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Stop fiddling with my preferences

From: Roland Lutz
Subject: Stop fiddling with my preferences
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:35:37 +0100 (CET)
User-agent: Alpine 2.11 (DEB 23 2013-08-11)

I've been using Emacs for quite a while, and I think it's a great program. Sure, things work differently than in most newly-written GUI applications, but at least for me, they work *better*.

For the past few months, however, each time I upgraded to a new version of Emacs, something in the behavior changed. I had to figure out each time what it was that caused the change and how to compensate for it. This usually took me an hour or more since it isn't easily documented and most solutions suggested on the web have unwanted side-effects. Right now, the compatibility section in my .emacs file reads:

(set 'x-select-enable-clipboard nil)
(set 'x-select-enable-primary t)
(set 'select-active-regions nil)
(set 'mouse-drag-copy-region t)
(set 'delete-active-region nil)
(set 'electric-indent-chars (remq ?\n electric-indent-chars))

This sort of behavior changes is common among browsers and proprietary operating systems, but does this make it appropriate for Emacs? One of the reasons I'm using mature software is exactly that I *don't* have to be worried with each new version that ESC won't stop playing animated GIFs any more, etc.

I'm not arguing about defaults (I think they shouldn't change without a good reason--other than personal preference--either, but that's an entirely different story) but that I don't want them to change once I've got used to how Emacs works.

How about not changing the defaults but shipping an updated skeleton .emacs file instead?

How about a command like (use-defaults VERSION)?

Also, I'd appreciate if the history of user-visible changes included the commands necessary to restore the previous behavior.


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