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Re: autoload cookies for defcustoms

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: autoload cookies for defcustoms
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:31:51 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.91 (gnu/linux)

>> > Just curious.  Is there a policy, for the Lisp code distributed with
>> > Emacs, about using autoload cookies for defcustoms? If so, 
>> > what is it?
>> AFAIK the policy is: "don't do it".
>> It all too often introduces all kinds of nasty problems.
>> More to the point, I welcome patches that remove tham.
> OK.
> And what about those that use `purecopy'?

AFAIK, `purecopy' has nothing to do with it, except that *if*
a defcustom is preloaded (either because it's in a preloaded file or
because it has an autoload cookie), then it may be desirable to purecopy
parts of its default value.  But it should never be a reason to decide
whether to autoload or not.

> That's very implementation-centric, as opposed to privileging options
> that are somehow considered "important" for users to know about.

Autoloading of some defcustoms should not be used just because some
option is "important".  It should only be used when it's *necessary* for
technical reasons.

> Of course, if users can at least see all option names (all from the
> distributed libraries) as completion candidates, that will go a long
> way toward making them known to users before loading.  That will be
> a welcome improvement.

Yes, that's an improvement that's planned to address the problem that
is sometimes solved by abusing autoloading.


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