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RE: always put Customizations in `custom-file', never in `user-init-file

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: always put Customizations in `custom-file', never in `user-init-file'
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 15:09:04 -0800

> > `custom-file' would not be loaded automatically, but only
> > when (where) the user requests via (load-file custom-file).
> If you do not mean that custom-file should be loaded automatically then
> I must have misunderstood you.

Yes, I think you did. I said that `custom-file' would be loaded explicitly:
(load-file custom-file). Just as it is now. All I proposed was that any
Customize stuff currently in `user-init-file' should be moved to

> I thought it would be a good idea to by
> default have custom-file separate,

You were right. And not just by default.

> but as Jason points out there was
> probably a good reason why this was not done from the beginning.

So what you thought would be a good idea turns out in fact to be a bad idea
simply because someone designed the status quo? Sheesh! You say you don't
know what the arguments behind the design were, but, although unknown, the
fact that they "probably" existed is enough to convince you to change your

We need never think again: our world is a product of decisions and other
actions, many of which were "probably" made consciously. Let it be.

What kind of an argument is that? Of course there was "probably a good
reason". That doesn't mean that the best decision was made then or, a
fortiori, that that decision is also the best decision now.

If you want to make specific arguments, whether repeated from a previous
discussion or not, please do. But let's not argue only from authority,
saying that whatever is, is right.

> Though I can't remember that reason now. Maybe it had something
> to do with the order of loading? Maybe it was some problem
> with custom-set-variables from the beginning?

Maybe those maybe's don't help. What about the order of loading? With an
explicit (load-file custom-file), you can have any order you like. What
problem with custom-set-variables from the beginning?

It doesn't help here to grasp at straws or appeal to authority. Let's
discuss the pros and cons and forget about imagining what someone might have
thought about this long ago, if it was in fact thought about in this way.

This is nuts. We can't have a discussion if as soon as someone says, in
effect, "that's the way it is because that's the way it was decided" we stop
thinking about it.

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