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Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 16:38:29 -0600 (CST)

Stefan Monnier wrote:

   > And I don't understand what startup vs. session time has to do with it:
   > it only has to do with whether set-variable can be used interactively.

   That was the distinction proposed by Luc.

I did not "propose" anything.  I quoted current standards from the
Elisp manual.  There are (combining both quotes) at least three
reasons not to use `*' in a defcustom (but they combine to one more
general reason):

1.  Setting the variable with set-variable would not have any effect
    other than maybe to confuse Emacs internals or the user.  This is
    probably the main reason.

2.  The value is long and/or complex and specifying or editing it in
    the minibuffer is going to be awkward.

3.  It would be set only in init files.  This is one that is
    apparently not followed consistently at
    all. `inhibit-startup-message' has a `*' in its documentation
    string.  I doubt that setting it interactively with set-variable
    is going to have a lot of effect.  Anybody trying to do so is
    probably mistakenly believing that it is going to affect future

Basically, everything can be summarized with: "use `*' if and only if
setting the variable with `set-variable' makes sense".  I should say
that the fact set-variable itself will indeed not distinguish (not even
for completion) between `*' or no `*' is not very consistent with



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