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Re: Word syntax question

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Word syntax question
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:21:38 +0200

> From: "Richard M. Stallman" <address@hidden>
> CC: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden
> Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 02:20:44 -0400
>     I agree.  I think we should introduce a user option to control whether
>     it stops on script boundaries or not, because sometimes it makes
>     sense, sometimes it doesn't.
> That is not a real solution.  The right thing to do is a function
> of the case, not the user.  Making each user specify an option
> according to which cases she typically encounters is not clean.

I agree that it would be better to solve this automatically, but I
sincerely doubt that we will get that right in time for the release
(unless we delay the release for many months).

> It seems that we need a way to specify which kinds of script
> boundaries should be word boundaries, on designed to produce the
> results that users generally want, and which could be set up inside
> Emacs so that users don't have to change it.

I think we lack the knowledge for doing this right.  We don't even
have enough experts on board to cover all the Unicode scripts, or even
their majority.  How in the world will we decide which scripts can or
cannot be mixed in the same word, let alone how this might change in
some specialized Emacs mode?  Unicode annexes know nothing about many
Emacs features, so their advice will not help us except maybe in Text
mode and its closest derivatives.  We will need to develop our own
solutions as we go, like we did with syntax tables in previous
versions, for example.

However, developing those solutions might take a lot of time and user
experience which we do not yet have.  It will take a lot of effort
just to solve the bugs and sluggish performance to bring Emacs 23 to a
releasable state, so if on top of that we delay the release until this
and similar Unicode-related issues are satisfactorily resolved, we
will not release Emacs 23 before another 2 or 3 years pass by.

With that in mind, my suggestion to provide a user option was meant to
give users a fire escape in case Emacs 23.1 does not get their
use-case right.

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