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Re: lax matching is not a great default behavior

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: lax matching is not a great default behavior
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:44:13 +0200

> Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:04:54 -0800 (PST)
> From: Drew Adams <address@hidden>
> This has been discussed somewhat, but I don't think there was
> any actual proposal to change the behavior.  So here goes.
> Does it still make sense to make search and replacement
> use lax matching, i.e., fold stuff, by default?

I will repeat up front what I've already said numerous time in other
similar discussions: arguing about defaults in Emacs is largely a
waste of time.  It usually fails to produce any real effect except
tremendous loss of time and energy.  In all the years I've been
involved in Emacs development, I remember only one case of such a
discussion that ended up in real changes: the changes in default
colors of faces in Emacs 21.  But that was when the development team
was very small and everyone on it had the same perspective.  (It still
took a lot of time and argument.)

Given the ease with which you can change those defaults, the defaults
are almost irrelevant.  They are only significant to newcomers.
However, none of those who participate in such arguments is a
newcomer, so the only people for whom this matters are not here to
voice their opinions.

That said...

> I don't think it does.  I think that users, especially
> new users, would be less confused if Emacs defaulted to
> literal searching - no whitespace, case, "character",
> or other folding by default.

Most (if not all) other programs out there do fold by default, both
the letter-case and the equivalent characters.  So I don't think you
are right about newbie expectations.  Emacs follows (or rather
precedes, I think) what other similar programs do, so its defaults
should be more consistent with user expectations than a literal

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