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Re: [External] : Re: Default custom file was: Re: Propose to add setup-w

From: tomas
Subject: Re: [External] : Re: Default custom file was: Re: Propose to add setup-wizard.el to ELPA
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2022 09:03:35 +0100

On Sat, Jan 08, 2022 at 08:54:58AM +0800, Po Lu wrote:
> Drew Adams <drew.adams@oracle.com> writes:
> > Consider `transient-mark-mode'.
> > Its existence in Emacs was status quo for a
> > very long time, and the behavior was OFF.
> > Until it wasn't - the status quo was changed
> > to ON.  Holy Toledo!
> > That was a backward-incompatible change in
> > behavior.  It affected thousands of users.
> > It took us _decades_ to get that change made.
> > Status quo, status quo, status quo.


this is being polemic, and you know it.

There may be reasons for a change (there often are), but they should be
discussed on their merits. Sometimes, that discussion is arduous,
because there are folks who prefer the old behaviour.

Dismissing something just because it sticks to the "status quo" is a
disrespect towards those users who /in this one case/ prefer this status
quo for whatever good (to them!) reason. Gotta listen to that, instead
of just telling them "you're a luddite" or "you're just resistant to

This can be even offensive: after all, it's a way of telling those
people "you don't exist". Big flamewars have been in part fuelled by
this pattern.

With a program as old as Emacs, which will have lots of more old users
than new, I think those discussions are necessary.

In the present case, I'm against the proposed change. Why? Because it
alienates some old users for no reason but some "pedagogy" towards
hypothetical new users, although there would be far better means to
achieve that (several have been proposed in this thread).

Personally, I won't be affected by that: I separated off the custom file
long ago anyway. I'd be miffed had I not and had the change come anyway
(I'm one of those who /edit/ the custom file after Customize has done
its work, because (a) I can't stand "HANDS OFF! THIS FILE NOT FOR YOU!",
and (b) because at the beginning it was a wonderful way to learn about
Emacs's inner workings).

So I can feel with those who now oppose this change.

> They turned it off.  End of story.  Some
> muffled grumbles, nothing more.  Why?
> Because you can still use Emacs as before -
> just turn `t-m-mode' off (Customize).
> Happy campers all around.

You are overlooking something important: our community is (compared to
others) pretty civilised. Idiosyncratic, yes, but civilised. The
maintainers are highly respected people (at least among most old timers,
and this /is/ an important part of our community). So once a decision
has been reached, each one tries to get along with it.

Still, I think this comes both ways, and this seemingly endless
discussions are part of what helps people to stay civilised, because
concerns from all sides are heard.


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