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Re: An easier way to edit variables

From: João Távora
Subject: Re: An easier way to edit variables
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2015 15:37:28 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (windows-nt)

Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:

> T> It should work for all variables, of course, not just for 
> T> customizable variables.
> Perhaps, but I think it's significantly less useful to users if you just
> drop them into a "enter a Lisp form" interface.  It could actually be
> harmful and lose their data.

Well, M-x customize can also "lose your data". I see your point, but
this is the point of the feature: change *any variable*, including
"dangerous" variables hidden from the user. Isn't that "disabled command
because new users find it confusing" feature used anymore?

> You'd need good custom editors for strings, lists, alists, plists... and
> a guess on which one to use... and lots of luck :)  IMHO it's better to
> try to write customization tools that all users can use, and link to
> those.

Why? Assume the user knows Lisp and use form, and pass it to READ.
Did you try my prototype?

> I really think those guys are in the minority and already know about
> `setq` and `M-:` and so on. If you're targeting them specifically, it's
> not as useful as I thought.

I've known about this, well, since the beginning, and of course I do use
it. But it still sucks to have to use

  (setq find-the-variables-name-again )
  Multiple C-x o to go to the *Help* window.
  Scroll around until I find the form that I want to change.
  Copy that to the kill ring
  More C-x o
  Yank it to the minibuffer
  Remember to quote it, almost always

Perhaps I can cut down on some of these steps, but still, what Tom
proposes is way nicer.

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