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RE: CUA-mode features and documenation

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: CUA-mode features and documenation
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 07:52:33 -0800

> > I think we need to keep giving users a choice about this (having
> > S-<arrowkey> set mark if the region is inactive). That could be
> > done by keeping both D S mode and CUA selection mode, or (simpler?) 
> > by adding a user option and keeping only one of them.
> You completely lost me there ...  
> If you commonly use C-SPC to start the region, why would you _ever_
> use the shifted arrow keys to extend the region, when the unshifted
> arrow keys extends it just as well (that's how the region normally
> works) ??

Right. My point was that from what you described, the automatic C-SPC is the
only difference, since you can use C-SPC S-<arrow> in delete-selection-mode,
versus just S-<arrow> in cua-selection-mode. If the only thing
cua-selection-mode adds wrt delete-selection-mode is the automatic C-SPC,
then let's just make that an option.

> So if you are not in the habit of using shift-select, you can use
> cua-selection-mode just like delete-seletion-mode.

Or, if you are not in that habit, then you can also use
delete-selection-mode just like cua-selection-mode. ;)  Modulo the unnamed
"probably more stuff".

> > I don't know about the "probably some more" stuff - perhaps 
> > we should look into that. If there is in fact no more, then
> > just adding an option to D S mode for S-<arrowkey> to set mark
> > (if inactive) would be sufficient. We could then drop CUA
> > selection mode.
> Huh?  "just adding" ?   That's not trivial!


> Since delete-seletion-mode functionality is already 
> integrated in cua-mode, while shift-select support is
> absent from delete-seletion-mode, it would be
> more natural to make delete-seletion-mode be a sub-mode of 
> cua-mode, rather than the opposite (it just needs an option 
> cua-enable-shift-select - default on).

That's fine with me. I already stated that either would be fine.

But what about the "probably more stuff" you referred to? What's involved

You say now that all you would need to get delete-selection-mode behavior is
to turn off a proposed option that automatically sets mark when you use the
arrow keys. But what about the other stuff? What is it, and how would a user
turn it off, to get delete-selection-mode behavior?

> > Question (not proposal): Assuming we keep CUA selection 
> > mode, would it be clearer to change its name, to avoid
> > confusion with CUA mode? I imagine that CUA selection mode
> > is a perfectly accurate name, in that it presumably
> > implements the selection part of IBM's Common User Access
> > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_User_Access).
> Why rename something which is a "perfecty accurate name" ?

For the reason I gave in the very next paragraph, which you omitted:

  Even so, (1) the name might lead to some confusion with
  CUA mode, and (2) it's not obvious to most people what
  "CUA" is. That ignorance is probably OK for CUA mode, since
  you need to read the doc anyway to find out what it's
  all about (lots of features), and "Common User Access"
  refers to more than just selection. But for CUA selection
  mode, we might look for a better name.

IOW, even though "common user access selection mode" accurately describes
this as the selection mode of Common User Access, the term can be misleading
(confusion with cua-mode) or inadequate (ignorance of Common User Access).

BTW, there is no need to get defensive about it. I don't really care how we
handle the overlap or the name. I just pointed out some overlap and some
potential user confusion.

> > Looking at various Emacs Wiki entries, I suspect there is a 
> > fair amount of confusion for newbies among (1) transient mark mode,
> > (2) delete selection mode, (3) PC selection mode, and (4) CUA
> > selection mode.
> The confusion must be because experienced users try to 
> convince the newbies NOT to enable full cua-mode (with the
> C-x C-c mappings)...

I think you are being defensive. "The confusion must be"? What evidence do
you have either that experienced users are doing that or that that "must be"
the reason that newbies are confused about this?

> To avoid confusion - just enable cua-mode (in full) and Emacs 
> behaves like

(something missing there?)

Nothing wrong with such a suggestion, and I think that has already been
communicated to users, both on the wiki and in the Emacs doc.
> >> If we want to promote it that way, we should choose a better
> >> name that CUA Selection mode, because most people won't know
> >> what "CUA" means.
> Call it delete-selection-mode then !

Call it what you like. I have no axe to grind here. I already said that
"delete-selection-mode" is also not a great name:

  Note that "delete selection" mode is also not the ideal name
  for what it does. It is really a "replace selection" mode.
  You can type to replace the active region, and deletion is just
  replacement by nothing. But then, even "replace selection"
  doesn't convey the ability to extend the active region
  using S-<arrowkey>.

(or using just <arrowkey>)

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