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Re: Summary and next steps for (package-initialize)

From: Radon Rosborough
Subject: Re: Summary and next steps for (package-initialize)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:20:55 -0700

> > However, if Emacs is started with no init-file, then a default
>                        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > one will be generated and loaded (except in 'emacs -Q').
>                                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> What does that mean?  Are you perhaps distinguishing between
> switches -q and -Q?  If so, why would the former lead to
> generating an init file but not the latter?

I mean that if user-init-file is nil, then no template init-file is
generated. But if user-init-file is non-nil, and the corresponding
file does not exist, then the template init-file will be generated

It is my understanding that 'emacs -Q' (and 'emacs -q') skip loading
the init-file, so I was using 'emacs -Q' as a shorthand for "init-file
is not loaded, and user-init-file is nil".

> Personally, I don't think Emacs should be generating init files
> in any case.  And certainly not generating an init file that
> does something with the package system.  Emacs should continue
> with the point of view that you start it, by default, with no
> init file - no code at all.  Nada.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said. However, a
significant number of people on this list disagree, which is why I
have made a middle-of-the-road proposal that is more likely to be

Do you agree that my proposal (only an init-file generated if one
doesn't exist) is at least better than the current situation
(hand-written init-file is modified programmatically by Emacs)? I'd
like to fix the brokenness of the current situation before trying to
move towards the best possible solution. If we accept this proposal,
we could later think about things like removing (package-initialize)
from the template init-file (although I doubt this will happen anytime
soon, if ever, based on the feedback I got).

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