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save-abbrevs nil by default


From: Alex Schroeder
Subject: save-abbrevs nil by default
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 10:34:39 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.090004 (Oort Gnus v0.04) Emacs/21.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu)

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In GNU Emacs 21.1.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu, X toolkit, Xaw3d scroll bars)
 of 2001-10-31 on confusibombus
Important settings:
  value of $LC_ALL: nil
  value of $LC_COLLATE: nil
  value of $LC_CTYPE: nil
  value of $LC_MESSAGES: nil
  value of $LC_MONETARY: nil
  value of $LC_NUMERIC: nil
  value of $LC_TIME: nil
  value of $LANG: de_CH
  locale-coding-system: iso-latin-1
  default-enable-multibyte-characters: t

Please describe exactly what actions triggered the bug
and the precise symptoms of the bug:

The Emacs manual says in the node "Saving Abbrevs":

       Emacs will offer to save abbrevs automatically if you have changed
    any of them, whenever it offers to save all files (for `C-x s' or `C-x
    C-c').  This feature can be inhibited by setting the variable
    `save-abbrevs' to `nil'.

This seems to indicate that save-abbrevs is on by default.  This is
not so, however.  I suggest to change the default value of
save-abbrevs to t.  This is specially important for newbies:  They
will loose their abbrevs if they trust the Emacs manual and quit
Emacs, expecting Emacs to save their first abbrevs.

The documentation of save-abbrevs is clearer on the issue: "Loading an
abbrev file sets this to t."  This forces newbies to go through the
first loop by hand: to write abbrevs and read them again manually.

When the default is changed, newbies only have to add the relevant
command to their .emacs file.

I suggest the following changes to the manual as well.  After the
following paragraph --

       `M-x read-abbrev-file' reads a file name using the minibuffer and
    then reads the file, defining abbrevs according to the contents of the
    file.  `M-x quietly-read-abbrev-file' is the same except that it does
    not display a message in the echo area saying that it is doing its
    work; it is actually useful primarily in the `.emacs' file.  If an
    empty argument is given to either of these functions, they use the file
    name specified in the variable `abbrev-file-name', which is by default
    `"~/.abbrev_defs"'.

-- add:

Thus, add the following to your `.emacs' file:

@example
(quietly-read-abbrev-file)
@end example

Furthermore, let me suggest another change to write-abbrev-file.
Instead of using the following to read the file name:

    (read-file-name "Write abbrev file: "
                    (file-name-directory (expand-file-name abbrev-file-name))
                    abbrev-file-name)

Use something which indicates what filename will be used:

    (read-file-name (concat "Write abbrev file: (" abbrev-file-name ") ")
                    (file-name-directory (expand-file-name abbrev-file-name))
                    abbrev-file-name)

The reason I suggest this is because when faced with such a "save-as"
prompt with an initial value of "~/", I immediately assume that either
the current file name will be used, or that no file name is provided
as a default.  That's why in this case, an explicit listing of the
default name should be given.

Alex.
-- 
http://www.geocities.com/kensanata/
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love.
        -- Turkish proverb



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