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Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default [Re: CUA-mode features and d

From: Dan Nicolaescu
Subject: Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default [Re: CUA-mode features and documenation]
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 01:38:38 -0800

Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:

  > Hi, Dan!
  > On Sun, Feb 17, 2008 at 08:58:26AM -0800, Dan Nicolaescu wrote:
  > > Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:
  > >   >     BTW, before the pretest for 22.1 you were trying
  > >   >     transient-mark-mode in order to enable it by default. What was
  > >   >     the result of that experiment?
  > >   > I could not stand Transient Mark mode by itself.  However, I now
  > >   > use it with `mark-even-if-inactive' = t, and I think that is fine.
  > > OK, I have changed the default for mark-even-if-inactive to be t and
  > > turned on transient-mark-mode by default.
  > I feel I must protest about this.  I tried transient-mark-mode yesterday
  > (for the first time) on a Solaris system (Emacs 22.1).  I'm trying it now
  > on my Linux TTY, also Emacs 22.1.
  > I've done nothing more than M-x transient-mark-mode (in a buffer.el
  > loaded by desktop), and already half of the screen's font-locking has
  > been obliterated by an ugly heavy blue transient-mark face (whatever it's
  > called).  (The same happened yesterday on Solaris running X-Windows).
  > I do M-: mark-even-if-inactive, and the blue face vanishes in an
  > explosion.  I can't work when things explode in my face.  Then M-: (setq
  > mark-even-if-inactive t).  Things behave a bit more sanely.
  > Then C-x 5 b *info*.  90% of the manual page was obliterated by this
  > ghastly overpowering deep blue face.  By experimentation, C-g got rid of
  > it.
  > Transient Mark mode is a radical departure from standard Emacs, in which
  > the concept of the mark is substantially changed.  I don't think we're
  > talking here about two equally valid ways of doing things, one of which
  > we must chose; rather we have an option which can be on or off by
  > default - a bit like paren matching.  Such options shouldn't, in
  > general, be on by default.
  > OK, I {sh,c}ould read the fine manual, but I've deliberately avoided
  > this, so as to simulate the reactions of typical users.  I think enough
  > typical users will detest this facility, that it should not be thrust
  > upon them.

I don't think so, typical users are used the transient-mark-mode
behavior from all the other applications they use on their desktop.
Many times emacs has been called backwards because it refuses to
implement this now omnipresent convention (plus a few other ones).

Defaults are most useful for people that don't have a .emacs, nor have
the skills/time/or interest to write one.  Providing the behavior that
such type of users expect by default is the best way to make a larger
number of people happy.  Yes, sometimes common conventions are not the
thing, and we can provide a different default then, but this is not one
of those case.

It seems that changing ANY default will provoke some resistance from at
least one person on this list because "it used to be different before".
But catering mostly to the readers of this list is not the best idea,
better have 5 people here add a line in their .emacs to turn off some
feature than have a few thousands add a line to turn it off.

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