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Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?

From: Nikolaj Schumacher
Subject: Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 12:51:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2.50 (darwin)

Xah Lee <address@hidden> wrote:

> On Sep 19, 9:13 am, Nikolaj Schumacher <address@hidden> wrote:
>> We just call them (scratch) buffers.  They provide all the
>> same featuresXah's"untitled files" do.  Really, the only differences are
>> nomenclature, the way of creating them and the fact that one exists by
>> default.
> That's not the only differences. I have given detail on other
> differences.

Yes.  Please note that the post you quoted was sent after my message, so
the other difference hadn't been made clear at that time.

> • There is no easy, intuitive way to create multiple scratch buffers.
> (it is done by using the switch-to-buffer command (C-x b) and give
> name that is not one of existing buffers.)

But on the other hand, creating multiple scratch buffers with names like
"untitled" through "untitledN" might not be in the users best interest.

I agree there should probably at least be a menu entry for "New buffer"
in the "Buffers" menu.

> • Emacs does not provide a user level function to create a new
> buffer.  It has “Open file...” (a wrapper to the find-file command),
> which immediately prompt user for a full file path. This is annoying.
> Modern apps's New File command actually just create a new untitled
> file without prompting, and only when user save it it prompt a file
> name.

Well, not exclusively.  For instance, Xcode prompts for the type of
file, then for the name.

You should note that apps that do this differently almost never call
this "New file".  Because a file without a file name doesn't make sense.
Instead, they call this "New <document type>" or just "New".  (At least
all the apps on my computer do.)  So in the context of Emacs, the
correct name would probably be "New buffer".

> The problem with switch-to-buffer is that it doesn't promp to save
> when user closes it. In both, the functions are simply not designed
> for creating a new temp buffer.

Of course that depends on how you define "temp" buffer... I would avoid
that name for for what you're suggesting.

I /would/ like certain buffers to prompt before closing.  You should add
autosaving to the mix, too.  Sometimes I do too much actual work in the
scratch buffer, which is lost if Emacs crashes.

All this, however, is no reason to remove the scratch buffer.  I can see
it defaulting to fundamental-mode, not having that message in it, and
prompting if modified and killed.  But somehow I feel your proposed fix
doesn't fit your initial demand (removing the scratch buffer).  The
scratch buffer itself isn't a usability problem.  It's limitations are.
So, if anything, you're improving the scratch buffer not scrapping it.

Nikolaj Schumacher

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