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Re: Some developement questions

From: Alexis
Subject: Re: Some developement questions
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2018 17:35:33 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.1.0; emacs 26.1

hw <address@hidden> writes:

Maybe Emacs should give us warnings when it discovers outdated, deprecated or useless settings in ~/.emacs.

i imagine many people might want this; but many people might /not/ want this if it has a noticeable impact on startup times. Startup times don't usually have an impact on me personally, since i run an Emacs server at machine startup and connect clients to that. From what i've read, however, a number of people find even an extra 0.5s-1.0s in startup to be significant when jumping in and out of a non-client Emacs instance. So if this feature did have an impact on startup times, people would want to be able to enable and disable it at will.

get into documentation hell because it's hard to tell which documentation is up to date

One of the pleasures i find in using Emacs is its extensive accompanying documentation, documentation which (in my experience) is typically far better maintained than that of many other projects[1]. As someone who has been using Emacs for around 20 years, i very much appreciate the comprehensive NEWS file with each release, which allows me to quite quickly ascertain what changes have been made that might affect my configuration and workflow (e.g. changed default values).

i say this because i'm wondering which area(s) of documentation you're having these difficulties with? If you're talking about the Emacs Wiki at emacswiki.org, well, as far as i'm aware, that's not an official wiki, is it[2]? Nor is wikemacs.org. i personally much prefer the latter to the former. But i strongly feel that people's first destinations when searching for documentation should be the Emacs Manual and the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual - only after not being able to locate the information in those manuals, making sure to make use their excellent indexes, should one consider trying to find information on the two wikis. i regularly find myself responding to "How do I do X in Emacs?" questions with "Here's the relevant section of the relevant manual." At any rate, one should certainly consider submitting a bug report about inadequate or inaccurate documentation for functionality shipped with Emacs. Even if no volunteer can immediately address it, at least it's recorded as something for potential volunteers to work on.

I had auto-complete working (until I disabled it because it got into my way by trying to automatically complete everything when I used Emacs for something I didn't install auto-complete for), installed from a git repo somewhere on github.

Do you literally mean the `auto-complete.el' package and its associated `ac-*' packages? Is that still maintained? i'm using `company` as my autocompletion framework, myself. But neither is shipped with Emacs, and there's no index entry for `auto-complete' or `autocomplete' in the Emacs Manual, which probably comes as a surprise to the many people who have come to expect autocompletion as basic functionality in a programming environment .... i think this is indeed a problem, but unfortunately, i don't have any suggestions as to how it might be addressed. :-(



[1] OpenBSD is probably the other project i think of when thinking of excellence in documentation. Comparing `man 4 intro' for the Linux kernel vs. `man 4 intro' for the OpenBSD kernel is eye-opening.

[2] i have the impression that many people assume it /is/ an official Emacs wiki, so if its not, this fact might need to be somehow emphasised or made more clear.

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