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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: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 03:32:01 +0900

Eli Zaretskii writes:

 > The net result of this extremely slow progress is that many
 > theoretical niceties

Availability of fonts with complete Latin repertoire and convenient
input methods are not theoretical niceties any more.  They are
practical realities on any platform produced in the last decade.

It's a shame about bidi, I'll grant.

 > > Emacs users learn *hundreds* of keychords.
 > We also use programs other than Emacs, and some of us (gasp!) use
 > them from the shell prompt at least sometimes.  So the ability to
 > type these characters conveniently is important, certainly not
 > something to disregard so easily as you do.

I *don't* disregard that ability.  I consider the input methods I use
in the GUI and in terminal windows on three operating systems to be
quite convenient given that I type many thousands of characters per
day, but only type grave a few times (and most of those are for
reStructuredText documentation and TeX).  YMMV, and I acknowledge
that, but even you feel it necessary to admit that the "nuisance" is

 > > and that his reaction is pre-judgment without enough relevant
 > > experience.
 > "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you."
 > Just because Some People™ might have prejudice against these quotes,
 > it doesn't mean their introduction won't make our lives less
 > convenient.

That is completely out of context.  In the part you quote here, I was
arguing against a priori judgments for the whole project and all its
users, without any data except introspection to back them up.  Not
that inconvenience for the opponents was zero to ten decimal places.

 > >  >  Any benefits there may be are not _practical_ ones.  The curly
 > >  > quotes are a pain to type.
 > > 
 > > That's a fixable bug, but not in the use of curly quotes themselves,
 > > but rather in the Emacs input system.
 > Alas, the world of software is not limited to Emacs.

Again, out of context.  The complaint I was responding to was
specifically about Emacs input methods, primarily C-x 8 IIRC.

But guess what?  AFAICT, the rest of the software world doesn't have
these problems.  People are typing scores of odd characters in email
to me all the time.  And not just Japanese, but good ol' boys and
girls from the U S of A.  How do they manage that, I wonder?

 > For some of us, Emacs is a first-class tool for everyday's work.
 > Some of us cannot easily afford conducting "experiments" with tools
 > of such importance, because we have to do something other than
 > gathering experience by the end of the day.

Last I heard, Emacs 24 was the stable version, and it doesn't have
these commits in it, and never will.  Conducting experiments on people
(volunteers) while they are doing real work is the very definition of
"beta test".  If you don't like that, you shouldn't be using a beta
Emacs for everyday work.

Of course it's a matter of degree, some experiments are more
disruptive than others, and beta testers don't sign up for constant
churn.  This change hardly qualifies as hugely disruptive.  It went
unnoticed when initially committed and announced.  Surely issues like
frequent bootstrapping and debugging out-and-out build breakage, not
to mention various bugs, are far greater interruptions to daily work.

 > Please don't dismiss our chagrin so easily, just because you might
 > have more free time on your hands to conduct experiments.

Stop with the ad hominems, please.  It's not my alleged free time that
is relevant.

It's that I see benefits to third parties that *you* ignore, perhaps
because you perceive them to be "small".  But I believe them to be
potentially large.  I would like to see this small, initial experiment
performed to see if the disruption is as large and the benefits as
small as you, Richard, Alan, and Drew believe them to be.  If so, it
should be reverted and further experiments will have to be delayed
another decade or so.

 > While reverting a bunch of commits (whose number is growing by the
 > hour, btw) might be relatively easy, those commits affect everyone
 > who is using Emacs, as reverting them, locally is hardly a
 > practical option.

Huh?  People deal with exactly this problem all the time, for example
package maintainers in GNU/Linux distros.  Sure, it's a skill you have
to spend time developing, and I know that many people prefer not to
invest their time that way.  But "not practical" is too dismissive.
It *is* a practical option, used by many in some contexts.

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