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RE: [External] : Re: fido-vertical bindings

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [External] : Re: fido-vertical bindings
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 05:18:40 +0000

> > > > The whole idea or "internal only" is
> > > > inappropriate for free software, IMHO.
> > > Bollocks.
> > Bollocks, IMHO.
> I agree with your position that "internal only" is
> reasonable, with the meaning you conveyed:
> "Internal only", in free software, means "We may change this interface
> at any time.  Please don't call it.  If you do call it, and your code
> breaks, that is not a bug; don't expect us to 'fix' it."
> That is a perfectly legitimate position for a developer to take.

Yes, it is.  And I think it's about what I said:

  All it can mean is that you might not want
  to modify XYZ because at some point Emacs dev
  might change the code so that your code that
  uses that modification no longer does what
  you wrote it to do.

  It's a head-up, to save you trouble dealing
  with possible code changes. Any more limiting
  interpretation of it is misguided, IMO.

It's letting users know that the code might
change at any time - you've been warned not to
expect otherwise.  I don't think it _can_
legitimately mean anything more than that.
It's an aid to users, as a heads-up.  It's not
a "Verboten!" sign.

I wrote in response to this:

 > If the user can modify it then it needs to be
 > a customize.  The users shouldn't modify normal
 > variables as they are intended to be for internal
 > uses only.

If that "should" is meant as "you probably don't
want to do that, and here's why: because you
probably don't want to write code that depends
on code that's likely to change" - then I agree
(for "internal" vars, not "normal" vars).

But if that "should" is meant as something more
than that, then I disagree.  There's nothing
"wrong" with ignoring an "internal only" sign.
There's nothing hidden or walled-off about such
code - and intentionally so, as free software.

If the "only" in "internal only" means we don't
want to encourage dependence on it, then yes.
If the "only" means something more, as in "ours
not yours - hands off!", then no.

And I don't think that "normal variables" are
considered for internal use only.  Most normal
variables aren't flagged as "internal only".
defcustoms aren't the only variables users can,
or "should" be able to, change.

(The old term for options, "user variables",
is even a bit unfortunate, as if only they
were open to use by users.)

There's a lot that can be packed into a little
expression such as "internal only".  Nuances
matter.  A message of "Off limits!" isn't very
helpful, IMO.  A message of "There be dragons!"
can be helpful.

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