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Re: Suggestion: Make tar-mode activated in Emacs

From: David Masterson
Subject: Re: Suggestion: Make tar-mode activated in Emacs
Date: 02 Aug 2001 21:09:15 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.1 (Acadia)

>>>>> "Peter" == Peter S Galbraith <GalbraithP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca> writes:

> David Masterson wrote:

>> >>>>> "Richard" == Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

>> > When the user has an init file, the init file should be able to
>> > control whether these files are used.
>> By "init file", I assume you mean site-start.el, .emacs, and
>> default.el.

> In Debian, the `init' is a directory in which you put any file you
> want loaded by Emacs.  This allows packaged Emacs add-ons to set
> themselves up without package management editing site-start.el,
> .emacs, or default.el.  The packags instead install a file under the
> init directory.  It's cleaner.

Hmmm.  Halfway to what XEmacs does.  The more I talk about this, the
more I'm beginning to realize what all the XEmacs package system does
(something I wanted to looked into, but never could find the time).
For instance:

* Each package has an "autoloads" script which establishes all the
  important functions of the package that the user might call.
* Each package has a "custom-loads" script which finds all the
  customization variables of the package so that its ready to be
  customized by the user even before its loaded

I suppose you could maintain your own "init" files, but the XEmacs
system uses the tools in "autoload.el" and "cus-dep.el" to generate
the above scripts.  Both of these tools are in Emacs 20.7 (but are
they in sync?).  This looks pretty clean in that:

* The package is not loaded unless the user wants to use it.
* The package can be customized before its been loaded.
* The default configuration is in the customizable variables.
* The package maintainer generates rather than writes the scripts.

I like it.  *AND* the tools are already in both Emacsen!
David Masterson
Sr. R&D Engineer
Synopsys, Inc.

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