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bug#32643: 26; minor-mode variables

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#32643: 26; minor-mode variables
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2018 08:07:49 -0700 (PDT)

> > > As for auto-fill-mode, can you tell why it is important to have a
> > > variable there?  What cannot you do without that variable?
> >
> > No, according to the convention the shoe is on the other foot.
> > Why should it not have a variable? That's the convention.
> > Why should `auto-fill-mode' be an exception?
> Because it always was like that.

You can't even say why it was made an exception to the rule,
yet you say that it should remain such an exception just because
it was one. Amazing.

It would be one thing, if you pointed out some possible reasons
why any variable should be an exception. To just say that we
don't know why it is the way it is but it should remain a rule
breaker for unknown reasons is quite a stance.

> > You can do `C-h v auto-fill-mode' to check whether it is on.
> > Minor modes do not necessarily have mode-line lighters.
> But auto-fill-mode does have a lighter.

The point is that you cannot depend on a lighter for this in
general, because "Minor modes do not necessarily have
mode-line lighters."

And even in the case of one, like auto-fill-mode, which does
have a lighter, if you don't know that it does and the mode
is off then you won't necessarily think to try toggling it twice
and look for the lighter.

But `C-h v VARIABLE' works every time - as long as the mode
has a variable. And there are, I think, far, far fewer modes
that don't have variables than modes that don't have lighters.
(No, I have no proof of that. But do you think otherwise?)

> > > > > I think the manual already does what you want, it just doesn't say
> > > > > this is a bug (because it isn't, IMO).
> > > >
> > > > The manual says nothing, AFAICT, that provides guidance about when
> > > > a mode should not or need not have a variable. Based on what it does
> > > > say, each mode "should" have a variable. Is that your point?
> > >
> > > My point is that the manual recommends that there be a variable.
> >
> > No one disagrees that that is the case.
> Then you agree that "the manual already does what you want", yes?

No. And I've been clear about what's missing or misleading. I won't
repeat that unless it is unclear to you even after rereading what I've
already said about it.

> > > > Keeping the text suggests that there is some good reason why some
> > > > modes do not have variables.
> > >
> > > There's no such suggestion, it's just a statement of a fact.
> >
> > Why is that fact stated?
> OK, I think this discussion goes nowhere, so let's stop here.

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