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RE: Modernize frame-title-format: "%b - GNU Emacs"

From: Gregory Heytings
Subject: RE: Modernize frame-title-format: "%b - GNU Emacs"
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 19:00:45 +0200 (CEST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.22 (NEB 394 2020-01-19)

There's no need for Emacs to justify its behavior wrt other editors or any other programs, to anyone. Emacs users and developers can decide what Emacs behavior should be, including default behavior.

I'm an Emacs user, so please allow me to voice my opinions ;-)

Again: What's a good argument on its own merits, without recourse to an argument from authority? ("Everybody else does it!")

Everyone in Texas might have 42 guns and attend church twice every Sunday. That's not a reason why everyone in Switzerland should act the same.

That's not at all what I said. Please don't ridicule what I said, it's not helpful.

I said: "Where a file is located is most often as important as (and sometimes more important than) the file name to identify a file, at least of you are a programmer." And: "Understanding a uniquified buffer name with only a part of the directory placed after the file name between angle brackets requires (at least for me) much more effort than understanding `buffer-file-truename'. The former is, BTW, much less predictable, as it changes when you open and close files/buffers. The fact that most code editors chose to use the latter is, at least for me, an indication that it is in general easier to understand, and it is indeed, at least for me, easier to understand."

If you read this, you'll see that I give arguments that have nothing to do with arguments by authority: "where a file is located is often important" (independently of the fact that another file with the same name is currently opened in Emacs), and the current default behavior "requires more mental effort", because buffer names are "less predictable" and "change". To this I added that my personal experience is indeed that `buffer-file-truename' is easier to understand than `(buffer-name)', and that the fact that the majority of other code editors use `buffer-file-truename' and not `(buffer-name)' is for me an indication that I'm not the only one to have that experience. None of these arguments are arguments by authority.

Two more arguments, that are still not arguments by authority:

The current default behavior of Emacs (using only the filename as its buffer names) dates from a time when users did not have many files, or at least much less files than what we have today. So having a buffer named "interp.lsp" or "comp.pas" was clear enough. Nowadays it is often not.

Emacs has adopted many of the more modern mechanisms used in text/code editors (for example, mouse interaction, the menu bar, the tool bar). It could have been argued that they were unnecessary and should have been disabled by default. I believe Emacs could adopt this (minor) feature as well.

In short, my opinion is that:

1. it would be a good thing to introduce a %B construct for mode-line-format and 
frame-title-format, equivalent to `(or buffer-file-truename "%b")'

2. it would be a good thing if frame-title-format default value was `("%B - GNU 
Emacs at " system-name)'

3. it would be a good thing to have an option (perhaps a format option) to shorten directory names 
in %B (for example "%1B" to have "/u/i/stdio.h")

Now I stop arguing, and will not contribute further to this thread.

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