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RE: option doc strings and Customize tags

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: option doc strings and Customize tags
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 23:45:15 -0700

> normally long values will either be indirect (eg, the value of
> variable whose name can be used instead of the value), or they will be
> compounds in which case a compound widget will be used so that the
> components can be changed.

"Normally", no. Typically, yes.

But even variable and function names can be long enough to encumber a menu item
as an annotation. And then there are long string values (regexps, fonts),
sometimes multi-line. And long sexps (e.g. lambdas). And tags themselves can be

A glance at existing defcustoms in the elisp dir shows that. Most values are
short, but some are not.

Take a look at option `align-rules-list', for example. Though compound, many of
its components are very long regexps or lambdas (e.g. over 300 chars). It's not
your average defcustom, but it's by no means abnormal either.

Nevertheless, adding short values to the menu items, next to the tags, is a good
start - certainly better than offering users no correspondence at all. Practice
will then show whether it proves satisfactory.

Come to think of it, the value-vs-tag confusion is really a problem only for
symbol-valued `const' values anyway, for the most part. So adding the value
annotations only for symbol `const' values (in a `choice') would probably not be
too bad a solution. Only the occasional long symbol name plus long tag name
would be problematic.

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