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Re: Customize buttons that change user's customfileshouldaskforconfirmat

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: Customize buttons that change user's customfileshouldaskforconfirmation
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 20:31:55 +0000 (UTC)

   I don't understand this. Set All (F=>C) means set all current
   values (C) to the values shown in the edit fields (F). What does
   this have to do with the init file?

Everything is written to the init file (or files loaded from it); that
is where customization forms are evaluated.  So `Set All (F=>C)' means
to set in the init file those values changed by customize.  

Or are you suggesting that the form be evaluated in some place a user
cannot see?  I can understand doing that; but it makes it less likely
that the person will learn to write simple forms.  Customization is,
after all, an automatic expression writing and evaluating function.
Not only do people like to see what the Lisp expression looks like, we
want to encourage them to do so!  After all, that leads to hacking.

The customize automatic expression writing action is rather like the
(not very good) function that came with Calc mode more than a decade
ago and since been removed.  The difference is that the Calc mode
automatic expression writing function wrote `defun' expressions and
could handle anything you could put in a keyboard macro of the time;
the Customization functions write `custom-set-*' expressions instead.

       Presumably, `Save All' means simply `automatically write
       custom-set-* values into your initialization file, write that
       file, and then evaluate it'.

   I was with you up until the last clause, "and then evaluate it". 

Well, when you `Save for Future Sessions' the new value takes effect
right away.  The expression is evaluated.  At least, that is what
happens now.  (I just checked.)

So save `all' must mean that _all_ customizations are saved and also
evaluated.  That means saving and evaluating your .emacs file.

Perhaps the button should be reworded to `Set and Save All'.  That is
clearer to me; I prefer this wording.  But it takes more room.  The
help (or `tip') on the button or function should explain that saving
the init file also involves evaluating it, so the new valued become
effective, that is, they become set as well as saved.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the rewording to
`Set and Save All' even if it is longer.  After all, you can set
values in your initialization file without saving it; and you can save
it without evaluating it.  You have led to a good point.

    Robert J. Chassell                         
    address@hidden                         GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
    http://www.rattlesnake.com                  http://www.teak.cc

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