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Re: 23.0.50; `mode-name' variable docs out of date WRT features

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: 23.0.50; `mode-name' variable docs out of date WRT features
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 23:22:59 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>> > But this value doesn't work everywhere.  There are files (bookmark.el
>> > is one) that expect the value to be a string, as the manual says.
>> > Stefan, could you redo that differently, then ack?
>> No, it'd be a step backward.

> Er, but the documentation _does_ say: "Pretty name of current buffer's
> major mode (a string)." ... and presumably many coders have relied on
> that description... what should they do?

It's not like we never break backward compatibility in such minor ways,
is it?


PS: I would more cynically say that even if the doc had always said it
could contain any "mode-line-format" thingy, 99% of those same coders
would still not have written code to handle the non-string case.
My experience dealing with Elisp packages is that it's mostly written
by copying bad examples on the web rather than by reading the doc.

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