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RE: propose adding Icicles to Emacs

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: propose adding Icicles to Emacs
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 07:57:06 -0700

>     I might add that once you have the ability to type and change
>     the regexp to match dynamically, there is less raison d'etre for these
>     `customize-apropos-*' commands. An Icicles user would simply use
>     `customize-face' and so on, instead.
> With `customize-apropos-faces', you get a custom buffer with ALL the
> faces whose names match the regexp.

Yes, I pointed that out several times as a definite advantage. I said this:

>> The only disadvantage is that you cannot use this command to
>> customize all matching faces in the same Customize buffer -
>> you get a different Customize buffer for each face. On the
>> other hand, two advantages are that (1) the
>> display of matching faces can be WYSIWYG (because it uses
>> `read-face-name') - a much better preview, and (2) you can get
>> help about individual faces while you are choosing them, in
>> case you have a doubt about the meanings (uses) of some of them.

> Using `customize-face' as a multi-command, and regexp-based
> completion, you can pick some of the matching faces and put each
> of them into a custom buffer.  But you can't make a custom buffer
> with two of them, or all of them.  (Am I mistaken?)

That is correct, assuming no changes to `customize-face'.

> This suggests that `customize-face', when it uses the multi-command
> feature, should put all the faces in one buffer. Well, I think that
> is not too hard to do, in my proposed framework.
> But this suggests there should be a minibuffer command to say "submit
> each of current candidates, one by one."

What do you mean, "submit"? Submit to what? Don't forget that there is
`C-S-RET' etc., which apply an alternative action. That action could be to
collect chosen candidates. IMO, it is useful to be able to have a different
final action (`RET') from the intermediate actions (`C-RET'). The final
action here could be to act on all in the same Customize buffer. The
intermediate action could be to accumulate.

As I said in a different message, Icicles has an idiom for this. There are
several multicommands that simply return a list of the candidates you
choose. Other commands use those commands (e.g. in their `interactive'
specs) to determine the user's choices, and then they act on that list as a
whole. For instance, multicommand `icicle-face-list' lets you pick a list of
faces; it returns the list. A command `customize-face-bis' could use that to
define the list of faces to customize, then show Customize for all together.

IOW, `C-RET' can be used for multiple choice, and the choices can be acted
on together, instead of individually. It all depends on how you define the

Also, with the save-this-candidate and save-matching-candidates features,
you can create a set of candidates you want to act on, verify that set, and
then act on it. That action can be either act on each individually or act on
all together, depending on how you define the command.

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