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Re: Changes for emacs 28

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 21:27:42 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 15.09.2020 11:12, tomas@tuxteam.de wrote:
On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:45:27AM -0700, chad wrote:
On Sun, Sep 13, 2020 at 3:31 AM <tomas@tuxteam.de> wrote:

But the argument "it's more popular, so it must be better" is too naive, I


try emacs but go (back) to VSCode, because ...". Usually, that sentence
ends in some form of "it's much easier/more intuitive to get started" or
"it's quick/easy/obvious how to get it to 'it just-works'".

In other words, the popularity is a symptom, not a cause.

This is exactly the point I was putting in question: My
take is that popularity is part of a giant feedback loop,
so it's *both*, a symptom and a cause. And a (non-negligible)
set of forces driving that feedback loop are the marketing
departments of big corps [1]. They wouldn't be doing their
jobs if it weren't so.

A feedback loop is of course there.

But since we're not in marketing department, and we're not outlining a promotional campaign, it's also irrelevant.

We're not living in a vacuum, and we try to help real people. If a feature, or a UI design, or etc, has reached a significant level of popularity, adopting it in our program is likely to be beneficial. When someone comes in with just basic familiarity of other programs such as VS Code, and manages to become productive enough in Emacs faster because of that, it _is_ good.

It's far from the only consideration we should make, but scoffing at "popular" misses the point.

Failing to see this leads to this over-eager "how can we
change Emacs to make it more popular" thing, instead of
to a more balanced view, where potential changes are
judged against a more complete set of principles and
goals (newcomer friendliness surely being one of them!).

As long as we don't discount familiarity when talking about newcomer friendliness, I agree.

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