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bug#21563: 24.5; discourage load-hook variables

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: bug#21563: 24.5; discourage load-hook variables
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 21:30:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Drew Adams <drew.adams@oracle.com> writes:

>> To summarize what has come up in this thread so far, the load-hook
>> convention has the following problems:
>> 1. They are never called if set by a user after a library is loaded.
>> 2. They can lead to issues like Bug#24491.
>> 3. They require every package (that wants to use them) to add boiler
>>    plate code.
>> They are also redundant since we have eval-after-load and
>> with-eval-after-load, which do not have any of the above problems.
> Here's what I'd suggest, if you are bent on removing
> all load hooks and deprecating them:
> 1. Try removing all of them from the vanilla
>    (distributed) Elisp code.
> 2. Run with that for a major release or two.  If no
>    problems, then deprecate (declare obsolete).

I'm not sure I understand the proposal.  What is the "vanilla
(distributed) Elisp code"?  What does "removing all of them" mean, and
how is removing them more cautious than adding a deprecation warning
to the variables?

Or, are we perhaps talking about different things?

IIUC, load-hooks is just a convention to:

a) (defvar foo-load-hook nil)  ;; or defcustom spanning several lines, or
                               ;; indeed no declaration at all
b) (run-hooks 'foo-load-hook)  ;; added just before the provide statement

Third party packages are free to continue doing that.  AFAICT, we have
no way to stop them -- and I wouldn't advocate for that.

Am I missing something here?

I'm not sure if this was clear, but the course of action suggested by
Glenn was to add deprecation warnings to the load-hook variables in
GNU Emacs.  Please see the attached patches for an example.

Best regards,
Stefan Kangas

Attachment: 0001-Obsolete-viper-load-hook-in-favor-of-eval-after-load.patch
Description: Text Data

Attachment: 0002-Obsolete-reftex-load-hook-in-favor-of-eval-after-loa.patch
Description: Text Data

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