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Re: Add a separate mode for .dir-locals.el

From: João Távora
Subject: Re: Add a separate mode for .dir-locals.el
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2019 09:25:00 +0100

On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 8:15 AM Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
I don't agree that it's a nice feature.  I don't even understand why
we give up so easily on elisp-mode support for such "data files",

Because elisp-mode is for emacs-lisp programs,
not lisp data. Can you concede that, or is that still controversial?

If we want to make it work for lisp data like you propose we
have to conditionally remove things from it.  Which is possible,
but ugly, and downright impossible when those things come
from emacs-lisp-mode-hook.

And, in your patch, we would be tying it to a file name, which
is needlessly hacky.

It's much better to recognize the part of emacs-lisp-mode that is
_common_ to data (and there is a lot) and extract that into a
new function.  That that function is called "a major mode" is just
a name, it's nor a "major thing" at all, it's just 5-6 lines and
a 1kB table.

something that should be quite natural, and instead want some
"inferior" mode based on file names and manual turning on of the mode.
It simply feels wrong, as file names have nothing to do with the
actual issue of doing TRT with Lisp data.

But this all was already said many times, we just keep going in
circles with no new arguments anywhere in sight.

I've (and we've) summarized the arguments, given "arguments
from the future" and replied to your own "arguments from the

But it is, by definition, impossible to argue with "gut feeling"
and "feels wrong" or "should be natural". I just don't know
how to talk to your gut (or even if I want to).

It's because I want to believe that Emacs is a rational place,
that I ask to rebut the concrete evidence that is being
presented here, or yield to it.

If it helps, I concede that file names are indeed an
orthogonal problem.  They are simply one of the best heuristics
we have to guess the file content. Take filenames out of the
equation, please. We can discuss a better heuristic later, say
a machine learning one (it's all the rage nowadays).  For now,
just focus on the pros and cons of making a major mode for
lisp data.


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