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Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes

From: Simon Josefsson
Subject: Re: doc elisp intro cross reference fixes
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 19:55:28 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Per Abrahamsen <address@hidden> writes:

> On the other hand, it should also be clear that
> 1) programmers don't understand the distinction
> I spend a lot of time fixing removing or adding "*" from Gnus options,
> most other developers seemed to either add it always or never.  Even
> to the degree of adding or removing * from old code so everything was
> the same.
> 2) programmers can't judge when an option is something users would
>    want to change as part of normal use
> 3) having too many choices for set-variable is much less of a
>    problem than having too few.

To be fair to us programmers that doesn't understand the distinction:
the elisp manual should probably be attributed a large part of the
blame, because it is not very clear on what programmers should do.
Assuming programmers will intuitively know how to use "*" is asking
for too much, I think.  If the manual was clear on when to use "*"
with both defvar and defcustom, at least programmers would be able to
learn the distinction.

> so I think it would be best to retire the "*" convention entirely.
> Actually enforcing it would be too much work for too little gain.

FWIW, I agree.

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