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Re: What is the most useful potential feature which Emacs lacks?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: What is the most useful potential feature which Emacs lacks?
Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2020 10:19:40 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> Someone will have to explain why this is useful.

Or maybe you can just accept it as something other people might enjoy
even tho you don't ;-)

> Sitting and looking at other people's typing something, then erasing
> and retyping, one character at a time, sounds like a huge waste of
> time to me.

Yet, as a teacher, I very often am exactly in that situation, where
either the student or I write slowly on the board to try and express
visually what we want to say.  Now, "plain text" like we have in Emacs
buffers isn't quite the same, but now that I have to teach via
video-conferences, I regularly share my Emacs frame over Jitsi and they
watch me slowly type code (and erase and retype) while explaining out
loud what it is I'm doing.

It may sound slow and painful, but the low speed is actually useful to
give them time to understand, and the fact that it's done "live" makes
the feedback loop much more effective when it takes several back&forth
between the students and I before we come to an understanding.

And of course, all that applies as well sometimes when discussing
research ideas among peers.

> I could use that same time to modify a different section of the same
> document, or suggest a solution for a problem in parallel to several
> others suggesting their solutions for the same problem (which would
> need some processing on top of VC conflict resolution).  I'm probably
> missing something.

Yes, we *also* do that (using Git, typically to share a TeX document or
source code) and that's where the meat of work takes place, but at times
the fast back&forth of "live editing" (or just talking) is very helpful.


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