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Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes
Date: 19 Nov 2003 23:53:57 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

> 1.  Setting the variable with set-variable would not have any effect
>     other than maybe to confuse Emacs internals or the user.  This is

Sounds like a bug: if it works via customize-variable, there's not good
reason why it can't work with set-variable.

> 2.  The value is long and/or complex and specifying or editing it in
>     the minibuffer is going to be awkward.

That's a fringe case that nobody has ever complained about, so it's
clearly not a big deal.  In other words: no harm.

> 3.  It would be set only in init files.  This is one that is
>     apparently not followed consistently at
>     all. `inhibit-startup-message' has a `*' in its documentation
>     string.  I doubt that setting it interactively with set-variable
>     is going to have a lot of effect.  Anybody trying to do so is
>     probably mistakenly believing that it is going to affect future
>     sessions.

And here's an example of my claim that programmers don't understand the

> Basically, everything can be summarized with: "use `*' if and only if
> setting the variable with `set-variable' makes sense".  I should say
> that the fact set-variable itself will indeed not distinguish (not even
> for completion) between `*' or no `*' is not very consistent with

And the fact that nobody has ever complained about the fact that
set-variable can be used on vars that don't have a * (as long as they're
defined with `defcustom') indicates that it is not a bad behavior.


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