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Re: dash.el [was: Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs]

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: dash.el [was: Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs]
Date: Fri, 08 May 2020 23:23:02 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.90 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Alfred M. Szmidt) writes:

>    Finally, dash just adds a lot of things ready rolled. If the history of
>    programming languages tells us anything at all, it is that languages
>    tend toward higher and higher levels. Emacs could do with more of this.
> I think Emacs already does that; only that the POV is just different.
> The way we manipulate buffers doesn't lend it self easily to a
> `functional' paradigm -- consider only forward-char!
> I find both forms easy enough, they are easy to understand and easy to
> write.  I barley need to understand what each of those functions do to
> understand what the code does.  I don't see how dash.el or s.el could
> make the above easier to grok (one reads code more than writes it).
> What do you suggest as the alternative?

Using my own library (m-buffer) this switches all "a" with "x".

(defun switch-a-1 ()
   (m-buffer-match (current-buffer) "a")

or just the first two occurences

(defun switch-a-2 ()
   (-take 2
          (m-buffer-match (current-buffer) "a"))

or if you don't like too much indentation

(defun switch-a-3 ()
  (--> (m-buffer-match (current-buffer) "a")
       (-take 2 it)
       (m-buffer-replace-match it "x")))

>    >    > or what to use it for.
>    >
>    >    Well, you use it if you want to program in a Clojure-like style.
>    >
>    > Isn't that the crux then? 
>    >
>    > I as a user want to program in an Emacs Lisp style, not Clojure-style.
>    Emacs lisp is not a constant, of course. One of the joys of lisp having
>    very little syntax it is possible to re-invent for different
>    generations. Many people do find 
> End of sentence missing?

"Many people find that they want to program in different styles", or
something like that!

> I disagree that Lisp lacks syntax (it has probobly more of it than
> other languages)

Lisp has parens and some other stuff. It's hard to add control-flow
structures in most other languages, while it's trivial in lisp.

> or that one should `re-invent' things.  But that is more of a
> philosophical debate than anything.

And the soul of what we are talking about I think.

>    > As a user, I found many of the functions to have alien names, strange
>    > behaviour and very unintuitve to use in the style that is Emacs lisp
>    > (Classical Lisp?).  But some functions seem useful, though with
>    > non-Emacsy names and calling conventions.
>    Yes, this is true. seq.el does a better job there. But, again, it
>    assumes we cannot re-invent Emacs. The question is whether we
>    should. 2million downloads for dash.el tells me many users think the
>    answer is yes.
> I don't know what it means to re-invent Emacs, or what it would entail
> so that is making a leap of faith into an abyss of unknowns.  
> What I do know is that "millions of downloads" is not good metric of
> what is good, e.g. many more people download non-free software than
> free software.

It's not a bad metric either! Yes, there are many people downloading

> We do not know, or so I assume, how many of those supposed millions
> activley use dash.el, or if it is simply a dependency that is
> automatically pulled in by some other package.

Well, it's a programmatic library, so "actively using" is really about
being a dependency. So, I downloaded MELPA till I got to packages
starting with "i" and grepped for "require 'dash", which gets me 160
matches. It's a lot.

> And even so, it doesn't automatically mean that it would be a good
> addition to Emacs -- such things shouldn't be decided only based on
> popularity.

Happy to hear the criteria that you would apply.


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