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Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer

From: Joost Kremers
Subject: Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer
Date: 21 Apr 2012 08:16:56 GMT
User-agent: slrn/pre1.0.0-18 (Linux)

Chiron wrote:
> I think I can confidently say that the maintainers are not going to be 
> badgered into modifying this tool just to please the crowds.  I think 
> that the idea of getting lots of maintainers isn't a priority for them.

badgered, no. but that doesn't mean they would never consider making
changes to the default settings that could attract more users. in fact,
IIRC there have been such changes, and i also remember a poll set up by RMS
a while back asking opinions on making some part of CUA mode the default or
something similar. (don't remember the exact details...)

> The current maintainers have absolutely no incentive to try to make emacs 
> appealing to the masses.  If they did that, sure, they'd probably get 
> plenty of new maintainers,

new users, not new maintainers. potential new maintainers at best.

> but these new guys would change their tool in 
> ways they don't want.  They're OK with the way it is right now.  What's 
> in it for them to change it?

more users. which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

> A text editor isn't a popularity contest.  No one gets points for extra 
> users.

but you get extra users for extra users. that's worth something.

> Maybe emacs is a system whose time has come.  It has had a good run - far 
> longer than most software.  Maybe it's just too old to fix.

well, the scratch buffer would be an easy fix. in fact, *my* scratch buffer
uses text-mode (i use ielm for lisp interaction). it didn't take much to
change that.

>  There is 
> such a thing as natural selection, and it works for programs as much as 
> for living beings.  Dinosaurs tend to die out, eventually.  Maybe it's 
> time...

that's an interesting analogy. the dinosaurs died out because they couldn't
adapt fast enough to the new environment when it changed dramatically. the
point is, stuff, whether animals or software or anything else, dies out
when it doesn't adapt to new circumstances. the dinosaurs couldn't help it,
but emacs is developed by sentient beings that can see the change of times
and react, if necessary.

i don't have a strong opinion on what to do with the scratch buffer, i have
no idea if it is something that holds back people from adopting emacs as
their editor. but it is worth discussing, i think.

Joost Kremers                                      address@hidden
Selbst in die Unterwelt dringt durch Spalten Licht

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