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Re: Stepping Back: A Wealth Of Completion systems Re: [ELPA] New package

From: Gregory Heytings
Subject: Re: Stepping Back: A Wealth Of Completion systems Re: [ELPA] New package: vertico
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:24:11 +0000

I've been thinking about this, and I'm not sure I understand what the real difference between "completing" and "selecting" is. Do I understand correctly that the difference is between, for example, expanding command names (completing), and choosing an emoji in a list (selecting)?

I think the main difference is in the UI. The default completion UI for Emacs will expand text in-place. M-x tdoe <TAB> becomes toggle-debug-on-error, with the initials style. This appears to make sense for well structured text, such as commands or files.

Selection are probably situations where you want more visual feedback, and it would make sense to present a list/tree by default. I don't think that this has to be strictly about text.

Generally speaking, you can complete the textual representation of anything or select the object themselves. I don't think that either is always better, but I think we can do better than selecting textual representations.

Okay, I think I understand your viewpoint (a bit) better now.  But:

1. It seems to me that the UI you have in mind is closer to 'transient' than to 'completing-read'.

2. That UI already exists to some extent in Emacs, for example dired, imenu (either in the menu bar or bound to a mouse event), ibuffer, the speedbar, ...

3. Such a UI probably wouln't fit in the (by definition) limited space of a minibuffer.

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