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Re: Stepping Back: A Wealth Of Completion systems Re: [ELPA] New package

From: Gregory Heytings
Subject: Re: Stepping Back: A Wealth Of Completion systems Re: [ELPA] New package: vertico
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 12:09:30 +0000

I have the feeling all these completion systems are encouraging confusion around how to use completing-read. That is the 0th point that is missing here: Are you completing (expanding text) or selecting (narrowing options).

I've been thinking about this, and I'm not sure I understand what the real difference between "completing" and "selecting" is. Do I understand correctly that the difference is between, for example, expanding command names (completing), and choosing an emoji in a list (selecting)?

It might therefore be necessary to actually implement a "selecting-read" function, that could be used more or less like completing-read, but that provides a better default UI not based around completing text but actually selecting objects/items.

Given that Emacs is primarily keyboard-driven, it seems to me that the most efficient way to select an item is, and will always be, to use a textual representation of the items in the list to select them. C-x 8 RET does this, you (can) select an unicode character with its name. For example C-x 8 RET inf RET inserts the infinity symbol. Or course you could also navigate through the ~45000 unicode characters to select the one you want, but that would be far less efficient.

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