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Re: [CVS] f7, f8 bound..

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: [CVS] f7, f8 bound..
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 15:30:30 +0000 (UTC)

   > Please, arrange that customize and everything else work with just
   > *one* variable.  Not two.  Otherwise, you will make maintenance much
   > harder.  Thank you.

   I believe maintenance will be much harder with one variable that tries
   to do everything, rather than two variables with clearly identified

I wrote badly.  I meant to say, please do not create two different
systems to do the same thing.

    ... what is saved to the .emacs file will look nothing like what
    you would write by hand.  You can still edit it, though.

Please use nice `pretty printing' for expressions.  Even if they are
edited only by some people, they certainly should be easy to study.

(Incidentally, my .emacs file actually contains the statement:

  ;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom -- don't edit or cut/paste it!

which is entirely contrary to the principles of freedom: it says do
not modify, do not share!  What a bug!  If you work on this, please
fix this bug.)

   We don't need the extra non-keymap variable, Alex code use a symbol
   property instead, which should work just as well.  Only customize have
   an interest in that value, so there is no problem hiding it that way.

You confuse me:  Suppose I set something with a setq and then, either
earlier or later in my .emacs file, a customize statement sets a
symbol property that has the same effect as my setq -- this means I
have to think both about binding variables and symbol properties.

What mental model is leading you to think that two different kinds of
expression are a good idea?  Or am I misunderstanding you.

Or are you thinking that people who use Customize are too ignorant to
ever want to share or learn about Emacs?  Are you figuring that these
people should be given a low grade, not for hackers, way to set
values?  Are you thinking that hackers will never want to use
Customize, even for setting things for which they think Customize is

It makes more sense to me to write a backend to the Customize GUI that
generates a readable .emacs file that people can study, modify, and
share, if they wish.  (This reminds me of the since removed program
that converted keyboard macros into Emacs Lisp defuns, rather than as
currently, creating fset expressions.)

The goal for Customize should be to generate easy-to-understand Emacs
Lisp expressions and pretty print them nicely (to fit within a 70
character wide display, or other fill-column value, in your .emacs

    Robert J. Chassell            address@hidden  address@hidden
    Rattlesnake Enterprises       http://www.rattlesnake.com
    Free Software Foundation      http://www.gnu.org   GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8

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