cost/benefit and lack of sufficient resources are good arguments.

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