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Re: Placement of list within an interactive clause

From: Christopher Dimech
Subject: Re: Placement of list within an interactive clause
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2022 04:46:16 +0200

> Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2022 at 2:16 PM
> From: "Jean Louis" <>
> To: "Christopher Dimech" <>
> Cc:, "Help Gnu Emacs" <>
> Subject: Re: Placement of list within an interactive clause
> * Christopher Dimech <> [2022-07-17 04:53]:
> > > Emacs is very interactive.
> > >
> > > Do you maybe think that functions without (interactive) declaration
> > > shall not ask user anything?
> > >
> > > When invoked only from Lisp there are many uses for such functions.
> >
> > Sure, but if you want a fully non-interactive function, do not call
> > minibuffer functionality in the body of the function.
> OK and now, how do I apply that advise? If I want X, then do not do
> Y. Of course. But how is such advise practically useful?
> What you are saying, seem to come from programming theories.

Yes, because users need a sensible way  to navigate the code.  When experienced
programmers stumble, focused terminology would make things quite clear.
Terminology that is too broad has no practical value.

> > > Does it really need to be text input to be considered interactive?
> > >
> > > Logging of activities may be displayed in a buffer, that is
> > > interactive too. Input alone is not interaction. Changing Emacs style
> > > is also interaction and need not be invoked interactively.
> >
> > Defining interaction too broadly makes it useless, because it cannot
> > distinguish between anything.  For emacs, interaction should always
> > be associated with direct user input (never with automatic input or
> > customisation within the program through elisp, unless you ask the user
> > to directly input operational inputs).
> If you decide to manipulate paragraph it is direct user input. If you
> press button to open browser it is direct user input. All key presses
> represent direct user input.

Yes, but is automatic.  There is no user prose involved.

> Including sound recording, it is also direct user input.
> What would be example of indirect user input? Let me know about it.
> > For the broader context one can describe "intercommunication" with emacs.
> > Interactive in emacs in most times associated with user interaction via
> > M-x or keybinding.
> Word may have different definitions. Which definition applies depends
> of the context of the word. You are mixing both Emacs definition of
> (interactive) and common definitions. And then you insist that a beep,
> flash, movement of window borders, text scaling, paragraph
> manipulations and similar are not interactive, but only minibuffer
> input is to be considered interactive. And now we have a new word
> "intercommunication" as well. Too much theory, too little practical
> use. In general, theory does not bring nothing without practical use.

You misunderstood.  Only mentioned that using minibuffer input without
declaring the enclosing function a command, does not make the function
non-interactive to the user.

It is theory that people would know as part of their formal education.
Experience in other languages and areas should help one go through the
emacs code on their own.  We are not there yet.

> What is (interactive) is not same as "interactive" as in English
> language.
> --
> Jean
> Take action in Free Software Foundation campaigns:
> In support of Richard M. Stallman

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