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ideas for customize
ideas for customize
Sat, 3 Jan 2009 16:49:26 -0700
Recently two people expressed different opinions on the value of
customize. I hope that this email helps create more understanding.
A lot of people seem to find customize irksome. I very much
appreciate the work that went into it and the philosophy
behind it, but I admit that I, too, don't use it (except for
faces because I don't know how to do those otherwise).
Here are some extemporaneous ideas for possible ways to
These are just my impressions and some of them might be
incorrect. I might have missed a few things.
However, I hope that they are useful. :)
- the customizable entries should stand out. but some
are in a special face while others are not. help text
and docstrings look the same as the entries. a special
face, perhaps red, used for all customizable entries and
not used for anything else, would help.
- help text does not take into account window-width. it
should fill according to window-width minus a fixed
amount. this should also optionally occur for docstring
text, ideally trying to notice, filladapt-style, when
there is a table, a list, or code.
- it is not easy to navigate with the keyboard. n and p
get stuck on values, then you have to manually go to the
- too many keystrokes to try various settings (e.g. try
- perhaps something like orgstruct minor mode could be
used to organize the customize buffer so that users do
not have to learn a special way of interacting.
- a more flexible infrastructure for customize-changed,
which also works for large packages that do not come
with emacs, might be nice.
- the difference between "undo edits" and "reset to saved"
is not clear. rewording would help.
- it is not clear how to .emacs -ize custom code. simple
for variables, less so for faces. also not clear when
to do so, in the case of faces. for example, will a
restart of emacs be necessary?
- having the entries in custom-set-variables and
custom-set-faces include the (useless for it but useful
for the user) setq or set-face (or whatever it is) would
make it easy to cut and paste from the custom section to
your own .emacs.
- it is not easy to hide and unhide. a key would be
easier than buttons.
- have help text tell you how.
- trees should be easier to fold and unfold, perhaps with
- a command for next and previous (perhaps redefining n
and p) which also optionally hides and unhides
everything as you navigate, would also help.
- it seems to say changed outside of customized even when
it is not. have not tracked this down. comment
- choosing numbers to choose the state requires a
translation step. selecting by letter would be less
Again these are just possibilities for improving the (imo)
good start that is customize.
For personal gain, myalgic encephalomyelitis denialists are knowingly
causing further suffering and death by grossly corrupting science. Do
you care about the world?
- ideas for customize,
Samuel Wales <=