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Re: [External] : Re: Default custom file was: Re: Propose to add setup-w

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: [External] : Re: Default custom file was: Re: Propose to add setup-wizard.el to ELPA
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2022 18:13:11 +1100
User-agent: mu4e 1.7.5; emacs 28.0.90

Drew Adams <drew.adams@oracle.com> writes:

> Thank you for taking the time to express your
> point of view clearly and in detail.

Thank you for considering my points (I'm now feeling a bit like one of
WB chipmunks!).

>From your response, there are a couple of additional points I'd like to
make to clarify some things.

The reason I don't think just setting the custom file to some value
really covers the full scope of the change is because in addition to
that change, it will also be necessary to add code to make emacs load
that file. This means either the timing of loading that file would then
be up to Emacs or we would have to add some other switch to disable
automatic loading to restore user control over loading that file. So
already the 'simple' change proposal has added additional complexity
(albeit small). There could be other corner cases I've not thought of as
well, especially once we add a new 'toggle' for the loading behaviour.

The change management aspects I referred to are perhaps a little subtle
and are certainly hard to quantify. However, it is often way too easy to
underestimate the impact of such change and identify what needs to be
done to mitigate it. This impact can be especially hard to recognise
when you are invested in the change. Things which need to be considered
(some of which have been mentioned) include

- dealing with impact on existing users
- updating documentation, including manuals, howtos, faqs etc
- managing the confusion that will arise due to the amount of existing
  and easily found information out there (stack overflow, reddit, wikki,
  blogs, books etc) which will be out of date and will likely cause more

Just dealing with the first one will likely result in the final solution
being more complex than simply setting a default custom file value,
which in turn will make the other points more substantial to deal with.

The above are some of the reasons I think it may be misleading to
characterise the proposal as something simple. However, I would be in
support if I thought this was an actual problem needing to be addressed.
TO me, it really does feel more like a solution in search of a problem
or at the very least, a change which will result in non-trivial effort
(at various levels) when there is little evidence it is really required. 

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