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Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?

From: Cthun
Subject: Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 10:13:16 -0500
User-agent: MicroPlanet-Gravity/3.0.4

On 23/02/2011 12:22 AM, Tim X wrote:
Cthun<address@hidden>  writes:

On 22/02/2011 2:47 PM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
There seems to be a contradiction between those last two paragraphs.
Saving buffers and finding files are relatively rare operations which
thus shouldn't be given very easy to press key sequences like C-s and

Where do you live where software never crashes and the electricity never goes
out? Most of us learn to save very frequently to limit how much we'll have to
do over again if the power goes out or whatever.

Most of us use smart editors that auto-save regularly and free the user
form having to do this manually all the time.

Ah, auto-save, another fruitful source of trouble.

Auto-save has two design alternatives. One, it just acts like the user hit control-S, every some interval.

This runs into trouble if you do something drastic you later want to undo. Sure you can fork the file, but if you forget ... and then there's forking it "dangerously" -- first you make a big deletion, and then you hit alt, f, a for save-as to save the drastically-changed version under a new name, but pow, an autosave happens to occur *after* the deletion and *before* the save-as. So much for being able to undo it...

The other option is auto-save to some temporary file, or a sequence of numbered files. Of course if you have a power outage or something now you have to go hunting for where the darn thing saved these. Depending, they may even be vulnerable to being erased by an automatic temp file cleanup script before you get to them.

Sequences of numbered files used to risk filling up the filesystem, too, but not with text files in this day and age.

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