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Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs
Date: Sat, 02 May 2020 23:40:31 -0400

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You're proposing that we adopt a policy of adding functions to Emacs's
standard name space as if that cost nothing.  Any function that anyone
thinks provides the tiniest simplification, we would add.

Adding so many functions would be detrimental in many ways.

Perhaps nowadays the increased computer memory size would not matter.
It would not matter for five or ten new functions; for hundreds,
perhaps it would.  But computer memory size is the smallest part of
the problems they would cause.

There is also human memory size.  That policy would mean more names
that every Emacs Lisp programmer would need to remember.

It would mean more names to document in the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.

It would mean more pages to print the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual,
making it cost more.

It would mean more text to maintain when something changes.

With such a weak thresold for adding a functionb name, we would have
these costs over and over.

The cl library caused these problems.  It was not gratuitous -- it
provided useful features.  But eventually we decided that no package
included in Emacs can use the cl library an run time.  We fix packages
to use those facilities in other ways that don't pollute the namespace.

I suggest we adopt the same policy towards s.el, which is entirely

We can also improve the standard names for string functions.  They
were invented a few at a time, and there is room to make them more

This way we would get the improvement that is actually useful, while
paying much lower costs in incompatibility and bloat.  The s.el
approach is designed to maximize the costs.

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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