From: "T.F. Torrey" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Changed list indentation behavior: how to revert? Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 16:24:45 -0700 [thread overview] Message-ID: <email@example.com> (raw) In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Hello all, I apologize in advance that this is so long. I've been following this thread closely, because I've been using Org mode daily for well over a decade, and this behavior affects me in several important ways. I think this summary might be helpful. Forever, it has been possible to start a heading in Org by typing a return one or more times, then typing an asterisk and a space and the heading text. To add a series of headings, just keep hitting return at the end of the current one, type an asterisk and a space and the next one, then repeat. If you want subheadings, it is as simple as typing more asterisks. Easy. This worked because electric-indent-mode defaulted to off, and although org-adapt-indentation defaulted to t, it didn't affect this situation. The default behavior here matters because Org is a killer feature of Emacs, enticing many people to give it a try, including my nine-year-old daughter. For them, it should behave by default the way it looks like it should. That means, typing asterisks and text for headings, followed by returns, and text, and more asterisks, should just work by default. #+NAME: Old Defaults: electric-indent-mode OFF and org-adapt-indent t #+begin_example org ,* Testing out Org, type <RET> here once or twice I get it! I'll type <RET> once or twice again and start a subheading. ,** Headings are easy! Now another <RET> or two for subhead content This is awesome! It works just as I expect, and I don't have to memorize a bunch of key chords just to get started. And folding is awesome! I love Org! I will stick with it and learn it all! #+end_example I have probably typed close to a million headings like this all by myself, and collectively we have probably typed billions or more. The last release, as everyone knows, turned on electric-indent-mode by default. So, right now, typing an Org document with default settings does not work like it looks like it should. This is the new experience for people used to the old defaults, and beginners like my daughter: #+NAME: New Defaults: electric-indent-mode ON and org-adapt-indent t #+begin_example org ,* I typed an asterisk for this heading, how about <RET> here once or twice Okay. This is indented. Since I'm new, I don't realize it isn't useful yet, or that it makes a difference at all. How about a subheading? I'll hit <RET> a couple times, they type two asterisks. ,** Is this a subheading? It looks like one. <RET> again here ... Okay, the indentation isn't the same, but maybe it's okay? I probably didn't even notice. ,*** I think I'm organizing my document with *'s and <RET>'s I'm going to try folding my stuff, becaue I saw that and it looks awesome. Wait! The instructions say <TAB> will cycle the folding, but it only works on the top level. What? Okay, some searching said I have to modify init, or something, or type some weird key combinations. What? This looked like it was going to be easy. Nerds are liars. I can't figure this out, and I don't have time to mess with this. I'm going back to Word. Maybe I'll try Markdown tomorrow. #+end_example For new users, step one is either to start changing default settings, start learning key chords and/or arcane (to beginners) commands---or go back to Word or Markdown. Turning on electric-indent-mode, all by itself, shouldn't break the useful or customary indentation that the users of Org expect, but it has. Instead of starting a new heading by typing <RET> one or more times, then typing an asterisk and a space and a new heading, a user has to either hit some control characters with returns, or backspace to column zero, or something else. The manual shows heading and body formatting as this: #+NAME: Org Manual Sample: electric-indent-mode on, org-adapt-indent t #+begin_example org ,* Top level headline ,** Second level ,*** Third level some text ,*** Third level more text ,* Another top level headline #+end_example I don't recall ever seeing an Org document in real life with the body indented at the level of each heading, and I haven't seen anyone argue for that behavior on this thread. I've tried it, and the text body width rapidly becomes too narrow to be useful. As several people have noted, even the Org repositories turn this off, which suggests even the developers don't find it useful. Why this is set as the default, I have no idea, but it didn't really matter until now. An Org document looks like you can create it by typing asterisks, text, and returns, but you can't, not by default, anyway. That's the root of the problem: the longstanding default *behavior* has been changed. The only people unaffected are people who already had compensatory settings in their init files. As far as I can tell, turning on electric-indent-mode by default was done for no reason other than other Emacs modes have it as a default. The proper fix for this is one of two choices: 1. If keeping electric-indent-mode on is really important, the easiest way to restore intuitive behavior is to change the default of org-adapt-indentation to nil. Yes, this changes a longstanding default, but it is necessitated because of the change of another longstanding default: electric-indent-mode. Before, anyone who wanted text indented by default needed to specify that in their init file, so this should not inconvenience anyone who wasn't inconvenienced before. or 2. More involved would be to change the default behavior of Org's electric indentation so that typing <RET> at the end of a heading takes you back to column 0 by default. In many contexts, the indentation provided by org-auto-indent is useful, but not this one. The Emacs manual says that "Electric Indent mode is a global minor mode that automatically indents the line after every <RET> you type", but that's not exactly true. What it does do is indent a line to what is useful or customary based on the context, which is often not at all. In the context of hitting <RET> at the end of a heading in Org, what is useful may be debatable, but it seems customary for all serious Org users to return to column 0, and that seems what new and casual users expect. Finally, I can point out that, for myself, adding another line to my init file (actually a literate Org doc) is not a big deal. I've been using Org and Emacs long enough that changing defaults doesn't bother me much. For new and casual users, including my nine-year-old daughter, however, I hope we can change the defaults so that it works the way it looks like it should. It's not easy to get her to try Emacs and Org, and this makes it harder. Side note: the manual frequently refers to headings as "headlines", but that is not the right use of that word. To whit: there is no such thing as a "subheadline", but there is a "subheading", because that construct is a "heading", and a "headline" is something else. All the best, Terry
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2020-11-16 23:25 UTC|newest] Thread overview: 76+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top 2020-11-13 17:30 Karl Voit 2020-11-13 21:10 ` Gustavo Barros 2020-11-13 21:38 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-14 3:02 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-13 21:47 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-13 22:13 ` Gustavo Barros 2020-11-13 22:21 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-14 17:28 ` Diego Zamboni 2020-11-14 19:10 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 12:44 ` Kévin Le Gouguec 2020-11-15 13:26 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 21:59 ` Kévin Le Gouguec 2020-11-15 22:15 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-16 7:15 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-16 6:26 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-14 10:45 ` Diego Zamboni 2020-11-13 21:31 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-14 22:43 ` David Rogers 2020-11-15 5:38 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 7:47 ` David Rogers 2020-11-15 8:54 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 10:37 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-15 11:42 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-15 11:48 ` Gustavo Barros 2020-11-15 11:58 ` Detlef Steuer 2020-11-15 12:09 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 14:50 ` Gustavo Barros 2020-11-15 15:11 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-15 10:44 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-15 11:22 ` Detlef Steuer 2020-11-15 14:03 ` Kévin Le Gouguec 2020-11-16 5:24 ` Kyle Meyer 2020-11-16 6:41 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 7:15 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 11:21 ` Gustavo Barros 2020-11-16 23:24 ` T.F. Torrey [this message] 2020-11-17 1:21 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-17 7:01 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-17 7:48 ` Michal Politowski 2020-11-19 4:17 ` Marcel Ventosa 2020-11-16 8:06 ` Kévin Le Gouguec 2020-11-16 12:10 ` Bill Burdick 2020-11-16 6:54 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-16 7:12 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-17 4:03 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-17 5:25 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-17 13:15 ` Greg Minshall 2020-11-16 7:01 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-16 7:22 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 16:04 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-16 16:26 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-16 18:12 ` gyro funch 2020-11-16 18:48 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-16 19:41 ` Bill Burdick 2020-11-16 19:56 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-16 21:50 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 23:01 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-16 21:44 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 18:20 ` gyro funch 2020-11-16 20:56 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-16 21:35 ` Bill Burdick 2020-11-16 22:44 ` Tom Gillespie 2020-11-16 23:55 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-17 9:05 ` Stefan Nobis 2020-11-17 9:15 ` Loris Bennett 2020-11-17 9:32 ` Diego Zamboni 2020-11-17 14:29 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-17 16:25 ` Robert Pluim 2020-11-16 23:39 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-16 21:35 ` Tim Cross 2020-11-17 0:11 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide 2020-11-17 8:45 ` Detlef Steuer 2020-11-17 9:41 ` Jean Louis 2020-11-17 15:33 ` Maxim Nikulin 2020-11-16 13:00 ` Uwe Brauer 2020-11-16 16:10 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide
Reply instructions: You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email using any one of the following methods: * Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client, and reply-to-all from there: mbox Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_style#Interleaved_style List information: https://www.orgmode.org/ * Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to switches of git-send-email(1): git send-email \ --email@example.com \ --firstname.lastname@example.org \ --email@example.com \ --subject='Re: Changed list indentation behavior: how to revert?' \ /path/to/YOUR_REPLY https://kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/git-send-email.html * If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Code repositories for project(s) associated with this inbox: https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/emacs/org-mode.git This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox; as well as URLs for read-only IMAP folder(s) and NNTP newsgroup(s).