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Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 19:47:05 +0200

On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 19:14, Chiron
<address@hidden> wrote:

> So, without meaning to be rude, I feel
> it is time for me to withdraw from this conversation.  I don't seem to be
> able to say things clearly enough.

Let's try to understand, leaving aside any hard feeling.

You said:

> 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.

Don't know why you said "confidently", but if you read emacs-devel,
you'll see that the issue of changing settings or adding stuff to make
it easier for newbies has been discussed many times. And the answer
usually is not a knee-jerk "no", but of course it is not an
unconditional "yes" either. Depends on the issue, how far reaching it
is and how does it impact Emacs in general. Defaults for shift
selection, for example, have been changed in the past to cater to
current sensibilities. As for getting more maintainers, it's not a
"priority", but neither is it irrelevant. The (relative) shortage of
maintainers has often been quoted as one of the causes of the Emacs
project not branching for a release until it is near to releasing (to
avoid diverting efforts between "boring pre-release bug-fixing" and
"fun new features in the trunk").

> 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, 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?

There are 150 people with commit rights to Emacs, and perhaps two
dozen who work on it with some regularity. It's hard to attribute
common desires and incentives to all of them. Some people are really
interested in making it appealing to the masses, some are uninterested
(though no one is hostile, I think). But I've never seen any
resistance to getting new developers, nor fear that they would change
Emacs. There have been plenty of changes in the last few years, some
trivial, others pretty disruptive (multi-tty and Unicode support were
hard). AFAICS, the Emacs project does not resist change; if anything,
it shows resistance against disruptive changes without a good reason.
But everything is open to discussion (too many times, often ;-)

Just my .02€


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