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Re: bug#7260: 24.0.50; DEL screwed up

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: bug#7260: 24.0.50; DEL screwed up
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 09:05:08 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

> Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen writes:
>  > So...  people have been complaining for more than two years, and nobody
>  > has addressed this yet?
> It has been addressed.  The only way this *can* be addressed is to
> make a decision one way or the other, and that's been done.

Uh no.  We are programmers.  Consequently, a _lot_ of work has been
invested in making transient-mark-mode less noisome, both before making
it the default, and in the aftermath.

In fact, the repercussions have not died down: a number of details
concerning the interaction with selections and deletions are still more
or less evolving.

So there certainly is more to address than whether to turn it on by
default, and that is being done.

The ultimate point in providing a customizable option is to make all
choices work well.  If one choice sucks and we are not going to change
its behavior, we are better off without it.

When people ask for some option that, in its simplest incarnation, sucks
royally, it is somewhat cynical to give it to them without bothering to
address the issues that make it suck on Emacs without further
improvement.  "I told you you don't really want that".

> FWIW transient-mark-mode (actually, zmacs-mode) ON has been the
> default in XEmacs since 1998 or so, and the complaints took about 12
> months to die out.  My impression at the time was that a majority of
> the complainers tried the new behavior and decided it was acceptable
> (may be biased, because I'm in that group), and a large minority
> decided to turn it off at initialization and stopped complaining.  New
> users never complain about it AFAICR.

I don't like the "implement and leave it" attitude.  Moving a
controversial feature to a less controversial state causes a lot of bile
and bickering on the Emacs developer list.  It makes the list a less
friendly place, and Emacs itself a more friendly place.

David Kastrup

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