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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: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 13:49:44 +0900

Drew Adams writes:

 > Such code changes are simply tests, to see if you are paying
 > attention.  This approach is, like, waaaaaay more dynamic and
 > 21st-century than discussing potential changes with arguments
 > pro & con and offering patches for people to try on their own.

Uh, no.  Beware who you mock: As far as I can tell on this particular
issue I'm in fact *exactly* aligned with Stefan Monnier.  I can afford
to choose sides, he can't, and that's 100% of the difference in tone
between our posts (aside from the fact that I'm an arrogant
a-----e[1], and he isn't, but most people can filter that part out).

As I've already implied, I think a lot of the changes made to Emacs
over the years were ill-considered, and conservatives like you and
Alan do a great service by asking that new ones be evaluated more
carefully.  I think the same about many of the changes that have been
vetoed, as well; they were not given the effort in evaluation they

My experience is that some issues cannot be accurately judged in
advance, and so gendeken experiments and user polling are very
inaccurate.  My experience also shows that the people who try patches
on their own generally feel strongly one way or the other already, and
so rarely change their position yea or any, though they sometimes
modify it in one direction or the other.  Experiments with defaults
(or changing behavior, as in this case) have their cost too, but
sometimes the additional accuracy is worth the cost.  I believe
movement toward exploiting more of the Unicode repertoire for syntax
is one such case.

I also believe that this experiment will show that this movement is
feasible and potentially beneficial, but unlike the conservatives I
don't ask anyone to take my word for it in advance.

[1]  I take full responsibility for those words, and do not put them
in anyone else's mouth.  I'm not proud of my condition, but I know who
I am, and couldn't deny it believably after recent posts anyway.

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