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RE: Customize buttons that change user'scustomfileshouldaskforconfirmati

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Customize buttons that change user'scustomfileshouldaskforconfirmation
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 13:27:06 -0800

       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.

I don't think so. I don't think that's what happens now, at least, for Set.
"Setting" something in the init file is really (automatically editing and)
_saving_ it. The term "set" refers today to setting the _current value_.

    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.

See above. AFAIK, Set is not involved with custom-set* in any way; it simply
does F=>C.

    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.

Save does mean set and save, so, yes, the current value is updated to the
same value that is written to your custom file. That is not the same thing
as evaluating your entire .emacs file, however.

I personally think that "Save" is clear enough, but you are correct that the
semantics behind the button are set and save. The tooltip and doc string
could make that explicit, as you suggest.

    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.

How can you save Customize settings without also setting their current
values (today)? And, again, changing a value in your init file is not what
is meant currently by "set"; "set" refers to setting the current values.

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