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Re: Tentative diagnosis of TMM's problem. [Re: Enabling Transient Mark M

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Tentative diagnosis of TMM's problem. [Re: Enabling Transient Mark Mode by default]
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 08:05:36 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

'Morning, Stefan!

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 03:52:24PM -0500, Stefan Monnier wrote:

> > And that problem is, what on earth do these two facets [modification
> > of commands, and highlighting the region] of TMM have to do with
> > eachother?

> Keeping track of when the region is active and when it isn't can be
> tricky, so without the visual feedback, you may get nasty surprises
> where you end up, e.g., commenting a large part of your code instead
> of inserting a harmless ";" at the end of the current line.

> > Why should you have to "suffer" the visual effects of TMM, if you
> > just want to use the "extended semantics",

> You don't: you can change the `region' face so that it can't be seen.

> > and why can you only highlight the region as a side effect of doing
> > something else?

> If you only want to visually highlight a piece of text, you can use
> other packages that do that, like facemenu.

Yes, of course there are workarounds, but that doesn't answer the point.
;-)  Why is toggling the region highlighting not regarded as a command
in its own right?  Why can I not, in emacs -Q, highlight the region with
(say) C-x r h?  (Hey, that binding, still unused, could hardly be more
appropriate.  :-)

> > I think that if we partitioned TMM into the command `highlight-region',
> > and the other stuff, most of the acrimony on this thread would abate.
> > highlight-region probably deserves its own key binding.

> I don't think it's the right way to cut it.  The main issue is with the
> conflation of 2 concepts on the set/push-mark commands: one is to push
> a buffer location on a ring for navigational purposes, the other is to
> set the boundary of the region.

Yes, "issue", but not "problem".  This handling of THE mark is essential
to Emacs, and I am convinced it is not coincidental.  These 2 mark uses
are not sharply distinct; I often want to go to places in the mark ring
that were originally there for region operation; I often do M-> C-w to
delete the last few lines of a buffer.  Were there to be separate marks
for these purposes, Emacs wouldn't be Emacs.

>         Stefan

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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