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Re: A new user perspective about "Changes for emacs 28"

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: A new user perspective about "Changes for emacs 28"
Date: Wed, 09 Sep 2020 07:03:09 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> Cc: nicola.manca85@gmail.com, spacibba@aol.com, drew.adams@oracle.com,
>>  emacs-devel@gnu.org
>> From: Dmitry Gutov <dgutov@yandex.ru>
>> Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2020 18:02:10 +0300
>> On 08.09.2020 17:20, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>> > Once more complex
>> > situation arise, my opinion is that undo-tree is more complex and
>> > harder to grasp than the Emacs undo, so I don't think undo-tree is
>> > better suited to newbies than the default undo.
>> I'm pretty sure undo-tree is better for complex situations thanks to of 
>> its visualization interface.
> If visualization is the main advantage, we could have visualization
> for the default undo as well.  That's not the complex part, and not
> what differentiates between the 2 undo's.

I would like to connect this discussion back to some earlier discussions
about how to make Emacs more popular, and this recent what changes
people want to see.

As I see almost everyone agrees that Emacs has best undo-redo mechanism
that is out there, right?  I tend to agree with this. I think you should
"market" this much better then you do. First and foremost, I think you
should give it a bit more advanced term, something like:
"non-destructive text editing", rather then undo-redo. The new term
should not be a replacement but a completition to old undo-redo term.

Why such term?

1. It describes better how Emacs undo-redo works and also distincts
Emacs from other software which has simpler undo-redo facilitie.

2. It gives you opportunity to market a unique and distinctive Emacs
feature that actually gives more value to the user.

A popular photo-editing tool by a big software house is very proud to
market their non-destructive photo-editing tools and people are writing
blog posts and book chapters to point out the benefits and how to work
with it. Emacs should not be different in this regard.

Next, implement undo-tree visualisation (graph) as Eli suggests. No idea
if you can just adapt undo-tree code or have to write new. Personally I
don't use undo-tree nor have it installed longer; but I do think the
idea is very cool. Also, regardless if I personally see it just as a
gimmick, I think it is a distinctive feature of Emacs to have a
graphical and interactive visualisation of undo-redo history; I don't
know of any other text editor with such capability. It would be nice if
it used unicode characters to create more graph-like chart instead of
ascii chars.

I think the Emacs undo-redo and it's visualisation, can be one of so
called "selling points" when it comes to Emacs (one of many of course).

Another feature I would like to see is if it would be possible to
"freeze" (remove) undo-history in order to save memory. This operation
would remove old-undo information, like if the document was just

I would never thought that undo-redo in a piece of software can be such
a passionate discussion subject, but yet here we are ... :-)

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