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Re: handling many matches

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: handling many matches
Date: Sat, 02 May 2020 16:52:21 +0300

> Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
>  address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
>  address@hidden
> From: Dmitry Gutov <address@hidden>
> Date: Sat, 2 May 2020 16:26:54 +0300
> On 02.05.2020 09:29, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > IMNSHO, we should first develop the infrastructure for such "smart"
> > presentation of completion candidates and make it our default
> > completion strategy,
> How would that look, in your opinion?

If by "look" you mean to the user, then I envision a list of
completion candidates that somehow "knows" what I'm after, and places
those likely guesses near the beginning of the list.

> > and only after that consider changes, like the
> > proposed "namespacing" of APIs, that will allow users to use
> > completion as a substitute for Help commands.
> Namespacing of APIs is a step that should help the users with the 
> current default completion strategy.

Like I said, I think the hopes it will deliver a significant enough
improvement are overrated.  It will certainly bloat the lists of
candidates by factors, which is why I think it isn't a very good idea
as long as we don't have some smart scoring of candidates.

> > It is IMO a bad idea to
> > flood the completion lists with many dozens of candidates and force
> > users to wade through them.  I certainly wouldn't call that "progress"
> > for Emacs.
> Is that what fido-mode does? People seem to like it.

I don't have a good idea of what fido-mode does, but the rather foggy
idea I do have says it just applies fuzzy search criteria, attempting
to find non-literal matches.  If this is so, then I don't think fido
cuts it.  We need scoring that "learns" from what I do/did recently,
and from my habits.  Otherwise the list of candidates will remain
hopelessly long, with no promise of having what I'm really looking for
anywhere near the beginning.

Compare with the Internet search: it almost always brings me hundreds
of hits, but I normally find what I was after among the first dozen.
Even more spectacularly, when I type a search phrase into the search
box, it guesses what my search phrase will be, and the guesses are
almost always very accurate, so much so that if I don't see a long
enough list of reasonable candidates, I usually go looking for some
typo in what I typed (and almost always find it).  Some of the
candidates are based on my previous search phrases, and the ones I
typed are always ready to be reused, with a special indication to let
me know I recently used them.

It is this kind of powerful scoring that I think we need to develop if
we are going to handle many dozens of completion candidates.  Because
who has patience and time to wade through 100 candidates, let alone

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