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Re: A wish, a plea

From: Karl Fogel
Subject: Re: A wish, a plea
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 20:57:43 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Hacksaw <address@hidden> writes:
> So I started writing, and I wrote for quite a while, it was really
> flowing well, and I thought, hey, I should save, because I don't want
> to lose this, but in my reverie, I hit the ^X^C first.
> And I was writing in the scratch buffer.
> I bet if we took a poll, the number of emacs users who actually use
> the scratch buffer for it's intended usage is very, very low. Most
> either find a file, or open a new one.
> But I wasn't in programming mode, so I was in scratch, and lost
> everything I was writing, because scratch isn't backed up by anything.

I agree, this should be changed.

When Emacs is invoked with no file arguments, there's no point the
default buffer be a Lisp interaction buffer.  After all, most users
don't know what to do in such a buffer -- and those who *do* know are
much more likely to know how to customize Emacs to start with a Lisp
Interaction buffer anyway, if they really to!

Meanwhile, a "*scratch*" buffer that were set to trigger a
save-to-file query (if modified) on exit would prevent data-loss
events like the one Hacksaw describes.  

It seems like an obvious win; am I missing something?

Two points:

   - I tested with latest "emacs -q" to see if stuff I typed in
     *scratch* would get saved in tmpfile (~/#*scratch*# or
     something), but as far as I can tell, my text was simply lost on

   - It's true that "*scratch*" today opens with this message in it:

       ;; This buffer is for notes you don't want to save, and for
       ;; Lisp evaluation.  If you want to create a file, visit that
       ;; file with C-x C-f, then enter the text in that file's own
       ;; buffer.

     But users don't read stuff, we all know that (heck, I'm a user
     who's also a programmer, and I still don't read stuff).  I think
     of that notice as a workaround to a real solution: offering to
     save what the user has typed.


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