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RE: Delete variables obsolete since Emacs 23

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Delete variables obsolete since Emacs 23
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2020 09:14:08 -0700 (PDT)

> > My only request is to not remove `interactive-p'.
> > My request is to please leave it "obsolete".
> The elisp manual says:
>     You can mark a named function as "obsolete", meaning that it may be
>     removed at some point in the future.  This causes Emacs to warn that the
>     function is obsolete whenever it byte-compiles code containing that
>     function, and whenever it displays the documentation for that function.
>     In all other respects, an obsolete function behaves like any other
>     function.
> The phrase "may be removed" seems a bit vague.  Would "will be removed" or
> "will probably be removed" be more accurate?

Not in my opinion.  I mean that shouldn't be what
we mean by "obsolete" or "deprecated".  Normally
it means just what the text says: there's no
guarantee that it won't be removed.

In general (e.g. outside Emacs), there's no
obligation to ever remove something that's been
deprecated (is obsolete).

In general, something that's deprecated is still
supported.  But it is not under active development,
and there may not be a lot of energy spent on
fixing its bugs.

> From where I sit, it seems plausible that someone might view interactive-p
> as just an obsolete way of writing (called-interactively-p 'interactive),
> which exists for backward compatibility, and would be available long term.
> It seems that the last part is a mis-interpretation of the intent of marking
> it as obsolete.

That's exactly the interpretation I'm looking
for.  I don't care that it's deprecated, as long
as it's still there.

> The fact that emacs maintains backward compatibility so well is one of the
> features that I appreciate the most.



> But, in this case, the fact that interactive-p
> has been obsolete for so long may give the
> impression that it would continue to be available.

I don't care about either possible impression.

I'm saying it makes sense to leave it alone.
There's no reason to remove it.  (And no reason
has yet been given.)  "It's obsolete" is not a
reason to remove it.

We're not removing
(called-interactively-p 'interactive).
Why not?

> If the underlying fact is that virtually
> all functions marked as obsolete will
> eventually be removed

Not a fact.  Not in my book, anyway.  And
certainly not in the world outside Emacs.

(Unless by "eventually" you include the
disappearance of the planet or sun. ;-))
> Also, it might be worthwhile for the elisp manual to mention one other
> difference that obsolete functions have.  When an interactive command is
> obsolete, it no longer appears as a possible completion when you press
> [tab] while entering a command-name after M-x.

That's not true either.  Perhaps you're
suggesting that such behavior should be
implemented?  (FWIW, my opinion is no.)

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