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Re: Installing cond* in core

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Installing cond* in core
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2024 22:57:11 -0500

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  > > > > I don't think I have ever intalled anything controversial without
  > > > > discussing it on the list.

It seems that nobody regarded pcase as posing an important design
issue when it was installed.  It is a kind of design issue we usually
don't think about.  We used to use an overflowing sink as the icon for
Emacs.  If some people think a feature is useful, we might try to improve
some details, and then we put it in.

We're not used to asking, "How do we avoid having duplicate features?
How do we achieve these goals while also keeping Emacs as simple as
possible?"  Instead we get a congeries of every feature that seemed
useful for something.

This issue arises for some sorts of features and not for others.  It
tends to be biggest for features that are rather unspecialized.  for
specialized things, it may not be an issue at all.

For instance, a package to communicate using the (fictional) Frotz
protocol does not raise an issue like this.  Some users will use the
Frotz protocol and others won't, but the existence of support for it
won't inconvenience developers much.  Unless you work on one of the
few things that actually interact with Frotz, you won't ever need to
know about that code.

By contrast, pcase does increase what Emacs developers need to learn,
because it is unspecialized.

We should all be on the lookout for proposals to install a construct
which is unspecialized enough to get used in many areas of the Emacs
code base.  In such a situation, we should make sure we fill that
niche in the cleanest possible way.

Dr Richard Stallman (https://stallman.org)
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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