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Re: Confused by y-or-n-p

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Confused by y-or-n-p
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2021 16:59:57 +0200

> From: Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>
> Cc: rudalics@gmx.at, larsi@gnus.org, juri@linkov.net,
>       drew.adams@oracle.com, emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2021 00:16:55 -0500
>   > When this happens in a released version, the resistance is justifiably
>   > stronger.  But those cases should be (and are, IME) very rare.
> My point is that they are not so rare -- there is a systematic tendency
> for that to happen.

What is the basis for your impression that such a tendency exists?
Any cases besides this single one?  "Systematic" is a pretty strong
word in this context, it would mean we make backward-incompatible
changes basically all the time.

I don't have such an impression.  In fact, we are frequently accused
in the opposite: that we change the defaults too slowly.

> I am proposing a systematic way to make them less likely, by helping
> people take notice that a UI change is being proposed, so they can
> object quickly.

We need to consider the cost of your proposal as well as its benefits.
I think the costs are too high, given the scarcity of the problems the
proposal aims at fixing, the significant effort it will impose on the
head maintainers, and the adverse effect on development pace.

>   > situation is actually the exact opposite: changes are being discussed
>   > "to death" and sometimes never implemented due to controversy.
> My proposal will help with that problem too.  Instead of waiting for a
> resolution of the dispute, we should install the change with a user
> option variable to enable the new behavior.

That is already happening where the change seems to be controversial
or a too radical departure from long-time behavior.

> That bypasss the dispute.

It doesn't.  At best, it just changes the subject of the dispute to
whether the new behavior should be the default.  At worst, people keep
arguing about the necessity of the change, even though it can be

I didn't bring up this particular aspect to complain about it, because
complaining about it in an open project where development discussions
are public is pointless: anyone can start a discussion about any issue
related to Emacs, and we allow and encourage that as part of our
policy.  I brought that up to point out that some -- quite a few --
opine that we have too many discussions already.  Which in my view
means we have a balanced situation: some think we have too few
discussions, others think we have too many.  Increasing the discussion
will thus tilt the balance -- not necessarily for the better.

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