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Re: delete-selection-mode as default (WAS: Some developement questions)

From: Ergus
Subject: Re: delete-selection-mode as default (WAS: Some developement questions)
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2018 03:23:58 +0200
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

On Sat, Sep 08, 2018 at 07:54:18AM -0700, Drew Adams wrote:
It seems to me that the people who like delete-selection-mode
are those who are used to some similar behavior in some other
editor and have not truly got used to Emacs.

FWIW, that's not my case. My case is the opposite: I was used
to "old" Emacs, e.g., pre transient-mark-mode. When
`delete-selection-mode' came along I tried it and appreciated
it immediately. I had no problem getting used to it. Dunno why.

Perhaps simultaneously, or soon thereafter, I started to use
other apps that had similar behavior. But I did not use them
before using `d-s-m' in Emacs. I used `d-s-m' long before I ever
used Emacs on MS Windows, for example.

Anyway, I think you're right about most other people who
use `d-s-m'. It's likely that they got used to the behavior first
outside Emacs. That's probable, simply because many users
came to Emacs later and the behavior was already ubiquitous
outside Emacs.

They have two possible paths to follow: get used to Emacs,

"Get used to Emacs" has nothing to do with it. That's almost
insulting, I think.

or stay in the middle.  We can provide various features to
make Emacs serve each group.

But here we have a proposal to make the defaults serve cater
primarily to those who don't want to get used to Emacs,

I think that's an awful way to express it. What is "Emacs",
that these people supposedly don't want to get used to?

Emacs to me includes `d-s-mode'. To me, it's just as
(un)reasonable to say that those who don't want `d-s-m' to
be the default "don't want to get used to Emacs." Neither
makes sense.

This is not about assimilating immigrants to some
dominant culture, and bothering over the question
about what to do with those who just "don't want to get
used to it" - whether to give them tourist visas, make their
short stays comfortable, and not make them adapt.

That's the wrong way to look at this, IMO, but that's kind
of what I hear you suggesting. (But I hope I'm wrong, and
this does really surprise me coming from you, who have
typically taken a very positive and fair moral stance.)

rather than those who want to get used to Emacs,
and also at the expense of experienced Emacs users.

I don't think either default behavior would be at the
expense of experienced Emacs users. It's trivial to set
one's preference about this in an init file. I've been
doing it for decades. Not a big deal.

This is only about what the default behavior should be.
That should have no effect on experienced Emacs users.

It's not helpful, I think, to cast this as being about people
who do or don't "want to get used to Emacs." Putting it
that way betrays, at best, a misunderstanding, I think.

I vote for making `d-s-m' the default because I think it
makes Emacs better - like `transient-mark-mode'.

Can't people just opt into it? Sure, and that's been the
case for years. It will likely remain the case for many
more years, I expect.

Why make it the default? No great reason, I think. More
people are likely to "get used to Emacs with it". More
existing Emacs users are likely to make use of it (maybe).
But there's no _compelling_ reason to turn it on - or off -
by default, IMO.

I am against making delete-selection-mode the default.

Got it. And I am for it.

(I wonder where we each stood initially when the question
was raised about turning on `transient-mark-mode'?)

It's fine and normal for different people to feel differently
about such things, and even to feel strongly.

I feel (fairly) strongly that `cua-mode' should not be turned
on by default, for instance. But most of the same arguments
that some are making here for `d-s-m' have been made also
for `cua-mode'.

To me, those two are very different, especially wrt how
they affect the rest of Emacs. `d-s-m' has little to no effect
on the use of other keys etc. `cua-mode' conflicts deeply
with much of the rest of Emacs (IMO).

That's why my arguments for turning on `d-s-m' by default
don't focus on most people being already used to that
behavior, from outside Emacs.

That's the most common argument here in favor of `d-s-m',
but it's not mine. I think it is good behavior, and good
especially for Emacs. I picked it up after using Emacs for
years without it - because I found it helpful.

That it facilitates going back and forth between Emacs and
other apps is a nice thing, but it's no compelling argument.

`cua-mode' would also make it easier to go back and forth,
and I'm against that. Does it sometimes trip me up inside
Emacs or outside it, when I try to use `C-s' or `C-f' mistakenly?
Yup. But I still don't want to use `cua-mode' in Emacs, and
I still don't think it should be turned on by default.

Just one opinion.

I agree because cua-mode is very intrusive with the normal emacs
workflow, but on the other had cua-rectangle-mode is not and it is not
by default in emacs (I can't really understand why) and the default
rectangle selection is very primitive.

The actual C-x SPC rectangle selection is not as good as cua-rectangle
selection in any sense and duplicated functionalities that where already
there, it is not possible to move the rectangle or change the rectangle
selection to global selection, and for copy/paste/edit it requires extra
commands with C-x r prefix.

Cua-rectangle-mode offers exactly the same functionalities without the
C-x r prefix, plus commands like rectangle selection, edition and move
out of the box with no extra commands and not changing the emacs
behavior. I think this is one example where the default behavior it much
more primitive than the default one for not real reason.

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