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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 16:44:44 +0900

Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen writes:

 > I, like (I'm assuming) all other oldey-timey Emacs users :-),

You're wrong, as all sensible folk expect from the word "assuming". :-)

I've been using Emacs since ESC-ESC-ESC produced scathing remarks
about inability to hack buffers and hacking buffers meant writing TECO
code.  Does that count as "oldey-timey"?

 > disabled `transient-mark-mode' the first chance I got.

Indeed, just after I switched to XEmacs, `zmacs-regions' was enabled
by default, and I immediately overrode the default.  That was a
mistake, as I discovered about a month later when the maintainers
requested that we try it for a week and report experiences and
preferences.  I found that I liked it, for several reasons, and the
change in default was upheld because most commentators agreed.  That
was in like 1996 when everybody was an oldey-timey Emacs user 'cause
that was oldey-times.

 > And the reason for that is that `C-x C-x' activates the region,
 > which makes it impossible to use that command to jump around in
 > buffers.

Of course it doesn't make it impossible.  You just don't like it,
either because of the risk of deleting something you don't want to
reproduce, or because you find the highlighting annoying, or maybe for
some other reason I don't recall after a decade and a half of correct

 > Which I do constantly.

So did I, although quite recently I've found myself using C-u C-SPC a
lot more.  Specifically, C-x 2 C-u C-SPC, but several other variants
as well.  This turns out to be much more powerful for me, although the
extra power is not useful every day so far.  I'm still working out

 > If that rather odd overloading of the `C-x C-x' command went away,

What's odd about it?  One of the use cases for C-x C-x is to make the
region visible, either subtly by the motion of point, or more or less
garishly with highlighting.  Even in my "traditional" usage pattern I
often used that for confirmation that the region is the one I want to
operate on, almost as often as I used it for the motion itself.  With
active regions on, I get that confirmation even when I didn't request
it specifically, and occasionally that forestalls mistakes.

I'm not at all denying your usage pattern, just your claim that it's
universal among long-time users.  It's not, and there are good reasons
for the alternatives, just as there are good reasons why you like your
own patterns.

 > I might start using `transient-mark-mode'.

C'mon, Lars, I'm sure you could do that for yourself.  Why don't you
try it and see?  After all, you'd be the odd one out, people who
already use t-m-m evidently *want* the activating behavior.

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