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Re: Default emacs init file location confusion

From: Yuan Fu
Subject: Re: Default emacs init file location confusion
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2020 13:53:29 -0500

> The issue at hand is what happens when neither of these exists at
> startup time.  So your proposal would not have helped here.
> We can, of course, change the preference to the opposite one when none
> of the two candidates exist, if that's what people prefer.
>> In any case, we should probably be more proactive about the problem: if
>> both exist we should emit a clear and visible warning.
> Again, that's not the situation we are discussing.
>>> The way to prevent the above is described in NEWS, btw.
>> I think this effect is sufficiently major that we can't just say "you
>> should have read the NEWS".
> The idea was that very few will want that workaround.  If everyone
> will want it, we should probably just summarily remove the XDG
> support.

I think the problem isn’t the preference of either location, but the fact that 
this default location changed and new users are very likely to be confused by 
it. If we release Emacs 27, many of the tutorials out there won’t update to 
address this change. This scenario is likely to happen: a new user installed 
Emacs 27 and run it just to see it works. Then he/she added .emacs.d/init.el 
following a tutorial, but none of his/her configuration take effect. He/she 
would almost certainly have no idea what’s the problem. In fact, he/she would 
probably suspect that there’s problem with the configuration code.

Instead of focusing on which default location to use, we can do what VIM does 
(IIRC): if no configuration file is found, prompt user when creating one. I 
remember that VIM says “you don’t have a configuration file, and we are 
creating one at ~/.vimrc, is that ok? …” I think this way the user is clear 
where the config file is, and the problem I describes above wouldn’t happen. 
This should only happen when Emacs is running interactively though.


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