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bug#22727: Managing packages writes the user init file


From: Angelo Graziosi
Subject: bug#22727: Managing packages writes the user init file
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 19:49:15 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.6.0

I opened this bug report because John asked me:

  http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2016-02/msg00989.html

The problem here is NOT that when one customizes something this is saved in the init file but that also when one does not customize anything, the init file is changed, more or less silently. For example clicking Options -Manage Emacs packages.

Emacs did not exhibit this behavior some time ago (an year? two?)

Maybe you have to reread the full thread starting here:

  http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2016-02/msg00958.html

If you think is right that an application changes the user init file, more or less silently, you can close this bug.

 Angelo

Il 18/02/2016 17:48, Eli Zaretskii ha scritto:
From: Angelo Graziosi <address@hidden>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 01:49:36 +0100

I have noticed that just using

   Options - Manage Emacs Packages

writes my init file. For example I find these additions in my case:

(custom-set-variables
  ;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom.
  ;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
  ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
  ;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
  '(package-selected-packages (quote (tabbar-ruler sr-speedbar))))
(custom-set-faces
  ;; custom-set-faces was added by Custom.
  ;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
  ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
  ;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
  )

I discovered this only casually..

I think this is not the right thing to do. Why an application should write a 
file which belongs to the user?

This is how Custom behaves since ages ago: when you save
customizations, it writes such forms into your ~/.emacs.  The use case
with package managing is therefore not special in any way; rather, you
are proposing to divert the customizations made by Custom to a
separate file.  We already have an option to do that, named
'custom-file'; see the node "Saving Customizations" in the Emacs User
Manual.  Is that option sufficient to solve your problem in this bug
report?  If not, can you tell why not?

It is possible that your objection is somehow limited to what
package.el does, but, as written, it describes a much more broad class
of functionalities, and is not specific to package.el.

For the record, the reason why customizations are by default saved in
~/.emacs is that originally the idea was to teach users how to use
Lisp for customizing Emacs, so that users could progressively migrate
from using Custom to writing their own Lisp, as they gain proficiency.
I don't think we've abandoned this idea, even though I'm not sure it
is working as planned.






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