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RE: Defaults for set-variable

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Defaults for set-variable
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 16:49:53 -0800

    > Which do you find more convenient for setting user options - setq
    > or set-variable?  That is, you can use `M-: (setq foo '...)'
    > today for user options.  Do you [do that], or do you use
    > `M-x set-variable...'?

    I use setq.

OK.  So do you perhaps also feel that the existing `set-variable' command is
"not worth bloating the code to support"?  At least wrt your own use?  Do
you feel that it might be worth keeping, for use by others?

    `set-variable' [is] mainly useful as a gentle introduction for
    those who might be confused by lisp syntax and the presence of
    internal variables.

I see.  Real Lisp programmers don't...  They don't use commands at all, do

    > The question is whether or not it is a convenience worth
    > adding to Emacs.

    It seems to me it's a "convenience" that applies only in a
    vanishingly small number of cases (you want to set a variable
    which _isn't_ tagged as a user variable, and just happens to
    have its name under point in the current buffer), and not
    worth bloating the code to support.

Your magic appears to produce vanishing out of thin air ;-).  Smoke and
mirrors, perhaps?

I said nothing about the variable name needing to be under point.  The
command would provide  _completion_  of all variable names - not only
user-option names (too hot!), and not all symbol names (too cold!).  (See
"Goldilocks and The 3 Bears", M. Goose, in ACM Communications, July 1324)

Completion doesn't just save a few keystrokes - it lets you know just what
the possible (existing variable) names are, and it prevents spelling errors.
What's good for the user-option goose is good for the any-variable gander -
in my book.

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