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RE: wrong-type-argument listp \.\.\.

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: wrong-type-argument listp \.\.\.
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 06:16:20 -0700

> > And, as I suggested, check to see if some common data file 
> > is used, which might be corrupted.  If those programs all
> > share a common data file, that could be the culprit.  This
> > smells of something like a corrupted desktop, session, or
> > save-history file.
> That was the problem. After I spend two hours narrowing down .emacs to
> zero, purging and reinstalling every Emacs related package, I just
> remembered your last suggestion and emptied ~/.emacs.d. Now, 
> everything is working again.

Glad you found the problem.  No need to reinstall packages.  It's enough to
(temporarily) not reference (load) them.

It's about comparing two thingies over and over: one that works and one that
doesn't, and narrowing the difference until you find the problem.  Instead of
starting with a full sack that manifests the problem, and chopping the contents
in half (and half...), you can start with an empty sack (emacs -Q) and add half
(and half...).  Meme combat.

>  Stupid me!  Thank you very much for your help.

Nothing stupid about having such a problem or trying to guess what the cause is.
All too human.

That's why I replied - because we all go through this.  It's a lesson we seem to
need to relearn over and over.  Partly because, I think, we imagine that
everything was working so well together and there is so much of it and it is so
complex - we want to disturb that previously working set as little as possible.

We think, well, maybe it's just this little thing - or that one - or maybe that
one.  We feel that searching systematically would be a bit brute and blind, and
we imagine that it could take a while.

Well, being systematic, brute, and blind is in fact its strong point!  When you
haven't a clue, being systematic is smart (and grasping for straws is not).  It
is only binary search that saves such an approach from being stupid -
systematic, but fast.

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