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Re: Eliminating "changed in Emacs outside of Customize"

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Eliminating "changed in Emacs outside of Customize"
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 08:30:22 -0500

    > Could you tell us the reason why you designed Custom to recognize a
    > state of "changed in Emacs outside of Customize"? 

    If you .emacs, or some third party code you activate from ".emacs",
    contains "(setq foo 42)" and you change and save "foo" from customize,
    you changes to the variable through customize will be overwritten next
    time you start Emacs.

Are you saying your concern was specifically for the case
where foo is set outside Custom *from the init file*?

What about the case where the user just evals M-: (setq foo 42) RET
while running Emacs?  Do you see a reason why this needs to be
described as "changed outside Customize"?  If instead it were
described as "Set but not saved", exactly as if the user had used
Customize to set it to 42, do you see any problem that would happen?

    In order for customize to work non-surprisingly, it has to be the only
    interface for changing the variable.

Why do you think so?  In particular, if changes outside Custom
were treated as if they had happened within Custom, what problem
do you envision?

One way to implement this is to identify the "customized value" of a
variable with its Lisp value.  Another way is to copy the Lisp value
to the "customized value" on various occasions, such as at the
beginning of doing certain operations on the widget.

Thanks for the explanation text.  I will put it into cus-edit.el.

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