[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Namespaces - summary, conclusion

From: Philippe Vaucher
Subject: Namespaces - summary, conclusion
Date: Mon, 4 May 2020 11:27:00 +0200


I think for my part the amount of bikeshedding done was enough now and
I can come to some conclusions.

The proposal of aliasing or renaming Elisp functions that some of us
feel inadequately named/grouped got mostly a strong resistance by what
can be considered iconic figures of this community. I think that
cannot be taken lightly.

Here's a non exhaustive list of the counter-arguments, roughly ordered
how I feel are the best arguments to the not-so-relevant but

- Adding new aliases, while improving the experience of those who like
to do an exact search for the regexp "^domain-.*", will degrade the
experience of those who like to search the manual "the classic way"
using "C-h d" or "C-h a".
- Adding new aliases or renaming functions might confuse the users
that are used to the current names. For example they might not
immediately understand that "re-search-in-string" means "string-match"
and have to look it up, wasting time.
- Adding new aliases increases the memory usage, the size of the
manual, and the amount of things to maintain.
- Emacs Lisp is fundamentaly a language where all concepts intermix
and thus is chaotic by nature, trying to organize it into categories
is against history and does not make sense.
- Even if we agree not to even touch the function name other than
adding a prefix (e.g `keep-lines` becoming `buffer-keep-lines`),
people will disagree on which prefix to use or about the genericity of
a function making it unprefixable, or that's it's a crime to history,
and thus consensus will be impossible to attain for almost every
proposed function.

Given this is more or less the position held by Alan, Eli, Richard,
Drew and João I think the chances of seeing new aliases is close to 0.
Until now every one of the proposed aliases (in string- or regexp-)
were rejected for arguably good reasons but the message is pretty
clear, I think aliases in Emacs core are a dead end (for now, that
might change later) and will only live in libraries in MELPA (or ELPA
is authors care).

So, the altenatives proposed are, ordered by chances of seeing it happening:

- Not rename anything, write some completion function that first
completing-read one of the section at
then using tricks to collect all function names there completing-read
that list of functions. Might be bound to a new "C-h <somekey>".
- Improve the sorting algorithm so somehow the function names
associated with a topic are automatically but to the top when you
search one of the "obvious" keywords like "alist" or "regexp". The
path toward that solution is pretty unclear to me, feel free to expand
on it.
- Add namespaces to Emacs Lisp.

Then there are other discussions going on, like the manual not
offering a "tutorial view" with highlighted examples, but I think
these are other discussions and should be discussed on their own.

Kind regards,

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]