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Re: Making Emacs more friendly to newcomers

From: Po Lu
Subject: Re: Making Emacs more friendly to newcomers
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:53:04 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

조성빈 <address@hidden> writes:

> I can’t understand why you’re so opposed to changing defaults. Defaults
> matter, and I think that users who are already accustomed to Emacs will
> have an easier time changing options. (Like adding `(vanilla-mode 1)`
> to init.el.)

I oppose changing defaults, because I value my tools remaining stable.
Having to frequently adjust my user-emacs-directory to encompass the
latest fancy new idea is an unacceptable maintenance burden to me.  Not
to mention in practice, those changes are going to be far larger than a
hypothetical `vanilla-mode'.

> Adding a variable that makes Emacs warn if it’s version number is
> different from its value might work.

I'm not sure what you're talking about; Variables don't persist across
Emacs sessions.

> The features that are best discoverable are the ones that are default.

And since changing the defaults radically end up hurting existing users,
and also existing packages and potentially the existing ecosystem.  You
have to find a balance between that, and changing the defaults is not
the balance you want.

> Defaults have to change for experienced users to adjust. And for them,
> adjusting is an easy task, not something that takes a decade.

"For existing users to adjust" is not an excuse -- that puts an extra
burden on users.

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