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Re: files.el: Patch to make project-settings optional/customizable

From: Juri Linkov
Subject: Re: files.el: Patch to make project-settings optional/customizable
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 00:45:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

> As for its name: we're not wedded to it, AFAIK.  It was the result of
> a pretty long thread, so it's not going to be easy to find something
> else that's more or less consensual.  But for starters, if people could
> argue about why it's "ugly", maybe we can tweak it.

Looking at the current documentation and function names we can see
a wide diversity of used terms:

  directory local variables
  variable settings
  project settings
  project classes (that have nothing to do with OOP!)

All this is very confusing.

In http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/78366/focus=78378
Richard said that the term "project" is misleading and asked to
rename "project" in the documentation and the function names.
But for unknown reasons that was not really done for the function names.

Also in http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/78366/focus=78404
Stefan asked to rename "project" to "directory variables" or
"directory-local variables" that was eventually renamed in the manual but
not in code.  And even Tom tended to think that "project" is a misnomer ;)

So let's get rid of "project" in the function names and use the common
prefix dir-local-variables by analogy with file-local-variables.
This also suggest renaming "bindings" and "settings" to "variables".

Since the only term the user have to remember will be "directory-local
variables" this suggests using a file name derived from it.  Since
the file name should be short a good candidate is ".dir-locals.el".

It is similar to the file name used by the good package
http://www.loveshack.ukfsn.org/emacs/dir-locals.el that is now
obsoleted after the same functionality is implemented now in files.el.
But dir-locals.el uses a different file name, so ".dir-locals.el" has no
conflict with this package and can be considered as inheriting a good
file name from it.

I've also checked in long threads
that the file name ".dir-locals.el" doesn't contradict
the reached consensus, because

1. it is still a dotfile with a leading . in its name,
2. the file name ends with `.el',
3. there is no `emacs' in the name.

Juri Linkov

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