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Re: Lisp files that load cl-lib in problematical ways

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Lisp files that load cl-lib in problematical ways
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2023 13:28:28 +0000

Hello, Eli.

On Thu, Oct 19, 2023 at 15:55:34 +0300, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2023 12:34:42 +0000
> > Cc: rms@gnu.org, incal@dataswamp.org, emacs-devel@gnu.org
> > From: Alan Mackenzie <acm@muc.de>

> > So, I counted all the occurrences of "cl-" not inside an
> > eval-when-compile, by piping all the dumped .el files through the
> > following script:

[ .... ]

> > and got the following results:

> > abbrev.el:2
[ .... ]
> > vc/vc-hooks.el:1

> If the above is correct, then how do you explain that in "emacs -Q" I
> don't see the cl-lib feature present?

Because the files that use cl- don't have a (require 'cl-lib) in them.
Quite a lot of the function calls are things like cl-assert, cl-incf, or
cl-defgeneric, which won't cause the loading of cl- until they are
actually run.

> My conclusion is that your program has a bug.

Maybe, but there are definitely run time uses of cl- in our dumped .el
files, such as a cl-incf in font-lock.el which creates the gradually
increasing row of dots which are displayed for large files (or, at least,
used to be).

> > That may not be 541 occurrences, but it's still 239.  Incidentally, when
> > I start emacs -Q, cl-lib isn't yet loaded for me, either.

> Exactly.  How come, if all of the above-mentioned files load it?

See above.  

> > > We cannot possibly expect people to contribute code if we force them
> > > not to use the macros they are used to.  If cl-lib is not loaded as
> > > result, that is good enough for us, I think.

> > We "force" them to use Emacs Lisp, but they still contribute.  The
> > problem is that use of cl- makes maintenance of other people's code much
> > harder, at least for me.  I'm sure I'm not alone.

> I'm sorry, but the above is how I feel we should treat our
> contributors, if we want to keep the existing ones and attract new
> ones.

I'm not urging you to change anything; merely expressing regret at the
existing state of affairs, and possibly inviting contributors in general
to use cl-lib a little less.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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