[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 00:30:57 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Jason Earl <address@hidden> writes:

> Yes, I agree that transient-mark-mode works somewhat differently than
> most text editors.  However, without transient-mark-mode Emacs is
> *remarkably* different than other editors.  More importantly,
> transient-mark-mode helps give the newbie clues as to how setting the
> region works in Emacs.  Think of it as training wheels for region
> marking.
> Without those visual clues it is easy for even the experienced Emacs
> user to forget where the mark is.  Of course, the experienced Emacs
> user has read the manual and knows about C-x C-x and friends.

You don't need to read the manual.  The tutorial is sufficient as are
the help sheets.  And without learning at least some basics, Emacs is
not going to be fun.

> The newbie, on the other hand, doesn't have a clue about these
> keystrokes.  As far as they are concerned Emacs is simply too
> old-fashioned to do something sensible like highlight the region they
> are marking.  To make matters worse the new user is in for a surprise
> when they try to actually use the "invisible" region that they are
> trying to mark because, as you point out, it is likely to work
> differently than they expect.  At least with transient-mark-mode Emacs
> gives the user some visual clues that can help the new user figure out
> what just happened to their text.

Sorry, but you miss the fact that the highlighted region is _active_
whereas the non-highlighted region is _inactive_.  And _active_ region
changes the meaning of lots of commands, making them operate on the
region instead of their normal range.  An _inactive_ region defined with
mark and point does not have such an effect.  It merely sets mark
somewhere but assigns no special meaning to the region.  Only commands
explicitly working on the region between mark and point are ever

So transient-mark-mode does something quite different from merely
highlighting the region.  It changes its meaning.

> Marking regions in Emacs *should* be different than how it is done in
> other editors because the way Emacs marks regions is better :).
> However, it is not likely to *seem* better to the uninitiated if they
> have a hard time telling what parts of the text comprise the region.

But the highlighting of tmm does more than show mark and point.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]