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Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer

From: Joost Kremers
Subject: Re: Emacs: Problems of the Scratch Buffer
Date: 23 Apr 2012 11:52:00 GMT
User-agent: slrn/pre1.0.0-18 (Linux)

Chiron wrote:
> On Sat, 21 Apr 2012 08:16:56 +0000, Joost Kremers wrote:
>> but you get extra users for extra users. that's worth something.
> I don't see that it's worth anything.  In what way do the maintainers of 
> emacs benefit from having more users?

well, for one, it's gratifying to have people who use the software you
write and who (apparently) appreciate your work. it's one of the reasons i
suspect many open source/free software developers are in it for.

but more users usually also means more visibility, more bug reports and/or
contributions, more potential developers, better chances of the project
remaining alive once you are no longer able to maintain it.

> Well, the point I was getting at is that things have a lifetime.  
> Everything comes to an end, and that's not a bad thing.

sometimes it is. sure, in the grand scheme of things, what does it all
matter, but if emacs were to die out, i'd be thoroughly unhappy. that's
important, though possibly mainly to myself. ;-)

but kidding aside, i think i did get your point. i was just saying that
something as adaptable as emacs doesn't need to meet its end in such a way
as you describe.

> The sentient beings who work on emacs are not interested in making the 
> suggested changes, for whatever reason they may have.

yes, you said that before, but i'm pretty sure that that's simply not true.

note that if you conclude that from some of the comments in this (and
possibly other threads), you may be basing your conclusions on false
premisses. the emacs devs certainly are interested in hearing comments from
users and suggestions how to improve upon the software. that, however,
doesn't mean that they will implement *every* suggestion.

>  Perhaps they can't 
> do it; perhaps they're stubborn; perhaps they're simply not interested in 
> catering to the passing fads of programming that come and go every year.  
> I have no idea.  But if they don't want to do it, they're not going to do 
> it, and no amount of saying they "should" do it will help.

of course, but i don't think that's at issue here. (at least, that was *my*
impression of this thread. ;-)

>> 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.
> I still don't understand the talk about the *scratch* buffer.  It comes 
> up, but it's not the initial frame or buffer I get, and never has been.  

the scratch buffer was what started the whole thread. it comes up as the
first buffer a user can actually enter text into, but it doesn't behave in
the same way that the first usable text entry area in most other editors or
word processors behave, i.e., programs with which potential new emacs users
may be more familiar with. the proposal was to make the scratch buffer
behave more in that way.

> Is there some version of emacs where this happens?

IIRC every version since i've been using emacs, which is emacs 21 or 22, i

>  I could see this 
> being very confusing, if that were the case.  I still don't know enough 
> lisp to do much about the *scratch* buffer.  If that's all I got when I 
> started emacs, I'd probably go on to some other editor.  And no one would 
> ever miss me...

you can't miss what you never had. or more precisely, you can't miss what
you cannot imagine having. :-)

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

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