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bug#31796: 27.1; dired-do-find-regexp-and-replace fails to find multilin

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: bug#31796: 27.1; dired-do-find-regexp-and-replace fails to find multiline regexps
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2020 02:13:19 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 24.11.2020 01:49, Andreas Abel wrote:
With a software as old as emacs the most important feature is

   1. backwards-compatibility

The second most important feature is

   2. backwards-compatibility

The third most important feature is

   3. backwards-compatibility


That's a road toward irrelevance.

It is like with C and LaTeX.  If you cannot ensure that things keep working as they did, don't change anything.

Tramp?  I had to google this term.

Tramp has been with us for ~20 years, and ~10 years a part of Emacs. It has a significant number of users.

Anyway, that Tramp fix was a happy side-effect. Now that I think back, the main reason was the switch to the new interface which removed the default binding for tags-loop-continue (now called fileloop-continue).

Which made using dired-do-search a little less convenient, and people asked for analogous commands which used the xref UI. The original commands are still with us, though.

How often do programmers work on their local files in their day-to-day business, how often with remote files via tramp?

If you contribute a new feature for 0.1% percent of the use cases but disrupt something (even minor) for 99.9% of the use cases, then with an old tool like emacs the choice is: don't replace the old functionality with your new functionality.

Just don't break things.  Please.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, really. But not being able to break anything, even, is an ever-growing cost on keeping Emacs relevant toward contemporary expectations, or otherwise making it better.

If you want fancy functionality that works with remote files, this is fine.  There are enough keys on the keyboard you can bind the new functionality to.

Please don't break things that worked.

There are gazillion emacs users out there that dread each new emacs version because it will break their setup, their workflows, their habits.  We do not want to spend days after upgrades to get our work environment back.

But you still upgrade to the new version? Expecting something new from it, right?

We value stability and conservativity over everything else.

And then Emacs users get older, change jobs, or entirely leave the profession. If Emacs stays as it was 30 years ago, it will appeal only to users who started with it 30+ years ago. And many of those have already left.

Emacs users are an admirably faithful bunch, but there are forces of nature we have to contend with as well.

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