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Old-School Emacs Regions

One thing I used to do all the time and almost forgot about it when markdown-mode introduced the whole “commands work one way if you have an active region and another if you don’t” thing is this: I’d be typing along merrily, then thinking “OK this next part is going to be <cite>”, set the mark, keep typing, and then when I had typed the thing I’d hit the key that wrapped that past part in cite tags, be outside of the tags, and keep typing.

That’s something that transient regions just can’t do since they, by design, deactivate the region if you type anything.

The upstream markdown-mode guys suggested as a workaround that I use a region that’s active all the time but with font faces that make it look just like any other region. (One drawback with their workaround is that regexp replacing would’ve gotten majorly spooky, with not all regexps getting replaced.) That would’ve worked and I could’ve kept using their version of the package.

Or I could go schlep my chair over to a quieter lawn.