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Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 17:07:46 +0300

> From: Chiron <address@hidden>
> Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 12:35:28 GMT
> On Sat, 21 Apr 2012 10:36:27 +0200, Thien-Thi Nguyen wrote:
> > () Chiron <address@hidden> () Sat, 21 Apr
> > 2012 03:53:33 GMT
> > 
> >    The current maintainers have absolutely no incentive to try to make
> >    emacs appealing to the masses.
> > 
> > Maybe, maybe not.
> If they had an incentive to make emacs appealing to the masses, they'd do 
> it.  Since they aren't doing it, I think it's clear that they don't have 
> the incentive.

They have and they do, just watch the changes made in the last few
major releases.  It could be that the pace is not to your liking, or
that your most beloved feature didn't (yet) get in, but that doesn't
yet justify the extreme conclusions that you seem to have reached, and
now are spreading all over.

> Unless the current maintainers are confused, they *already* have
> emacs pretty much the way they want it.

No good maintainer ever stops evolving in his/her habits nor becomes
deaf to wishes of the users.  I suggest that you read the emacs-devel
list for a while, and I'm sure you will see how incorrect the above
judgment is.

> What the complainer was suggesting was that new people - maintainers, 
> programmers, whoever - would *change* emacs, which would make emacs less 
> the way the current maintainers want it, and more the way others would 
> want it.

Maintaining a package is never about a battle of wills of the kind you
seem to envision.  So your mental model of how this works is simply
wrong.  Again, you should read emacs-devel to see the actual state of

> A.  We think you should change emacs to be the way we want it.
> B.  Well, we like it the way it is.
> A.  No, you're too old-fashioned or hidebound; you need to get with the 
> program.  You need to make emacs a tool for modern programming practices.
> B.  Why?  It works for us.
> A.  But it doesn't work for us!
> B.  Um... 

You won't find this on emacs-devel.  So this line of reasoning will
never bring any change.

Several people in this thread explained why (a) *scratch* is useful
for them and (b) does not necessarily get in your way, unless you
insist (e.g., by using the -Q switch).  If someone has constructive
proposals for how to make that buffer even less prominent, please post
your suggestions to emacs-devel, or file "wishlist" bug reports to the
Emacs bug-tracker.

Arguing that *scratch* should be removed entirely is a non-starter,
since a non-negligible portion of users find it useful, but I
sincerely don't see why reasonable people would want that, if we can
find less extreme ways of getting it out of the way of those who don't
need it.

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