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RE: Emacs unconditionally loads tramp.el

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs unconditionally loads tramp.el
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 07:18:55 -0700

    > Y'know, I don't remember ever doing anything special to get
    > ange-ftp to work. IIRC, I picked up vanilla Emacs and immediately
    > accessed remote files.
    > Maybe I'm forgetting something, but it can't have been too difficult.

    What you are forgetting is how long it took until ange-ftp began to
    support Windows seamlessly.  At some point, we were even distributing
    an alternative ftp client, to work around bugs in the Microsoft

Sounds like a good argument for keeping ange-ftp as the Emacs default, until
tramp supports Windows (and other platforms, if appropriate) seamlessly.
That was my point.

    > We're always talking about making things easier for newbies
    > to use Emacs. Well, if we expect Windows users to pick Emacs up
    > and use it out of the box, and if we want them to use Emacs to
    > access remote files, and if tramp is the default way to do that
    > now, then I suspect we're going to be disappointed in
    > our expectations. Many Windows users will never experience
    > using Emacs to access remote files - that's my guess. And
    > that's too bad - this Emacs feature is much more important than
    > most of the minutia we spend time discussing in our attempts
    > to make things friendlier for Emacs newbies
    > (menus, toolbars, fringe,...).

    I doubt that many Windows users even consider a prospect of accessing
    remote files.

I think you are wrong about Windows users these days (and perhaps more wrong
tomorrow). Did you read the part about developers at large companies having
a Windows box in their cubicle and using remote (who knows where?) GNU/Linux
boxes for their development? I suspect that is becoming the rule rather than
the exception. Gone are the Solaris boxes in people's cubicles. Here to
stay, at least for a while, are mega-farms of cheap GNU/Linux boxes/blades.
And, at least for now, Windows is the box of choice by companies for
inter-office stuff. Perhaps tomorrow Windows will be replaced by GNU/Linux
on the desktop as well.

Of course, as I mentioned, using a remote GNU/Linux box from Windows does
not necessarily mean using Emacs locally and accessing files remotely.
Depending on the work one does (within Emacs and without), it can in many
cases be more useful to run Emacs remotely (on GNU/Linux), in order to have
Linux commands available on the remote machine within Emacs. On the other
hand, network bandwidth can sometimes argue against using non-nw Emacs
remotely. Different people have different needs in this regard.

    But that's not an argument to avoid fixing this feature
    on Windows, it's just that I don't think exaggerating its importance
    is really required to convince us.

Tramp is an important feature to fix, especially if it is to be the default.
I don't know if I exaggerate its importance. If it were not the default, so
that Emacs 22 acted like 20 and 21 out of the box (ange-ftp), then there
would be no problem.

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