[Arcana] Yow! Legally-imposed CULTURE-reduction is CABBAGE-BRAINED!

John Grabowski johng at alum.mit.edu
Sun Jul 15 14:20:17 CDT 2007

I miss you, Roland.

I remember about 17 years ago when, as a freshman in college, I 
discovered your init files.  How exciting it was to see ALL these ways 
you became more efficient than EVERYONE ELSE!  I also remember blowing 
my disk quota on Athena just by copying them over.  I probably still 
have your if18 and if19 macros somewhere... not that they are needed 

Over the years, I transitioned my complete lifestyle to Emacs.  Browse 
the web, read mail, reassemble split-up porn pictures from netnews, and 
so on.  And it was great!

About 1997, I remember a blog entry from jwz discussing his addition of 
the mail client to Netscape.  I believe he said something like "no app 
is a real app until it can read mail".  Knowing nothing of his history, 
you could still tell from his mindset that he had emacs in his blood.

Sometime around 2001, however, I transitioned away.  Perhaps it was the 
new job; the company used Lotus Notes (!!)  for email.  With no POP or 
IMAP client available, I simply couldn't continue with emacs as a mail 
reader.  And the shift away from text-centricity on the web made it 
harder to browse. 

Today (2007), a browser is the new emacs.  In addition to browsing, you 
can do lots of other stuff emacs could do: gmail for mail; shockwave for 
games; and flash video for porn.  It's everything you need... right?

Of course not.  With emacs, I had love.  With a browser I still burn 
with anger.  Consider my signature in every email, "<TAB>-johng", which 
I've been using for 17 years.  With comcast web email, <TAB> switches 
focus from email text to the "Send:" button.  Stop stealing my fucking 
tab key!  I'll just remap it... uh... hmm... can't.  That's not good.

Roland, it's OK to fight with your "girlfriend".  But remember that she 
loves you and will always be there for you.  And she won't steal your 
tabs... unless you ask her to.


>So there was something positive about Emacs 22.  I can't remember what it was.
>It's the new hotness.  I'm sure I wanted it.  It's undoubtedly good for me.
>I've already forgotten whatever random horrors there were that I had to
>contend with before I could get started with my meager init files of
>accreted hooey that has only needed the occasional tinkering at least since
>I succumbed to version 19.  No big deal.
>I got over the escalation of automatic angry fruit salad defaults that was
>initially so, very, shocking.  I've nearly suppressed the memory of the bug
>in the function interpreting whatever that new variable it is where you're
>supposed to be able to make it not the default, where the documented case
>of "fruit salad for only these few modes" clearly never worked at all.  I
>don't think I even reported that one, I just put the fixed defun in some
>init .el.  It's just such a glaring sign that the people working on Emacs
>now are all insane.  Oh, right.  Well, I mean, not my kind of insane any
>more.  Oh, right.
>I really didn't mind that someone else finally rewrote compile.el (again)
>before me to store info in text properties, like I'd been saying I should
>do real soon now for only, oh, 15 years now.  Though it stabbed me in the
>heart to know it, I could see the irony (and the reason) in its cool
>parsing and text-property navigation features coming from color-bondage-mode.
>I even suffered through the five options, four workarounds, and two hacks,
>required to have compilation-mode simply work while not going flaming blind
>looking at what these wippersnappers today call displaying the damn buffer.
>C'est la vie.
>I'm starting to come to terms with whatever cockamamy new text property
>magic attached to the increasing colorization of my shell buffers
>interferes with normal editting commands so that RET doesn't copy the whole
>command line and C-k doesn't kill the whole line, and when you've yanked
>text onto the command line it now changes what C-a and C-e mean until you
>maneuver out of it, and god help you if you paste together pieces of three
>different commands' outputs from the buffer onto a line and expect hitting
>RET to just do what it did twenty years ago and run the command line you've
>created.  Hey, that's life in the big city.
>It's ok.  I think it's ok.  It's probably fine.  We still know who we are.
>Sure, this can be fine.  There are always things you can rely on, things in
>the world that go in their place, and their being there keeps you safe, the
>touchstones of our lives.
>M-x yow produces only one result.  M-x insert-zippyism has No completions!
>apropos-zippy searches can find no wisdom.  My outgoing email has been
>brutally sabotaged for weeks!  
>Gentlemen, it's not ok any more.  It's the 21st century, and I'm taking
>this goddamn hovercar back to the dealer and telling him I never should
>have traded in the Dodge Dartre!  
>It doesn't help to investigate.  All you learn is that it's not just
>another bug, it's a CAPITULATION to INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY demands of
>BIG COMIC STRIP AUTHORING.  That's a functional regression on such a
>Lisp programming can never hold a CANDLE to it.
>I don't really know why we should go on.
>Arcana mailing list
>Arcana at red-bean.com

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