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Re: Opaque objects and Emacs documentation

From: Andy Moreton
Subject: Re: Opaque objects and Emacs documentation
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 00:40:38 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (windows-nt)

On Fri 24 Jul 2020, Andy Moreton wrote:

> On Fri 17 Jul 2020, Stefan Monnier wrote:
>>> Basically, you are saying that in your opinion this is as it should
>>> be, and cannot be helped.
>>> 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.
>> I believe in this specific case, the issue is that the shape can and
>> will change and not only over time.  The only thing defined is an
>> interface and any code which relies on more than this interface
>> (e.g. a function which relies on completion-tables being lists of
>> strings) will break sooner or later.
>> Of course, that doesn't prevent the doc from giving *examples* to show
>> the intended behavior.
> I have read this (rather long) thread, and its discussion of all kinds
> of low level detail, but it seems the bigger picture is missing.
> Documentation is needed for three distinct audiences:
> a) Emacs users
> b) Developers adding new methods to provide a new project implementation
>    which conform to the project API (genric functions)
> c) Developers extending the project.el infrastructure.
>    This is already covered by the commentry in the code (I hope).
> Taking the first two cases in turn:
> a) Users:
> Currently there is no documentation that I can see in the manuals for
> the project feature for users. As an ordinary user, it is not clear what
> problem project.el solves, or how it helps users with their work.

Having sent this, I then found that there is a "Working with Projects"
section in the manual, but which is not easily found from the top level
and is not indexed so it can be found by looking for "project".


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