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bug#5937: 23.1.95; why saving empty abbrev tables

From: Leo
Subject: bug#5937: 23.1.95; why saving empty abbrev tables
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 09:46:17 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

On 2010-04-27 04:49 +0100, Stefan Monnier wrote:
>>>> It seems to make it more difficult for editing (edit-abbrevs) because
>>>> the buffer is full of empty abbrev.  I wonder if saving only non-empty
>>>> tables is better and user friendlier.
>>> It does sound like a good idea.  Any objection?
>> Would the following patch be acceptable?
> Actually, having tried it now for a while I do have an objection: it
> makes it harder to add entries to an abbrev-table if that table
> is empty.
> So I think a better option is to sort the tables such that empty tables
> are pushed to the end.

I thought of this question when creating the patch. I wasn't sure how
best to offer the option to add abbrevs to empty tables.

When I first tried out abbrev I was confused at edit-abbrevs by all
those empty tables. For example, the editing abbrevs buffer could easily
have 1000 lines with the empty tables show up. I thought I had done
something wrong with those C-x ail stuff. In the end I didn't use abbrev
for 2-3 years until last year when I started using snippet.

I think users use edit-abbrevs often to view and edit existing abbrevs
or adding new ones to a non-empty table. When an abbrev tale is empty it
is most likely the user hasn't used abbrevs in the major mode associated
with it. Personally, I prefer keeping the edit abbrevs buffer smaller.
It is cleaner and less confusing.

Do you think we can address this issue in another way for example by
offering a key biding to enter an empty table? For example, make M-RET
move point to the end of current abbrev table and asking for a table
name (with completion)? (this is similar to M-RET in org mode)

>         Stefan


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