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Re: basic question: going back to dired

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: basic question: going back to dired
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 00:49:35 +0200

On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 18:13, Evans Winner <address@hidden> wrote:

> The issue is not history or short-term convenience for new
> users but precision.  Emacs does not use workspaces or
> panes, but buffers.

Looking up "buffer", the closest meaning I find is:

"(computer science) a part of RAM used for temporary storage of data
that is waiting to be sent to a device; used to compensate for
differences in the rate of flow of data between components of a
computer system"

which is not exactly the meaning used in Emacs, because, as has been
pointed out, many "buffers" are used to store data that will never be
sent to a device.

Whether "workspace" is a better term or not is largely irrelevant; on
one hand, because the discussion is about whether better terms could
be used, not a defense of specific ones; and, on the other hand,
because, after emacs -Q,

(let ((x 0))
  (mapatoms (lambda (sym)
              (when (string-match-p "buffer" (symbol-name sym))
                (setq x (1+ x)))))

 => 660

so it will never be changed.

> A person who has been told that he is working with
> ``windows'' (meaning buffers in Emacs) is thus conceptually
> crippled if he wants to do something that could be done with
> buffers other than using them as windows.

I've never seen "window" suggested as a substitute of "buffer", but of
(Emacs) "frame", because what Emacs calls a frame is usually called a
window in most environments.

> A metaphor, like
> ``workspace'' only tells you as much about a thing as the
> inventor of the metaphor wanted you to know, but makes it
> impossible to extend your understanding past that.

"Buffer" is also a metaphor.

> If the term keybinding ought to be changed to anything it
> should be rather something like input-binding (since
> function execution can be triggered by any form of input,
> not just keyboard presses) than ``shortcut'' or whatever
> such woozy nonsense.

Something like it. But less obscure. And, for the record, I don't like
shortcut at all.


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