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Re: What improvements would be truly useful?

From: Yuri Khan
Subject: Re: What improvements would be truly useful?
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2018 14:48:39 +0700

On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 2:22 AM, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:

>> I think that what will help to keep Emacs relevant in the long run is
>> modernizing its structure and code base, moving away from the baroque
>> architecture that developed as a result of its very long history (and
>> some less than optimally future proof design decisions).
> What exactly are you talking about here?  AFAIK, the Emacs
> architecture didn't change since its inception, so its long history
> has no relevance here.  But maybe I'm missing something or
> misunderstanding what you intended to convey.

One architectural decision that I would call baroque is the input model.

In Emacs, the input model is that of the character terminal: the input
is a sequence of characters. The repertoire of Unicode characters is
extended with special values for function and editing keys, and for
keys modified with Ctrl, Super, Hyper, and Shift where necessary (and
Meta is represented as an ESC prefix), but still it is a sequence of
characters without explicit ties to the keys. Even mouse clicks are
processed as a special kind of characters.

This is inevitable when running in a terminal emulator where the
underlying abstraction works this way, but in a GUI build this leads
to inability to distinguish, for example, the ‘.’ character as coming
from the bottom-row right ring finger in US English layout, or from
the bottom-row right pinky in Russian layout, or from the decimal
separator key on the keypad. Bindings such as M-{ are unnecessarily
hard for international users whose keyboard layout does not have a {
character at all or puts it into third or fourth level.

Another example was described in Daniel Colascione’s article/rant
“Buttery Smooth Emacs”.

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