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Re: ls-lisp patch

From: Markus Rost
Subject: Re: ls-lisp patch
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 10:15:14 -0500 (EST)

   > Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 17:42:08 -0500 (EST)
   > From: Markus Rost <address@hidden>
   > If you load ls-lisp.el for some reason, for instance with
   > M-x customize-group ls-lisp
   > then the function insert-directory gets redefined.

   Sorry, I don't understand: isn't the fact that you customize the
   ls-lisp group mean that you _want_ to use ls-lisp?

No, why?  If one does not know a package, one of the things one might
do is to look at its main options, using customize-group.  Or one
might play around, call M-x customize, and then follow through the
group hierarchy, which will usually load the corresponding libraries.

In any case, I think that just loading a library should not modify the
behavior of Emacs.  Am I wrong here?

Ah, here I found something related in the manual:

(Info-goto-node "(elisp)Coding Conventions")    

   * When a package provides a modification of ordinary Emacs
     behavior, it is good to include a command to enable and disable
     the feature, provide a command named `WHATEVER-mode' which turns
     the feature on or off, and make it autoload (see *note Autoload::).
     Design the package so that simply loading it has no visible
     effect--that should not enable the feature.(2) Users will request
     the feature by invoking the command.

   (2) Consider that the package may be loaded arbitrarily by Custom
for instance.


I think that now almost all libraries follow this convention.  This
wasn't the case in Emacs 20.  Before loading a library one always had
to study first what it was exactly invoking.  It is much more
convenient if you can just load a library and then examine what it
offers, at least in principle.

Of course for ls-lisp the situation is a bit more complicated, since
the default behaviour depends on the system.

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