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Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 19:01:27 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, once again, Dan!

On Tue, Feb 19, 2008 at 01:38:38AM -0800, Dan Nicolaescu wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:

>   > > 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 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).

Let it be called backward - following the crowd has never been Emacs
policy.  If it is good, do it, otherwise don't.  Unless I've missed it in
another thread (for which, apologies), I don't think anybody has
demonstrated the goodness of this change.

Anyhow, transient-mark-mode is NOT what "all other applications" have.
For example, other applications don't have their font-locking obliterated
over 90% of the screen when first displaying a buffer loaded from
desktop.  And I haven't seen another application where the
transient-facing explodes when you do an equivalend of M-:.

In X-Windows today, I tried setting the region face to a very pale grey
background, no foreground.  This wasn't too bad in general, but it
obliterated my hi-lock faces.  On a GUI system, can we somehow make a
pale grey background attenuate other backgrounds it is applied to rather
than replacing them?  If not, shouldn't we be able to, before transient
regionification becomes default?

What would you suggest as a default for the region face on a 16-colour
TTY?  I can assure you that dark blue background doesn't cut it.

> 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".

That is because the existing defaults have been carefully thought out,
and honed to optimality over over 20 years of development.  If they are
to be changed, the changes must likewise be carefully thought out.  I
think many people come to Emacs because of the refreshing efficiency of
its ideas, as contrasted with other programs' slavish conformance to a
lowest common denominator "standard".

In otherwords, and IMAO, Transient Mark Mode, while good enough for those
who consciously chose to enable it, needs fixing before becoming a
default, if that is to happen.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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