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Re: display-buffer-alist simplifications

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Re: display-buffer-alist simplifications
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 11:57:37 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> OTOH, we have the example of frame parameters alist, which supports
> merging with the default-frame-alist, is quite self-explanatory, and
> works quite well in practice, AFAIK.
> So why wouldn't display-buffer-alist be useful as an alist as well,
> without any need for a plist?

One difference is that frame parameters don't interact with one another.
Each entry in default-frame-alist overrides any corresponding entry in
initial-frame-alist, and is overridden in turn by any corresponding
entry in window-system-default-frame-alist.

Another difference is that in default-frame-alist, each stored value
(i.e. the cdrs of an alist entry) has a straightforward meaning: it is a
value of a frame parameter.  In display-buffer-alist, each stored value
is a _list_ of specifiers, and each specifier has its own no-obvious
meaning.  For example, in the specifier

   (reuse-window nil nil nil)

each of the `nil's means something different, and you have to look up to
docstring to figure out what it is.

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