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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: Perry E. Metzger
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 19:43:42 -0500

On Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:59:24 -0500 Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> Some data that I am sure is NOT needed is the entire statement-level
> structure.

There are refactorings that are impossible without statement level
structure, such as semantic patches, that is, refactorings that are
aware of higher level information such as "has this value that
resulted from bar() being called been checked against NULL since the
last call to foo(), and if not, bracket the variable it was assigned
to in the following if statement...".

Yes, people now have the opportunity to do such things, and because
they can, they do. It is a powerful tool to use on a large code base.
Programmers like being able to apply software to their programs to
help them automate their work -- that's as old as computers

So, such high level global refactorings are a very desirable tool to
the programmer. I have been forced up to now to use systems other than
Emacs to perform such refactorings (specifically, LLVM derived
systems -- and yes, I do such refactorings in the real world), but I
would vastly prefer to write them in elisp and perform them inside of
Emacs except in unusual circumstances.

Again, I recognize the problem you wish to avoid, but I think that
you are restricting the freedom of the users too much to avoid
something that is now happening regardless.

Perry E. Metzger                address@hidden

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