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Re: Recentish C-s M-y change

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Recentish C-s M-y change
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2021 00:17:45 -0500

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  > A "rule" that is enforced is something that people are required to
  > abide by, and if they don't, they should expect to be reprimanded.

That is a strict kind of enforcement.  There are gentler ways of
giving some strength to the rule, and I think they would be preferable
for this.

  >   It
  > also means that changes should be rejected and/or reverted if they
  > weren't discussed up front on emacs-devel.

Again, that is more strict than this rule calls for.

  > A "guideline" means we encourage people to start discussions about
  > changes they think might be controversial.

What I have in mind is somewhere in between the two.  Here is
what I mean.

1. When people see a UI change being discussed in a bug report context,
people should try to speak up and say, "Remember, the rule is we should
discuss this on emacs-devel.  Let's move this discussion there now!"

2. Someone should send mail to emacs-devel with a Subject line saying
"UI change proposal: <what it is>", and a body proposing and explaining
the change.

3. If someone notices the change after it is release, and objects, and
if the discussion on emacs-devel did not happen as the rule calls for,
then we would drop the usual reluctance to undo a change that had been
in a release.  That's all.

Point 3 would be the "enforcement".  It doesn't call for reprimands or
for reverting changes precipitously.  But it does have an effect, and
that would encourage people to remember and follow the rule.

4. We would not actually revert the change -- after all, some people
do like the changed behavior.  Instead, we would add a variable to
specify whether to use the changed behavior or the old behavior, and
make the old behavior the default.

This will satisfy everyone more or less.

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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