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Re: Opaque objects and Emacs documentation

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Opaque objects and Emacs documentation
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:53:35 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 17.07.2020 09:56, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

Or at least that the possible options will require the client to treat
the values as "opaque" exactly the same way.

Basically, you are saying that in your opinion this is as it should
be, and cannot be helped.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I think there is no better technological choice. Otherwise I would have used it.

What should help is coming up with a better, consistent way to document these things.

Which I think is against long-time Emacs tradition for documenting its
interfaces, and by that facilitating extensibility.  It is IMO wrong
to fill Emacs application levels with opaque objects which cannot be
usefully described; they should be a rare exception, but definitely
not the rule.

The problem here is that even if you document a particular value, it's _not useful_. It doesn't show you what you can or should do with it.

The main thing thing the user can do with that value is misuse it, by relying on its shape in the client code.

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