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Re: Should `indirect-function' be preferred over `fboundp'?

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: Re: Should `indirect-function' be preferred over `fboundp'?
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2023 06:07:54 +0000

Michael Heerdegen <michael_heerdegen@web.de> writes:

> An alias is a definition.  In most cases the definition as an alias is
> intentional.  If an alias points to an undefined function, I guess that,
> in the majority of cases, this hints at some kind of problem so it's
> better to have an error rather than to circumvent the problem by using
> `indirect-function'.

Fair point.

> Are aliases to undefined functions something to expect often?  The
> compiler warns in the case when the DEFINITION is the name of an unknown
> function.  It should be the responsibility of the alias creating code to
> ensure that the alias is not broken.

In my case, it was ob-lilypond.el aliasing a function in optional
dependency, although that is not a good style (I fixed that already).

Another possible scenarios is `define-obsolete-function-alias' when the
function is not loaded for some reason (like when it is defined in a
different file). We have plenty of these in org-compat.el.

Finally, user aliases defined in the user config, where accidentally not
loading some package is not unseen (especially with `use-package' and
friends that make it more forgiving to not have some packages

I think that part of the problem _for me_ is that

(defalias 'yant/foo 'yant/bar)
(fboundp 'yant/foo) ; => t
(funcall 'yant/foo) ; => ERROR: Symbol function definition is void: yant/foo

only shows an error for `yant/foo', which is somewhat confusing.
`yant/bar' is where function definition is truly void.

That's what took me some extra time to figure out what is wrong.

Ihor Radchenko // yantar92,
Org mode contributor,
Learn more about Org mode at <https://orgmode.org/>.
Support Org development at <https://liberapay.com/org-mode>,
or support my work at <https://liberapay.com/yantar92>

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