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bug#5774: 23.1.92; Emacs manual, node Persistent Marks

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#5774: 23.1.92; Emacs manual, node Persistent Marks
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2010 10:07:24 -0700

> > "When Transient Mark mode is off, the mark is _never_ 
> > deactivated..."
> >
> > This is wrong.  And it confuses users. Check `C-h v 
> > mark-active' with t-m-mode off and see if what it says
> > makes sense in combination with this Info doc (no).
> It is correct.  If tmm is off, the mark starts out inactive, and the
> variable `mark-active' is nil.  Once you type C-SPC, `mark-active'
> becomes t, and remains t regardless of (almost) anything you do.

`mark-active' is an internal variable that is irrelevant to this doc and a
conceptual understanding. What is relevant for the user's conceptual model is
observable behavior, not implementation.

It makes no difference what the value of `mark-active' is when t-m-mode is off.
Your code can set it to anything at all, including nil, and that will change
nothing in terms of observable behavior.

What is important to get across here is that activeness of the mark has meaning
_only_ for transient-mark-mode and similar, derived modes. (That includes
temporary t-m-mode.)

Inactive/active affects behavior only for t-m-mode and the like. When t-m-mode
is off there is _no recognition_ of the mark states active/inactive - no
observable difference or change in behavior. And that's as it should be.

> > 2. Replace undo (`C-x u') in the example given by a more 
> > typical command wrt t-m-mode (e.g. query-replace).
> >
> > 3. "`C-u C-x C-x'  Activate the mark without changing it". 
> > Remove "without changing it". That doesn't add anything
> > except confusion.

4. This node should be renamed. "Persistent Marks" implies persistence, which
typically means saving to disk and across sessions. Some 3rd-party Emacs
libraries do provide for persistent marks, but that's not what this is about.
Please rename the node - perhaps something like `Transient Mark Mode Off' would
be a much clearer indicator of the content.

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