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Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package
Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2022 14:21:37 +0300

> From: Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com>
> Cc: acm@muc.de, emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2022 16:14:52 +1000
> > I can tell you what I see with my very simple 1570-line Org file,
> > which just has some todo items organized in 4-level hierarchy:
> >
> >   . ~100 keys that look "general Org" to me
> >   . ~30 keys that Org remaps to its s own commands, like 'yank' and
> >     'backward-sentence'
> >   . ~40 keys bound to org-babel-SOMETHING -- no idea why these are
> >     bound by default, but they are there
> >   . ~60 more keys that I'm not sure whether they are "basic" or not,
> >     but they are all bound by default, just because I visited an Org
> >     file 
> >
> > So "just" 230 key bindings.  And this is without any minor/add-on Org
> > mode/feature enabled, at least according to "C-h m".
> >
> > Do you see something different?  Are you still saying that it's not a
> > lot, or that it's "based on ignorance and paranoia"?  If so, please
> > point out where I'm ignorant and/or paranoiac, because I'd really like
> > to know.
> I think Alan's response has pretty much confirmed what I was saying. Alan has
> made it fairly clear that his real underlying concern is about a stealthy
> strategy to get org mode more intrinsically tied into Emacs and in the end,
> making it so critical to normal operation that everyone will be forced to 
> learn
> org mode regardless. I don't necessarily agree with such an argument, but 
> think
> having a debate around that would be more up-front and in some ways honest
> compared to what appear to be somewhat contrived alternative arguments about
> excessive key bindings and added complexity. My characterisation of this all
> being fear and paranoia may have been overstating things, but then again I'm 
> not
> sure. There certainly does seem to be considerable fear involved. I don't know
> about paranoia, but I have not seen any evil plan to have org mode assimilate
> Emacs as if it was the Borg and I've seen no discussions on the org list about
> ways to get org more ingrained in Emacs or make Emacs more dependent on org.
> With respect to ignorance, Alan made it quite clear he has not spent
> the time or effort to learn org mode, so he is ignorant about its
> operation and lacks any real understanding of its operation. He has made
> assertions about the number of key bindings which are wildly over
> inflated and about required levels of complexity which simply would not
> be necessary with the org mode rendering of a read only buffer. In
> short, he has made a lot of assumptions about both the key bindings and
> complexity based on only a fairly cursory scan of the manual and very
> limited experience. 
> All that appears to have occurred here is that someone noted that packages 
> often
> had a readme.org file and wondered if this should be translated into just a
> plain readme file. Someone else suggested we could have package descriptions
> render the readme.org file using org and not require export into plain readme
> file and mentioned some possible advantages this could have wrt navigation,
> rendering of tables, links and images or inclusion of source code snippets,
> examples etc.
> >From this point, some somewhat extreme claims and arguments have been thrown 
> >in.
> One was Alan's claim that org would introduce 785 new key bindings, many of
> which not bounmd to C-c and which would presumably either pollute the key 
> space
> or conflict with existing bindings. All I have done is point out this claim 
> was
> inaccurate and overstated due to an overly simplistic analysis of what is in 
> the
> key index of the org manual. 
> it should be noted that if we were to add 'native' rendering of readme.org
> files, this would likely be done with an org minor mode rather than a full 
> blown
> org mode as very little of the overall org functionality would be required in
> this situation. All that would be required is org rendering support and org
> support for navigation (folding/unfolding, following links and possibly
> list/table navigation). All the advanced org functionality relating to babel,
> noweb, todo and time management, agendas, etc have no relevance in this
> scenario. LIkewise, if this functionality was provided via a minor mode, it
> would also be possible for people to disable that mode and be left with just 
> the
> readme.org file, which is just plain text and quite readable.
> Alan's claim was 785 additional key bindings, many of which not bound to C-c. 

The above is completely irrelevant to my questions.

> Running Emacs wiht -q and opeing up an org file, I find the following 
> - 236 org related key bindings - far less than 785 Of these, a number are
> - actually remapping of existing bindings, so not new ones. This leaves 208.

??? How is remapping "not new"?  It takes some very common Emacs
commands and redirects them to different commands.  E.g., 'open-line'
now does something quite different.  This means the user should either
go learn what the Org commands do, or be prepared to be surprised.

> I said that for a read only buffer, many of the org key bindings are not
> relevant as they relate to features which are not pertinent to a read only org
> buffer. Any bindings relating to babel, todo management, time management,
> agendas etc have no relevance when reading a readme.org file.

Then why does Org define them in that case?

> Really, the only
> key bindings of any relevance are navigation related bindings (including
> opening/closing folds, following links, etc). Removing all unnecessary org
> bindings leave us with just 77 new bindings. Of these remaining bindings, 
> quite
> a few could also be removed, but I've left them in as I only wanted to remove
> those which would clearly be of no benefit in a read only buffer rendering of 
> a
> readme.org file. In an org minor mode setup for rendering of readme.org (and
> possibly other read-only rendering of org files), I estimate at least another 
> 30
> bindings could be removed because they have no real benefit or are of only
> marginal benefit. Creating an org minor mode for this purpose which only
> introduced 20 or so new bindings would easily be possible. The key point is 
> that
> claims of 785 new bindings arfe incorrect and misleading. Even being very
> conservative, we are really talking about 10% of the number being incorrectly 
> claimed.  
> if we introduced a minor mode for this, we are talking likely less than 20 or 
> so.

I'm sorry, but IMO this hand-waves away a real problem by ignoring the
problematic UX of suddenly having more than 200 keybindings defined
just because I visited a small file.  I hoped you will present some
serious analysis of the issue, and perhaps even show me where I'm
wrong in my conclusions.  Sadly, it sounds like all you wanted to do
is to prove that you are right, the facts notwithstanding.

You accuse Alan in extremism, but your own argumentation is another
example of a similar extremism -- just in the opposite direction.

This doesn't facilitate useful discussions of what I think is a real
problem.  Any unbiased observer should agree that adding 200+ key
bindings when a small file is visited is a problem that needs to be
solved.  Org is too large for such simple jobs, and should be
refactored to avoid loading everything under the sun when a README is
visited.  And we should work towards solving it, not sweep it under
the carpet.

P.S. Btw, here's one more demonstration that Org loads too much by

  C-x C-f ~/org/Plan.org RET
   => "Package vc-mtn is deprecated"

Please believe me that NOTHING in my file refers or requires mtn.

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