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Re: [Orgmode] Docs submitted (Was Re: Advice sought on managing decision

From: Nick Dokos
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Docs submitted (Was Re: Advice sought on managing decision alternatives.)
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 18:38:49 -0500

Tom Breton (Tehom) <address@hidden> wrote:

> >
> > On Feb 11, 2009, at 2:08 AM, Tom Breton (Tehom) wrote:
> >
> >> This bug is simple.  In "Setting it all up" at the end of org-
> >> choose.el,
> >> in 6.22b a quote got introduced before progn.  That's all.  With that
> >> quote, it "evaluated" a quoted form and did nothing.  I'd send a
> >> patch,
> >> but ISTM it's easier to just press backspace once.  It's here:
> >>
> >> (eval-after-load 'org
> >>  '(progn
> >> ;;^--HERE.
> >>     (add-to-list 'org-todo-setup-filter-hook
> >>              #'org-choose-setup-filter)
> >>     (add-to-list 'org-todo-get-default-hook
> >>              #'org-choose-get-default-mark)
> >>     (add-to-list 'org-trigger-hook
> >>              #'org-choose-keep-sensible)
> >>     (add-to-list 'org-todo-interpretation-widgets
> >>              '(:tag "Choose   (to record decisions)" choose)
> >>              'append)
> >>   ))
> >
> > Hi Tom,
> >
> > I added the quote because without it, evaluating org-chose.el did error=
> .
> > It was my understanding that such a form has to be quoted.  Am
> > I missing something here?
> What error did it give?  I didn't get one here.
> Definitely the form should not be quoted.  Quoted, it does nothing.
> Demonstration (with libary `simple' which is fairly basic in emacs so
> probably loaded for everyone):
> (let*
>    ((x 1))
>    (eval-after-load 'simple (setq x 2))
>    x)
> =3D> 2
> (let*
>    ((x 1))
>    (eval-after-load 'simple '(setq x 2))
>    x)
> =3D> 1

Are you sure about this? My understanding of this differs from

eval-after-load is an ordinary function (not a special form), and
function evaluation in most LISPs (elisp in particular) evaluates
arguments before the function is called on them. So if you give it an
unquoted form, the form will be evaluated *before* eval-after-load gets
its hands on it. That seems to me to defeat the purpose. I'd think that
the thing to do is to give the quoted form as argument, then function
evaluation evaluates the argument (i.e. unquotes the quoted form,
giving back the form) which is then passed to eval-after-load for
action. The semantics of eval-after-load imply that (depending on
whether the library is already loaded or not) the form may be evaluated
once. It is then squirrelled away and if the library is ever loaded
again, it is evaluated (perhaps for the first time, perhaps for the
nth), *after* the library is loaded.

And I think your demonstration is misleading: after doing the
eval-after-load, you need to reload "simple" to trigger the "after-load"
evaluation, otherwise eval-after-load reduces to just plain eval (in
this  particular case, since simple is, as you point out, already loaded -
things would be different if you had chosen some obscure library that
is not already loaded):

    ((x 1))
    (eval-after-load 'simple (setq x 2))
    (load-library "simple")

    ((x 1))
    (eval-after-load 'simple '(setq x 2))
    (load-library "simple")

In the first case, (setq x 2) was evaluated, x was set to 2 and 2 was
passed into eval-after-load. Assuming that simple is already loaded, the
2 is evaluated: the result is 2 and it is just thrown away. After the
library is loaded again, 2 is evaluated again and the result is 2 and it
just thrown away. Since x was set to 2 before, the value of x is 2.

In the second case, (quote (setq x 2)) is evaluated, so the form (setq x
2) is passed to eval-after-load. Assuming that simple is already loaded,
the form is evaluated, setting x to 2 and giving a result of 2 (which is
thrown away). After the library is loaded, (setq x 2) is eval'led again,
setting x to 2 again, and giving a result of 2 (which is thrown away).

In both cases, the value of x (and therefore the value the let* form
returns) is 2. But it seems to me that the second case is the useful

Perhaps the most telling evidence that the quote should be there however
is the following: if you look at eval-after-load instances in the emacs
lisp directory, you'll see that the second argument in all of them is
quoted or at least (when partial evaluation is required) backquoted --
although I guess one could argue that they all originated by copying a
badly constructed precursor - the programming version of original sin!-)


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