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Re: toolbar conventions

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: toolbar conventions
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 14:22:56 -0600 (CST)

Richard Stallman wrote:
   Does anyone have any ideas on the issue of how to use the term
   "option"?  That issue is more important--it is not just an issue of
   punctuation, it is inconsistent use of a word.  Would someone like to
   study the situation and find out which uses occur where?

The name "user option" used to pretty consistently refer to variables,
although occasionally some remarks about them may have applied to
faces too, without this being explicitly mentioned.

It appears that this started to change somewhere around the beginning
of this year, with changes like:

2005-01-30  Richard M. Stallman  <address@hidden>

            * custom.texi (Easy Customization): Defn of "User Option"
            now includes faces.  Don't say just "option" when talking
            about variables.  Do say just "options" to mean "anything
            customizable".  (Specific Customization): Describe
            `customize-variable', not `customize-option'.

This appears to be a rather radical change in terminology, especially
when supposedly preparing for a release.  It would require going very
carefully through code and manuals, if we wanted to be consistent.  I
believe that the majority of places in the Emacs code and docs still
use the word "user option" to mean "user variable".

The change would require some getting used to it for existing users,
used to the old terminology.  Even if we consistently change all code
and manuals, use of the old terminology is likely to find its way back
in, through commits from people unaware of the change.  I myself was
unaware of it, until today.  I read through custom.texi, but somehow I
just thought that it used "option" in a loose way, for convenience.



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