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Re: facemenu-unlisted-faces

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: facemenu-unlisted-faces
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 11:03:59 +0000 (UTC)

    I can use the number 4 or not use it, but it remains the number 4 - it is
    not changeable. I can apply  the :bold attribute to text or not, but it
    remains the unchangeable :bold attribute; ...

I don't understand you.  The displayed numerical symbol can be set to
any number but few want to set that variable to a value that humans do
not expect.  Similarly, it looks to me that in ...emacs/lisp/faces.el
`:bold' is set to `Face.AttributeBold' although not with a setq, but
in a more complex manner.  (Maybe numbers are not set with setq either
-- I have not looked.)

A `user (conceptual) model' that presumes a `constant' is wrong.  The
user's conceptual model should include the notion that `:bold' is set
to a value that humans generally expect, but it can be something else.
On my display, I set bold to be a kind of red since the heavy weight
of a more conventional bold looks bad.  Naturally, almost no one else
expects `bold' to be displayed as a `normal' weighted character.

You can change anything in a `universal informational machine' (which
is how I have heard computers described).  It is a major mistake to
think of any characteristic from such a universal machine as
`constant'.  Moreover, the machine does not know what human meanings
are attached to the bits it transforms.  As computers become more and
more important in human lives, the danger of mistaking what they can
do becomes more and more dangerous.

    Robert J. Chassell                         
    address@hidden                         GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
    http://www.rattlesnake.com                  http://www.teak.cc

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