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bug#24150: 26.0.50; New command: dired-create-empty-file

From: Tino Calancha
Subject: bug#24150: 26.0.50; New command: dired-create-empty-file
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2017 00:04:31 +0900 (JST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.20 (DEB 67 2015-01-07)

On Mon, 3 Jul 2017, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

Thanks for your comprehensive replay.
You know, you are the boss, so i will do what you say i must do.  Anyway,
let me defend my point after your replay.
First, I think this might be mixing two separate requests: one is the
desire to start a new file from Dired, the other is to create an empty
file on disk.  I think these should be kept separate because they
serve 2 different needs; in particular, the latter is not related to
Dired in any way.
Honestly, i don't see the point to add a new keybinding in Dired for `find-file' having already the global `C-x C-f'. I think the people in the threads are all aware about `C-x C-f': they are not looking for reduce `find-file' to just one key. To me, it seems that those people are demanding for fast creationg of an _empty_ new file in Dired. At least is what i got after reading them.

I have no issues with adding a Dired keybinding that would call
find-file without much ado.  I'm not sure whether it should be bound
to M-+ or to "C-u +", but I will defer to opinions of others on that.

But I don't think M-+ or whatever we bind that command to should
actually _create_ an empty file on disk.  This is not how Emacs works
with files; "C-x C-f" will not create a file until you save the
buffer.  That "+" actually creates a directory is IMO an exception
rather than the rule: nothing else makes sense with directories, since
users cannot type directory contents into a buffer and then save it,
at least not easily.
Dired is a file/directory manager inside Emacs. I could even imagine people whom uses Emacs just to use Dired, because I was one of those guys. You are right, a command to create an empty file is not the usual way for Emacs, as an editor, but I consider perfectly reasonable/necessary to assign a keybinding in a file manager for such operation. One person in the threads above mentioned he wished this feature when working in a python project. I often felt the same when working in python projects.

I do recognize a possible need for a function, or maybe even a
command, to create an empty disk file.  AFAIK, we don't have such a
function, although it's not hard to write.  But I think the use cases
for such a command are quite rare and niche cases, so I think we
shouldn't have a keybinding for it, not even in Dired.
Obviosly is disagree here. I found it useful in my workflow, that's why i wrote the function and opened the issue. Many people watched the threads,
that means is not such rare feature.
Let users who
need this command frequently bind it to a key; with time, if it turns
out I'm wrong and these use cases are much more frequent, we can
decide on providing a binding by default.

So, to summarize my POV: (a) it's okay to add a Dired keybinding for
find-file; (b) let's add a command with no binding for creating an
empty file.
I don't find useful (a).
The (b), for the normal user not hacking the lisp sources, doesn't make
much difference:
M-! touch new-file RET
M-x my-create-empty-file RET
;; The only difference is that the second will create parents dirs as ;; needed.

We shouldn't assume that most of Emacs users set up their own bindings. I know many buddies loving Emacs, using it many hours per day for working, and they keep their defaults .emacs files.
They don't know elisp.  They just want everything comes built-in.
We must not defraud those people.

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