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Re: Changes for emacs 28

From: Yoni Rabkin
Subject: Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 2020 09:58:32 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

Ergus <spacibba@aol.com> writes:

> I am NOT telling we should do all this, but this is what a young user
> expects because all these is more or less standard everywhere else.

I appreciate you enthusiasm for making Emacs popular. Thank you for

However, it is always jarring to me to see free software developers
arguing over features none of them like or want, and instead trying to
"prove" to the other that a hypothetical third person would really like
those features. This supposed "young user" is a pretend person; they
don't exist. People ascribe whatever properties they want to the poor
hypothetical "young user" and then argue that those properties require a
change in Emacs. I disagree with this approach because I think that real
people and their preferences are more complicated and subtle than any
person we can make up as a tool to back an argument.

If you want these features yourself then you should add them (I don't
mean that in a sarcastic way at all). Your enthusiasm for creating and
maintaining these features will appeal to others who want similar
features. We all know and love this way of development in the free
software development world. This way assures that at least one real
person's needs are being met.

If you don't want these features yourself and nobody else in the project
wants them either, the only way I can think of making a compelling
argument for people to develop those feature is to ask real people and
get real responses. I am fairly confident that if you had a testimony or
user-test from actual people stating that a feature is missing, then
people here would help develop that feature.

I develop Emacs extensions (Emms, rt-liberation in GNU ELPA, and others
outside of it). I never try to guess what a hypothetical person wants
from Emms, but I do actively solicit requests and suggestions from
anyone I can, and when someone cares enough to ask for a feature, I do
everything I can to add it. Indeed, Emms has several extensions and
modes that I never use and can't even wrap my head around why people
like. But real people asked for them, so they are there.

   "Cut your own wood and it will warm you twice"

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