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Re: fancy-splash-screen customize group...

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: fancy-splash-screen customize group...
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 20:30:08 -0600 (CST)

   I think more obvious buttons for beginners to press are global state

No, I know for an absolute fact that the opposite is true.

Many of these whole buffer buttons did not work for years without
anybody noticing.  The whole buffer "Reset" and "Reset to Saved"
buttons did not work for five and a half years before somebody
noticed.  The whole buffer "Erase Customization" button _never_ worked
in the eight years in between the time that Custom was first included
in Emacs and a few weeks ago when I (very reluctantly, because it is a
dangerous button) made it work.

The way the "Reset" and "Reset to Saved" buttons were fixed two and a
half years ago very likely introduced bugs because, to make the
buttons work, it removed some checks that in all probability were
there for _some_ reason.  (My fix to "Erase Customization" did not
remove those checks.)  Nobody will ever notice these bugs, if they are
present, however, because nobody ever uses these buttons.

One should under no circumstances encourage anybody, certainly not
beginners, to use these buttons.  They are completely untested: nobody
uses them.  Their code is fragile.  Any apparently unrelated change in
Custom can easily badly break them badly without warning (and nobody
will notice, because nobody uses them).  Their effect is so drastic
that bugs in them can have very bad consequences.  Especially those
three "Reset" type buttons are very bad.

If you use any of these whole buffer buttons, then I strongly
recommend that you use numbered backups of your Custom file and never
automatically delete any of them.



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