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RE: [Emacs-diffs] widen-limits c331b66: Implement buffer-widen-limits fu

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [Emacs-diffs] widen-limits c331b66: Implement buffer-widen-limits functionality
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:24:03 -0700 (PDT)

> > > > And the text about indentation and the use of sub-mode for only a
> given
> > > > chunk of text in a buffer is incomprehensible without some
> explanation.
> > > > Normally, a major mode, no matter whether it is derived from some
> other
> > > > major mode, has its effect on the entire buffer.
> > > >
> > > > It seems there is some non-negligible functionality/behavior/feature
> > > > that has not been documented.  Not up to Emacs standards, it appears.
> > > >
> > > > It looks like someone perhaps implemented something and just tossed
> > > > some minimal doc into the manual, in the form of doc-string-like text
> > > > for a couple functions.  Insufficient.
> > >
> > > "Compliments" such as these for something that caused me a
> > > considerable effort to produce where no documentation by the code
> > > developers existed in the first place is a very efficient method of
> > > convincing me never to make such efforts again.  Not for this
> > > community, anyway.  Thanks a lot!
> >
> > Please consider it instead as a statement that "the code
> > developers" for this feature (whatever it might be) should
> > themselves have documented it.  Which is also what I think
> > you suggest.
> >
> > My plaint wrt what the user sees now (incomplete doc) is
> > essentially the same as your plaint that the code developers
> > did not provide adequate doc.  I don't at all complain about
> > your effort to improve a complete lack by providing something
> > helpful.
> The documentation is complete.  I have just re-read it to be sure, and
> I see no flaws there.  If you still think there are gaps, and if the
> current text is unclear to you, that's a clear sign that the use cases
> in which these features are supposed to be used are something you
> never bumped into, and therefore you don't have a clear picture of the
> issues.  Which is not a catastrophe, but it does mean that you are not
> the best person to criticize this part of the documentation.
> > As a user learning about this question for the first time, I
> > searched the manuals for "sub-mode" and similar expressions
> > to learn more, and came up empty-handed.  I reported that.
> It is clear to anyone who understand the situations which need these
> features.  Examples of such situations are part of the text in the
> manual.  The fact is that this discussion thread references "sub-mode"
> or "submode" several times, and people who used that terminology
> evidently have to difficulty understanding what it is.
                 no (?)

Excuse me, but that's a crock.  You are essentially saying that it is
OK to refer to a "florksit" over and over, with no explanation of what
such a critter is, as long as some developers who implemented the code
that uses and provides for florsits understand what it is.  This is
the Elisp manual - for all users of Elisp.

Imagine if we did that for other concepts: keymap, syntax table, or
whatever.  Instead, we introduce the concept with some care, so that
readers of doc about functions that make use of keymaps etc. know what
that doc is talking about.

As I said earlier, one might guess that a "sub-mode" is a mode that
derives from another mode.  OK.  But one will not guess what that might
mean for zones of text in one or another sub-mode, what it might mean
for indentation there, or whether sub-modes can nest or otherwise
overlap.  And so on.

None of this is clear to a reader of this doc, and it should be, IMO.
What's a "sub-mode" in this context?  Answer that clearly in the doc
and Bob will be our uncle.

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