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Re: Customize buttons that change user's custom fileshouldaskforconfirma

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: Customize buttons that change user's custom fileshouldaskforconfirmation
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 09:42:57 -0600 (CST)

Richard Stallman wrote:

   This means rejecting the goal that it should be able to do
   "whatever the user might want to do".

I was only talking about a user who wanted to look at the choices he
had in a Value Menu (and maybe read their docstrings), did not want to
save or set anything, and forgot to reset the Value Menu to his usual
choice, because he got distracted by looking at another option, which
he then saved (together with the wrong Value Menu value).

   What do you mean by a "widget" value?

The value that would be saved if one saves.  In my usage, these often
get changed to values I have no intention of setting or saving for two
reasons.  The first one is clicking on Value Menu buttons for
information purposes.  The second is making inadvertent edits in
various ways, say, by not holding down a control or meta key long
enough.  (I am clumsy, so this happens regularly.)  You do not even
realize you made these edits.  If I save an individual option, I
carefully check for typos before I save.  But carefully checking an
entire long buffer is cumbersome.

With the whole buffer buttons it is easy to save values which the user
does not even realize he edited.  From then on strange things happen.
The only way to figure out what is going on is to study the
`custom-set-variables' form in your .emacs.

   We need to design a simple interface that is easy for beginners to
   understand, so that they are not afraid to use it.

If Custom is redesigned to use only whole buffer buttons, then I will
be afraid to use it.  I would personally quit using it and customize
everything through Lisp.

One could print a warning message whenever clicking on the whole
buffer buttons would save more than one option and ask for
confirmation in that case.  That would be a bare minimum.  But once I
get warned, I have to figure out the problems and correct them before
I can save the option I want.  We could offer to undo all edits made
in the buffer, as Lennart suggested, but then I lose the edits I want
just as well as those I do not want.

All this complexity completely disappears if one uses per option buttons.

We all seem to agree that we nearly always want to save only one
option at a time.  So I do not see how designing an interface forcing
people to save an entire long buffer all at once, and hence be super
careful before saving anything, makes sense. 



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