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

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: font-lock-maximum-decoration should be 2 by default?
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 10:33:48 -0700

> > Uh, where do you see ANYTHING there that supports the claim 
> > that "the" reason why the variable was _introduced_ in the
> > first place was "to get snappier display"?
> There's at least a hint in this commentary at the beginning of
> font-lock.el:
>  ;; Fontification for a particular mode may be available in a 
>  ;; number of levels of decoration.  The higher the level, the
>  ;; more decoration, but the more time it takes to fontify.
>  ;; See the variable `font-lock-maximum-decoration', and
>  ;; also the variable `font-lock-maximum-size'.  Support 
>  ;; modes for Font Lock mode can be used to speed up Font Lock
>  ;; mode.  See `font-lock-support-mode'.

No, not at all.  That does not support a claim that the only reason this
variable was created was performance.  Let alone the stronger claim that the
only reason for its continued existence is performance.

All that comment says is that more fontification generally means slower
performance, and you can speed up performance by customizing the variable.  No
one disputes that.

It's clear that controlling the amount of fontification also affects the
attendant time to fontify.  That does not mean that there are not other reasons,
besides performance, why users might prefer less fontification.  And it does not
mean that performance was the only reason for creating this variable in the
first place.

An attempt now to remove or neuter this option cannot claim that its only raison
d'etre now, or even the only reason for its initial creation, is/was
performance.  We've see no basis for such a claim.

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