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Re: [Emacs-diffs] master a4144af 1/2: Prefer ~/.config/emacs to ~/.emacs

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: [Emacs-diffs] master a4144af 1/2: Prefer ~/.config/emacs to ~/.emacs.d if neither exists
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2019 23:25:26 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.8.0

Eli Zaretskii wrote:
Why should we force this convention on platforms other than GNU/Linux?

We're not forcing the new convention on any platform, as people who prefer the old convention can still use it and Emacs will continue to respect that convention on all platforms. That is, users who prefer the old convention won't need to do anything special to their home directories that use the old convention; they can just run Emacs as before and it will work as before.

The issue came up when I was testing a fix for the bug Glenn reported <https://bugs.gnu.org/583#56>. There are four cases when Emacs starts up:

(1) only ~/.config/emacs (the new-convention directory) is present, where Emacs obviously should use that;

(2) only ~/.emacs.d (the old-convention directory) is present, where Emacs obviously should use that;

(3) both directories are present, where I recall that we discussed that Emacs should use the new-convention directory; and

(4) neither directory is present, which we did not discuss explicitly but I reasoned by analogy with (3) that Emacs should also prefer the new convention when either the old or the new will do.

It would be quite odd if case (4) were done the opposite way, because then Emacs would prefer the new convention for case (3) and the old convention for case (4), and this mixup would likely cause more confusion than it would cure.

Whatever we decide about case (4) should be independent of platform, since some users move config files between GNUish and non-GNUish platforms or share these files via network protocols or run Emacs on both GNUish and non-GNUish platforms, and it would cause unnecessary trouble for users if Emacs behaved differently on GNU/Linux versus other platforms.

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