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

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:30:14 +0200

On 2015-06-17, at 18:03, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:

> As another example, starting next month all Emacs text will appear
> mirrored (derorrim).  This is a test to see if you prefer such a
> presentation - it is regarded by some as a convenient (and modern!)
> brain-eye strengthening aid.

Surely this must be part of a global conspiracy.  I'm not sure, however,
whether this one comes from Jews or Arabs...  ;-)

Personally, given that Emacs users are heavily into efficiency, and that
the community will undoubtfully be divided on this one, I would suggest
a compromise.  It is called "Boustrophedon" (see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boustrophedon), and it reduces the effort
of moving your eyes from the right end of the previous line to the left
end of the next one.  With this clear efficiency booster, we will
finally be able to beat Vim users, eh?  Just in case someone would like
to test it immediately, here is a quick-and-dirty implementation:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(defun boustrophedonize-buffer ()
  "Convert Emacs buffer into boustrophedon so that reading is
faster and more pleasant."
    (goto-char (point-min))
    (while (not (eobp))
      (let* ((beg (line-beginning-position))
             (end (line-end-position))
             (line (buffer-substring beg end)))
        (delete-region beg end)
        (insert (reverse line))
        (forward-line 2)))))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

On a more serious note, I have to say that even I am surprised that
I agree (mostly) with Emanuel Berg.  Even though my language does not
fit into ASCII - we have 9 letters outside the (modern) Latin alphabet -
I'm in favor of using ASCII alone - at least unless there is
a *convenient* method of typing all the "funny" symbols, reliable in all
relevant contexts (so also in isearch, for instance).

On the other hand, it would be great if we had an "ascii-folding"
option, making (some reasonable subset of) Unicode "equivalent" to
ASCII, so that we could easily search for e.g. the Polish word ‘żółw’
(meaning "turtle") by typing `zolw'.  (I have to say that lack of this
is one of my main gripes with A****n's K****e e-book reader - this
renders the "search" option unusable for non-English texts...)


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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