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*scratch* buffer (was: A wish, a plea)

From: David Reitter
Subject: *scratch* buffer (was: A wish, a plea)
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 11:48:25 +0100

Here's what we do in Aquamacs. Perhaps this applies to all of Emacs:

`initial-major-mode' and `default-major-mode' default to `text-mode'.
We assume that most people want to write one or another form of text or code in some language other than elisp. Text-mode provides basic support for that. We are pretty sure that the majority of users doesn't know much elisp, and of those who know it, only a minority will use Emacs predominantly to configure or extend Emacs.

The initial message in the *scratch* buffer is not shown. We want its function to be self-evident. Users are not required to read text before they get going (most people, even newbies, presumably don't read it anyways).

I am also intending to make the *scratch* buffer persistent across sessions. That way, users will not be bothered to give it a name and to explicitly save it. But they will retain its contents across crashes and intentional restarts. If the desktop is a good analogy: when I come into my office in the morning, all my scratch papers are still on my desk. Even in companies that operate a "clean desk policy", the cleaners are not instructed to throw away everything that's on people's desks at 7am. (Or do they?)

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