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Re: Changes for emacs 28

From: Ergus
Subject: Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2020 16:25:44 +0200

On Mon, Sep 07, 2020 at 09:58:32AM -0400, Yoni Rabkin wrote:

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.

The post actually started not for adding new features, but just to
change some of our defaults. Actually one thing I don't like about doom
or spacemacs is the excessive complexity they add and long configuration

When I recommend Emacs to any of my students; after a week trying it
they finally go for VSCode or sublime and they get the work done in an

Actually I have this config I share with them with only vanilla features:


And so far I could convince at least some of them this year.

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.

Again, are not features the "issue", but some "bad" defaults. If there
come out specific features I will try (as I am doing actually with
vertical-icomplete or highlight-completions).

The question to the developers was about defaults we would be willing to
change and which are whiten in stone.

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.

Actually as mentioned before, the existence of doom emacs, spacemacs and
all the other configs (some of them more popular than vanilla these
days) is a proof.

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.

I am adding changes to completions and icomplete while I use ivy.

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

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