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

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default [Re: CUA-mode features and documenation]
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 08:52:31 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

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

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.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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