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Re: Customize Rogue

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: Customize Rogue
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 15:58:24 +0100

On Wed, 12 Mar 2003 15:19:22 +0100, Per Abrahamsen <address@hidden> wrote:

> Yes, which is why the ":set" functionality probably shouldn't be
> considered part of customize proper, and a "set-activate" function
> that obeyed it without setting the 'customized-value' or 'saved-value'
> property would be a a good thing for philosophical reasons (and yes, I
> believe there are practical reasons as well).

I'm not entirely sure how to view :set functionality, if not a customize
thing. AFAICS, it is something used from defcustom for customize reasons.

> Well, internally it call the variable "rogue", which *does* imply a
> moral judgement.  If I had known people would be this touchy, I would
> have used another term.

I can accept that I'm touchy, but I don't think I've been wrt the use of
words in customize. I think I've complained about exactly *one* message,
and on the grounds that I consider it redundant.

Well, to be honest, I complained too about the wording of "transition
tool". But that was no code, just a message describing a new command.

> Yes.  It is very frustrating to have my code not judged by its
> functionality, but by supposedly hidden meanings and inferred
> philosophical implications.

I don't ever remember judging your code. I complained about a thing that
I don't like. I've also said that I don't like customize, *but* I've
also said that I understand pretty well that it is useful and liked by
many people.

> 1) Is it useful to some people?


> 2) Is it harmful to people who does not use it?

Some things are "harmful" to me if forced to use customize. Of course is
not your fault that people :set's things that cannot be easily invoked
through a lisp function. But it is a consequence of customize

> It means that if you edit the form and push the save button, there is
> a chance that it will not have the value you just saved next time you
> start Emacs.
> Do you think this is useful for the target audience for the form based
> interface?

Yes. The target audience would *not* use custom-setq. I would.

> Believe it or not, there are people out there who is not you,

I fail to see how did I imply otherwise. It is very difficult to discuss
what *I* do find wrong in customize without using 1st person pronouns.
Sorry if English limitations (or my lack of skills) is disturbing you.

> Some of the information you see that is
> redundant to you is intended for those people who are not you.

Yes. That's why I've suggested that should be a way for them to get it,
and for me not to get it. And you're insisting that I should because
they should.

> So you want customize to lie to you?  You (or some other Lisp package
> you may not be aware of) *did* set it outside customize, so all the
> potential problems with saving the variable will *still* occur.

If I do custom-setq, I'm setting it "outside the customization buffer",
but *most certainly not* "outside of customize", so what I really want
is customize to stop lying to me.

> Which is exactly *one* variable made *deliberately* hard to set.

No. And sorry, but I'm not going to repeat the arguments.

> All of these cases are handled by Luc's set-activate.

Sure. But I'd still get the message in M-x customize.

> However, they are still bugs because we have decided they are bugs.
> Providing 'set-activate' is a convenient workaround for the bugs,
> which may mean the bugs will take longer to get fixed.

There's, to this point, nothing in the documentation to suggest that
using :set for complex things not available through a function interface
is a bug, or wrong, or discouraged.

> If it did more, it wouldn't be useful to *any* people (including you).

Excuse me if I disagree.

> You will still get a "State: " line, the content will just make it
> impossible to distinguish the variable with those that are safe to set
> from customize.  I.e. all that happens is that you lose information.

Only if they aren't safe to use from customize. They shouldn't. A
custom-setq'd variable should be saved as a custom-setq. When I edit the
value, I'm *seeing* what it is. If I "lose" it is because I'm actively
modifying it.

> You are mistaken.  It is quite possible for a user to forget that he
> added a set-activate in his .emacs.

And so what? If he changes it, what's wrong with it?


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