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Re: user-controlled load-path extension: load-dir

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: user-controlled load-path extension: load-dir
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 23:01:56 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.110014 (No Gnus v0.14) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Thu, 10 Mar 2011 12:20:53 +0900 "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> 

SJT> Ted Zlatanov writes:
>> For me those reasons are modularization and easy code deployment on a
>> personal level.  I think I've been clear on that and wonder how you
>> determined your reasons were the good ones.

SJT> My definition of "good" is pretty strict here.  That is, "the need is
SJT> sufficiently great, and the problem sufficiently difficult for users
SJT> to solve on their own that it's appropriate to introduce new
SJT> problems."

There's a lot of "daddy knows best" packed in your definition, isn't
there?  I find your "users will feel pain and the maintainer will suffer
embarassment" emotional arguments unappealing and somewhat patronizing,

>> Who said load-dir is supposed to avoid problems?  As with the earlier
>> comment about broken code, if you screw up your configuration layout in
>> any form, you go and fix it.  Emacs should indicate where the error
>> happened, but beyond that it's a user issue.

SJT> But here *Emacs is screwing up the configuration* by automatically
SJT> downloading and installing code, at least according to several
SJT> advocates' proposals.

I have not advocated such a thing and am against it; if I implied
otherwise I apologize for the misunderstanding.  el-get's *bootstrap*
may reside in the load-dir, but all the packages it manages won't.

SJT> Again, *this is not theory*.  This is based on more than a decade
SJT> of experience with such systems in XEmacs.  Users do *not* view
SJT> this as "oh, I messed up again".  They view it as "if Emacs is not
SJT> going to do it right, it should tell me to do it myself."

I view it as "I enabled the load-dir feature, maybe I should understand
it."  You keep insisting on holding the user's hand.

FWIW XEmacs rewrote and broke my .emacs without prompting last time I
had to use it to debug a Gnus problem, so I'm pessimistic about the way
it holds the user's hand.


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