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Re: Should undefined behavior be encouraged in Emacs?

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Should undefined behavior be encouraged in Emacs?
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 04:49:52 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:

 >       AIUI, Richard philosophically disagrees with the whole idea
 >     of active regions, but they were a feature greatly desired by a large
 >     fraction of users.
 > That's not the case.  Philosophically, I have no objection to them.

I apologize for misstating your position.

 > They turn out to be a pain in practice.

I don't doubt that's true for you.  Nevertheless, it isn't true for
me, as a user or as a programmer, using the "zmacs-regions"
implementation in XEmacs.

I certainly did (and often still do) find active regions + pending
delete (the behavior where the whole active region is deleted on any
insertion or deletion keystroke) annoying in GUI-oriented applications
such as Mozilla and OpenOffice.  I never had any problem with XEmacs'
implementation though (it's more context-sensitive, I think, and for a
couple of months at first I did set pending-delete mode to kill rather
than delete the active region which saved me annoyance a few times).
And in my relatively limited use of Emacs, I don't think I have any
problem with Emacs-style transient mark mode and friends that isn't
attributable to the minor variations from XEmacs.

Nor have I ever found active regions to be a barrier to learning new
idioms for using Emacs.

This is unfortunate, then, because I agree with Andreas: the Emacsen
programming interfaces for working with active regions are complex and
annoying, and unnecessarily so from a design standpoint.

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