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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 17:18:49 -0500
User-agent: MicroPlanet-Gravity/3.0.4

On 23/02/2011 2:22 PM, Jason Earl wrote:
On Wed, Feb 23 2011, Cthun wrote:
This runs into trouble if you do something drastic you later want to

Actually, Emacs warns you before it makes drastic changes to an autosave
file.  This at least gives you the opportunity to do something about it.

Oh, wonderful.

Do you know what I'd do if I was in the middle of typing some stuff into a text editor after just having deleted a bunch of stuff and then suddenly a box popped up saying something about autosaving and drastic changes and yadda yadda yadda but I didn't have time to read it before one of my enter keypresses (intended for the actual document I was typing into when the box interrupted me) triggers one of the dialog's buttons (which?) and it disappears again (and does who knows what to my hard drive?).

I'd delete that editor and go get a new one, that's what. :)

The solution, of course, is to manually save *before* the fork.

Yes, but the reality is that people will sometimes forget to do so, or in that order.

I real life I don't think that this is much of a problem, especially
with Emacs which has infinite undo

Infinite undo? On what planet? When I experimented with it, back in college, I found the undo to just toggle undo/redo like Windows Notepad's. (I ended up experimenting also with LSD and mescaline and decided on none of the above.)

What's more, Emacs is flexible enough that you can easily set up
whatever sort of auto-save functionality that you think you want.

If you're a computer programmer with time to spare reprogramming the editor instead of actually doing your job, perhaps.

Emacs can do that.  It has an auto-save-hook that you can add code to

and ten million ways to subtly or drastically-but-irrecoverably fuck things up if you make some subtle mistake doing so, no doubt.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Another alternative, of course, is to simply save the file whenever you
feel you have something worth saving.

Well, there you go, then. That's exactly what I was originally advocating! So, you've come around to agreeing with me at last.

Ah, progress ...

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

On the bright side Emacs can be made to do whatever makes you the

Can it be made to cut itself, scream like a thing tortured, and then die? ;)

Very few other programs have anywhere near that sort of flexibility.

If I want that much flexibility I'll look at that Russian mail-order catalog. There *is* something to be said for structure and stability in fundamental, daily-use tools. And standards-adherence.

For most folks, however, the defaults are what they want.

Wait a minute. I thought you just said that the Emacs defaults are what most people want. But that's clearly impossible, so I can only presume that your post got garbled in transit. Care to repost whatever you'd said at this point?

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