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Re: status of dir-vars or dir-locals inclusion in emacs?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: status of dir-vars or dir-locals inclusion in emacs?
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 14:25:59 -0400

    +  The first approach is to put a special file in the root directory of
    +a project.  When opening a local file, Emacs will search for this file
    +and, if the file exists, Emacs will apply local variable settings from
    +the file to the new buffer.  (This search is skipped for remote

1. Please stick to the present tense all the time in documentation
unless some other tense is mandatory.  So please say "Emacs searches".

Please look for other places in your text where this rule might apply.

2. It took me a couple of seconds to realize why the word "local" is
there and what it means, since in this context "local" usually means
"buffer-local".  I suggest using only the word "remote" and avoiding
use of "local" as its antonym.

3. Please avoid the passive voice, so please write "If the file is
remote, Emacs doesn't do this search, because it would be too slow."

    +  Emacs looks for files named @file{emacs-settings.el},
    address@hidden, or @file{.emacs-settings}, in that order.

...and looks for them in the current directory, its parent, and so on
up the directory hierarchy.

    +  When reading settings from a file like this, Emacs will
    +automatically filter out risky local variables.  This makes it safe
    +for projects to check in appropriate Emacs settings to their version

Whether they use version control is irrelevant; you can make the text
simpler by avoiding that tangent.

    +  This example, although incomplete, defines some settings for GNU

1. In what sense is it imcomplete?

2. "GNU GCC" is redundant.

3. In what sense are these settings "for GCC"?  That is not clear.  I
first interpreted those words as meaning these settings affect use of
GCC.  Do you actually mean that they are used for the source code of

4. Why include (tab-width . 8)?  That is the default?

    +  The second approach to project-local settings is to explicitly
    +define a project class using @code{define-project-bindings}, and then
    +to tell Emacs which directory roots correspond to that class, using

That needs to give a little more information
or else refer to a place to find more.

    +** project.el is now part of Emacs.  This provides for per-project
    +settings of local variables.

The file name is irrelevant -- please describe the feature, and the
user-interfaces (briefly is enough).

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