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Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes

From: Kevin Rodgers
Subject: Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 13:23:49 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; SunOS i86pc; en-US; rv: Gecko/20020406 Netscape6/6.2.2

Stefan Monnier wrote:

  After (defcustom foobar 1 "hello"), set-variable is quite happy to
  let me set the variable `foobar'.

On second thought, I believe that is a bug.

It's clearly not a bug.  A misfeature maybe, but not a bug since code
was written explicitly for it.

The code you're referring to is Fuser_variable_p, right?

Anyway my point is that the difference between defcustom with and without
a * is in practice absent and in theory much too subtle and debatable to
justify its existence (after all, who knows whether users will want to set
something interactively or only at startup).

I suggest we just get rid of the distinction altogether.

I disagree.  It is a useful distinction, and programmers can take
advantage of it to prevent users from setting variables in a way that
they shouldn't (and thence submitting bug reports when they don't get
the desired effect).

I don't find the explanation of Variable Definitions in the Emacs Lisp
manual that Luc cited to be too subtle.  And I don't understand what
startup vs. session time has to do with it: it only has to do with
whether set-variable can be used interactively.

set-variable and customize are independent mechanisms that are enabled
by a doc string convention and the custom-* symbol properties
respectively, and as a programmer I'd like to retain control over those

Kevin Rodgers

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