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Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 11:52:32 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

> It's not that much of a problem for a simple (transient-mark-mode -1)
> in .emacs fixes it.  But on the other hand I'm still missing a good
> reason for activating it in the first place (after skimming briefly
> over this thread).  And "it might be ok" is not equal to "it's a good
> thing to do", IMO.

Whenever I use "emacs -Q" or some similar "vanilla Emacs", the first
thing that I'm urged to do is M-x transient-mark-mode (and it was
already N°1 back when fotn-lock-mode wasn't the default).

Of course, I'm sure I'd be able to learn to live without it.  It seems
like an option affect people *very* strongly, so those who want it
*really* want it, and those who don't *really* don't.

So, that's for my personal preference.  As to why turn it on *by
default*, here are some reasons why I think it should be ON by default:
- Visual feedback about the mark's position and active status.
  I and all (X)Emacs users I know personally (i.e. off-this-list) and
  with whom I've talked about transient-mark-mode use
  transient-mark-mode (or its XEmacs equivalent) and find it difficult
  to use Emacs without it because of the lack of visual feedback about
  where the mark really is.  I do not claim that this small group of
  people is representative, but it does seem relevant.
- Extended semantics for various commands.
  Many commands now offer to operate on the region if the region is
  active but only when transient-mark-mode is ON.
  This functionality is now also available to non-tmm-users via the
  temporary-transient-mark-mode (C-SPC C-SPC), admittedly, but while
  C-SPC C-SPC is easy enough to use, I always find myself selecting the
  region *before* knowing that I want to use such a command (or
  selecting the region with something else than C-SPC, typically
  C-M-SPC), so I end up having to use C-u C-x C-x which I find a lot
  more inconvenient.

-- Stefan

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