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Re: "Emacs Lisp Packages" chapter in the Emacs manual

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: Re: "Emacs Lisp Packages" chapter in the Emacs manual
Date: Tue, 12 May 2020 09:59:23 +0900

> On May 12, 2020, at 0:09, Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote:
>> 1) Since people will search for "install" in the manual and the most
>> relevant section is Packages we need to add a line and a link to the section
>> about loading files and having them in the load path.
>> I did that already.
> Good.
>> 2) Now, it seems that there is no consensus about what to put in the init
>> file to have that file load automatically when emacs starts, which is what
>> a user would like to do.
> [ The first step is of course to make sure the file is found from
>  `load-path`.  ]

Like ask the user to manually do M-x load-library and see the result ?

This is somehow suggested in "Libraries of Lisp Code for Emacs" which I intend 
to refer to so I'm not sure there is a need to put too much emphasis here.

> If the file is needed simply because the user decided to split their
> `.emacs` file into several separate files, then `load` (or `require`) is
> probably fine.  That is the case where the file is a configuration
> file, i.e. loading it changes Emacs's behavior.
> If OTOH that other file is a package/library which provides a particular
> feature (in which case, loading the file *should not* change Emacs's
> behavior), then usually what should be done is add a few `autoload`s to
> load the file on-demand.

Well, actually all this started because I wanted to install Drew's help-fns+.el 
and it happens that Drew uses "require".

So, in case I want to add a similar feature set, would 'require be too much ? 
Would (autoload 'help-fns+) be sufficient ?

When I have the information about this, I think I can make a satisfactory patch 
to the manual :)

Keep in mind that this addition is for users who know a minimal subset of emacs 
lisp (enough to play with their init file), not for authors.

Jean-Christophe Helary
http://mac4translators.blogspot.com @brandelune

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