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library-specific customization files?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: library-specific customization files?
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 11:50:06 -0700

If this is not the right list for this, please point me to the right one. If
this is the right list, and I've misunderstood or missed something basic,
please correct me - I'm not very used to using customize.

(This is for after the release, BTW.)

1. First, I don't see `custom-file' mentioned in the Emacs (Info) manual,
but perhaps my version of the manual is not up to date.

2. When you save settings made through customize, they are saved in
`custom-file' or `user-init-file' (if `custom-file' is nil). I don't see any
other option for saving customizations. Is this correct?

3. Saving all customizations in the same file can lead to a loss of
structure - a user can end up with a huge, unordered `custom-file' or
`user-init-file'. This is the usual case, I think.

4. It would be good for a user to be able to (optionally) save
customizations to separate files that he can easily associate with their
corresponding standard library files. For instance, ps-print customizations
might be saved to custom-ps-print.el, while dired customizations might be
saved to custom-dired.el. All of these user customizations could be placed
in the same directory. They could all be loaded by default.

5. We might also consider automatically creating a single byte-compiled
version of the collection of custom-*.el files (rather than multiple
compiled files - to save load time).

I think that multiple customization files, each associated with a standard
library file, could make it easier for users to keep track of things, and
easier for them to adapt to new Emacs versions. Making this optional would
be important, because for some users this might be more confusing than

Any interest in doing something along these lines (letting users structure
customizations to reflect standard-library structure)? Has this been
discussed before? Other ideas on how to achieve this?

 - Drew

P.S. To be honest, this is essentially what I do now by hand, anyway: I have
a custom file per library file, where I keep my customizations (not
necessarily created by "customize"). I'm a bit loathe to use customize
itself sometimes, because I want to be able to keep on top of what is
modified where. This may not be the best way to go about things -
suggestions welcome.

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