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Re: font-lock-maximum-decoration should be 2 by default?

From: Vitalie Spinu
Subject: Re: font-lock-maximum-decoration should be 2 by default?
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 21:49:04 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130004 (Ma Gnus v0.4) Emacs/24.1.50 (gnu/linux)

  >> "Drew Adams" <address@hidden>
  >> on Fri, 17 Aug 2012 08:57:28 -0700 wrote:

  >> And obviously some guys (may be including the developer) don't like that.

  > If you mean that you don't like `t' to be the default, then argue here for a
  > change in default value.

  > If you mean that you don't want the default behavior for a mode you create 
to be
  > maximum, then you are out of luck.

I meant both. 

So let me try to defend the new  default:

1) Setting font-lock-maximum-decoration to 2 (i.e. 3 levels recommended
  by emacs info page "23.6.5 Levels of Font Lock") won't impact most of
  the modes, if any at all. Which mode is defining more than 3
  recommended levels?

2) People tend to stick to defaults even when their "true" preferences
  are different. Probably the most dramatic case of life and death is
  the following http://danariely.com/2008/05/05/3-main-lessons-of-psychology/
  (first story).

  In font-lock language: If you design a feature which is intended for
  30% of salad lovers. Then by the virtue of emacs defaults and peoples'
  psychology, 90% of the people will end up using it. That is, 60% of
  normal users (which don't like salads) will end up eating it.

3) Developers which would like to capture 30% of salad lovers will try
  to find workarounds. That is, add redundant, mode-specific font-lock
  customization, or mess with font-lock-maximum-decoration.

4) If not self-obvious, the proposed modification would allow a default
  level of fontification. Thing which is not possible right now.

5) The most knowledgeable person to decide on the default level of font
  lock, is the developer of the mode. Why then emacs would decide that
  the maximum decoration is the best one?

  >> All levels are activated by default (font-lock-maximum-decoration is t).

  > Yes, Emacs Dev concluded after many years that `t' is the most appropriate
  > default value.

Interesting. I am curious of reasons for that. Cannot see one by myself,
but I must be missing something.


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