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Re: [PATCH] Re: About the :distant-foreground face attribute

From: Daniel Colascione
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Re: About the :distant-foreground face attribute
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:54:00 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.2.0

On 01/14/2014 04:31 PM, Drew Adams wrote:
If a user never expressed a preference with respect to foreground
and background colors, there's no contract to violate.

And how does she express that preference, if it happens to
coincide with the default colors?

See above.

So she has to opt out.  She has to realize that she really wants
the default color attribute values, which she never really sees
because the automatic tweaking is on by default.

She sees the default attributes --- system selection background, font-lock foreground --- almost all the time. Can you give me a concrete example of a situation in which this scheme might be problematic?

And then she
has to explicitly opt out, to get those colors she has finally
realized she wants.

We're talking about a default Emacs configuration. Users want legible text, and they want Emacs to look like their other applications. We're obliging them.

Just turn it off by default.  For those few platforms that are
ill-designed enough to present a problem, she will figure out
whether she wants to remedy that problem by opting into the
automatic twiddling.  If there really is a visible problem on
her platform then she will see it and will be able to make an
informed choice.  Call out this clever compensation in the doc.

Whether we have a contrast problem has absolutely nothing to do with how well the system is designed. The variable here is the default selection background. Or are you claiming that any system that provides a selection background color that conflicts with an Emacs font-lock face is badly designed? That's a pretty Emacs-centric view of the world.

I strongly disagree that we should show users illegible text and tell them how to correct the problem in the documentation. Users don't change defaults when evaluating a product. Emacs should work by default. Users should have to opt into breaking their editing environment.

What you are saying is like saying that you think you have a
license to change the value of option `default-frame-alist'
automatically, if the current value is nil, because that's also
the default value.

Well, yes, we do have such a license. By this logic, we can't change
any default ever.

Did you notice "automatically" and "current value" in that sentence?
I'm not talking about the license of Emacs Dev to redefine the
_default_ value.  I'm talking about license to change the _current_
value of an option, on the fly, automatically, behind the user's
back... - just because the current value happens to coincide with
the default value (`nil' in this case).

A user's not customizing an option away from the default value is
not implicit permission for Emacs to twiddle the current value to
something different.

I honestly don't understand what you're talking about. Perhaps you can rephrase it? If a user has customized an option, we don't touch it. If a user hasn't customized an option and has relied on the default, we can modify the default values when we update Emacs. All customization variables work this way. Faces are not special. Users with custom themes won't see a difference.

`nil' isn't a foreground color. It's the absence of a foreground color. If a user has customized region and set the region foreground color to nil, she's explicitly asked Emacs to combine the region foreground with whatever other face happens to be in the buffer. We're just performing this combination in a way that yields visible text. Nobody has ever deliberately told Emacs to make text illegible when highlighting the selection.

You're going on about some kind of intellectual purity and ignoring the reality of what users will actually see.

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