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Re: proposal to make null string handling more emacs-y

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: proposal to make null string handling more emacs-y
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:10:57 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.94 (gnu/linux)

> There's a lot of code out there that's forced to do type assertions on
> string args that could be simplified if these common functions could
> accept nils.

I can believe that (it's often handy to use "nil-in-nil-out" when
composing functions which may return nil).  But there's also the risk
that you hide real errors, leading to weird behaviors that are more
difficult to track down.
E.g. one package uses some other package's var before it's initialized,
so with the current semantics you might get a clean error, whereas with
your proposed semantics you might get some weird behavior where the user

  why doesn't bar find my thingy even though C-h v foo-var tells me it's
  set to "/some/path"?

-- Stefan

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