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Re: Major mode and implementation of expected editing facilities

From: John Yates
Subject: Re: Major mode and implementation of expected editing facilities
Date: Tue, 28 May 2019 15:37:47 -0400

On Tue, May 28, 2019 at 10:55 AM Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
> Given the above text, I'm not sure I understand what are you looking
> for.  Clearly, what specific keys a major mode can reasonably rebind
> depends on the mode and what it does, right?  IOW, it's your decision,
> as someone who knows what the mode does, and which of its commands
> could be usefully regarded as "generalizations" or "customizations" of
> those in the related modes.

What Daniele seeks makes eminent sense to me.

Designing a new mode is not easy, especially if one wants it to feel as
much like a natural extension of mainline emacs as possible.  One has
to develop the basic concept of the mode, decompose that envisioned
functionality into exposed operations consonant with the emacs mindset,
choose key bindings that will feel natural and inherit faces in a natural
manner.  (I am sure that there is more.  Those are simply the things that
come to mind as I compose this note.)

Those of us who have used emacs for years (decades?) and, further, used
many of its packages have distilled such wisdom.  Should we therefore
take the stance that we can offer no help towards such wisdom?  That there
is no substitute for paying one's dues and doing time in the emacs world?

If we are anxious to have new contributors who actually want to do a
craftsman-like job writing a new mode then we should do what we can to
help them along.  That we have not yet started writing down some of this
wisdom is no excuse not to start.  I am confident that beginning a chapter
on building a new mode would trigger much interesting discussion.


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