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Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:59:41 +0900

Alan Mackenzie writes:
 > Hello, Stephen.
 > On Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 09:50:29AM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
 > > And Alan *is* a reactionary ....
 > Yes.  It's a time consuming and thankless task, but somebody's got
 > to do it.

I agree with everything you write here about reactionaries, and my
initial reaction also was reactionary.  Probably for much the same
reasons yours was and remains so, both in general and specific to the
issue of "curly quotes".

However, careful thought informed by 25+ years living in a non-ASCII
culture convinces me that it is time for Emacs to move on.  Move
carefully, yes, cf. Emanuel Berg's post and my reply.  But it's time.

 > > .... and a curmudgeon, ....
 > I take exception to this.  It's distinctly unparliamentary
 > language,

I wouldn't know.  I suspect if you grep the minutes of the English
Parliament you would find occasional use.  There are six uses in the
Congressional Record for the 113th Congress, three of which are in
articles titled "Tribute to Mr. X", and two in articles titled "IN
OF REPRESENTATIVES".  It seems to me that that word puts you in
excellent company, and that's how I meant it, but since you feel
otherwise, I apologize and retract the word.

 > and then don't use it again unless you really do mean it.

Be assured, I won't call you that again.

 > Emacs has options.  In fact, it might be truer to say Emacs _is_
 > options.  We are all able enough to make new behaviours and
 > deviations from standard behaviours optional.  The pertinent new
 > behaviour is not different in this respect.

It is different in this respect.  It is a change in the way Emacs Lisp
programmers communicate with each other, and that is precisely why you
oppose it.  If it were intended to be purely cosmetic, or only used
inside of user strings, then we already have various modes that will
do that for those who want the behavior.  I very much doubt Paul would
have made those patches if this were about appearance only, but we'll
have to see what he says.  I can say I would be against it if it were
about appearance, since we can already have that.

Be warned: this battle has only just begun.[1]  It will soon shake
your windows and rattle your walls.[2]

[1]  That's not a threat.  I don't need a weatherman to tell which way
the wind's blowing in this community today.

[2]  Thanks to Bob D. for these words, too.

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