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Re: xdisaster

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: xdisaster
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 19:12:52 +1000
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.95 (gnu/linux)

Sean Sieger <address@hidden> writes:

> Tim X <address@hidden> writes:
>    (though I'd highly recommend using the customize interface).
> Why is that?
> That bit of code bugs me at the bottom of my .emacs; maybe that's
> because I don't know elisp, so that the little I write, I want to be
> handwritten--`all mine'.

A couple of reasons. 

There are/can be situations where just a simple (setq ....) doesn't work as you
would expect. The customize interface can be setup so that setting a value
through that interface actually causes specific elisp functions to execute that
correctly set things or change things in a consistent manner. 

I've also had situations where for some reason, (setq doesn't work and the
default value still takes precedence. However, as soon as I set it through
customize, it works as expected. 

Using customize is quick, avoids silly errors that take time to debug and
allows me to spend time on more rewarding activities. It also has the advantage
of presenting all the user customizable aspects of a package in a convenient
and consistent manner. Most of the time, I can start some new mode/package I'm
not familiar with and when I see it doesn't do something the way I'd like it
to, I simply do a M-x customize <ret> package and all the ways I can modify the
behavior are there in front of me. I don't have to go through manuals or code
listings to try and work out how I can change things. Instead of spending hours
working out how to do something like change an indent style for a programming
mode or stop some feature from using its own frame etc, I just follow the
options presented by customize. I don't need to know if the setting is a
symbol, a boolean, a sequence, etc. 

This is possibly just a personal matter of taste, but I prefer to
actually put any elisp writing towards new functionality rather than
just simply setting some default values to customize behavior. For me, writing
basic setq statements and simple lambdas for load hooks etc is far less
rewarding than trying to write something completely new using elisp. 


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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