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Re: xref-find-matches and stuff

From: Vitalie Spinu
Subject: Re: xref-find-matches and stuff
Date: Fri, 08 May 2015 23:52:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

 >>> Dmitry Gutov on Fri, 8 May 2015 22:42:35 +0300 wrote:

 > And my point is, the backends should be made well enough that you
 > generally won't want to use a symbol from the 2nd backend that isn't
 > in the first one. Ideally because there will be no such symbols.

I am afraid this is an impossible task.

 > but imenu+etags+major mode, so far, doesn't make a convincing case.

These tools live and work in different contexts. They are overlapping in
purpose but each does an unique job in situations in which other 2 are
not even defined. There is only one way to merge them into one "super
tool" - write one that does each of them in in their own application
context. The way I see it, that universal "super tool" is precisely

Anyways, I am summarizing my point in a final attempt to "make a case";)

  - IMENU operates on what I work, is always up-to date, works with
    non-programming modes (org, latex etc), non-visiting buffers
    (*scratch*) and any project-less file/language what I might open for
    whatever cursory reason. Stuff works out of the box - no tagging, no
    REPL is required.

  - REPLs are good, but work only on loaded files. Usually these cannot
    work with multiple projects or multi-language projects. Cross
    references support is lacking for many REPLs.

  - TAGs can support multiple projects but cannot do what Imenu can and
    will never be as smart as REPLs can be. No support for less common
    languages. Limited UI in emacs is a hindrance for common users (I
    cannot comment about ggtags though).

The above is also the order that I would like to have in my backend


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