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

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Upcoming loss of usability of Emacs source files and Emacs.
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2015 12:43:53 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0

Richard Stallman wrote:
When you introduce Emacs to new users, do you teach them to edit Emacs
Lisp code?

Not in the first day, but we have people use Emacs over a period of ten weeks, as part of a software construction course. A primary benefit of Emacs over editors like vim (which is what we've also used in the past) is its programmability. I want students to be able to read and understand the source code of the tools they're using.

I'm talking about the source code issue, but the reasons you give
seem to apply to the UI issue.

Although they apply primarily to the UI, they also apply to source code. Previously a docstring couldn't unambiguously quote Lisp code containing ' or `. Now it can. Previously one could cut from a *Help* buffer and paste into a docstring; this remains true only because curved quotes now work in a docstring and so can be safely copied from a *Help* buffer to a docstring.

Also, nonexperts read Lisp code at times, and we're better off simplifying the process of reading the code and becoming expert.

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