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Rant on ...

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Rant on ...
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:47:29 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hello, Emacs.

I'm trying to investigate bug #16184 (where on attempting C-u C-M-x on
certain elisp macros, edebug throws the error "Wrong type argument:
consp, nil").

I set debug-on-error to t, then repeat the procedure to get a backtrace.
The information looks useful, especially when I set truncate-lines to
nil.  Which is a pain in the posterior to have to do EVERY TIME.  What
is the thinking behind using truncate-lines to hide information from the
user?  This is a minor niggle, but it happens so often that it all adds
up to a significant nuisance.  Are there really hackers who prefer to
see only some of the relevant debugging information?

But this is nothing compared with the practice of only printing some of
the backtrace.  Much of the info I want to see has been omitted and
replaced by "...".  For example, in the middle of one of the backtrace's
lines appears:

    (edebug-after (edebug-before 0) 5 (let ((foo ...))))

.  This makes me angry.  What patronisingly insulting piece of Emacs has
decided I don't really want to see what "..." is hiding?  Does it think
the full output might overtax my brain?  Does it think I'm only
interested in seeing a rough outline rather than the full details?  How
dare it!

I would really like to spend the rest of the evening investigating bug
#16184.  Instead I'm forced, once again, to spend valuable time trying
to identify which arcane settings I need to set to non-default to stop
Emacs hiding the truth from me.  (Just for information, I set
print-le\(ngth\|vel\) to nil many years ago, and I've just tried setting
edebug-print-le\(ngth\|vel\) to nil, to no avail).

If anybody knows offhand what settings I need to make, please tell me.

Would anybody object to my getting rid of this obfuscation in Emacs, and
setting the appropriate defaults (whatever they are) not arbitrarily to
truncate backtraces and other info users have requested?

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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