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Re: More visible mini-buffer prompt face

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: More visible mini-buffer prompt face
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 23:06:01 -0500

     What we can, and should do, in my opinion, is make sure that nothing
    "bad" happens if the user at first does not see the prompt, if he just
    keeps tpying away. There might be cases like that (I haven't though
    about it), and we might want to try and fix those to work better.

How could that be even conceivable?  The prompt means that you have
temporarily entered a special mode in which your input has a different
meaning.  If you type as if you didn't know you had entered the
minibuffer, it has to be misunderstood.

The only way this COULD not be the case is if we had different
characters for the minibuffer.  For instance, if the characters you
used to type a search string were different from the ones that you use
while doing ordinary editing.  But that would be very inconvenient,
given the hardware and software environment that exists.

     I happen to agree with the ideas of the late Jef Raskin, when it
    comes to prompting the user. Especially in the Yes/No scenario. If you
    display this kind of prompt too much, the user will form a habit of
    always answering Yes (I think that the most common case).

The question of when to ask for confirmation, and how, is an important
one, but it isn't the same one.  In Emacs, the reason we have
both y-or-n-p and yes-or-no-p is partly to address this.

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