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Re: Cleaning up and structuring user-emacs-directory

From: Amin Bandali
Subject: Re: Cleaning up and structuring user-emacs-directory
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 01:03:51 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > Would it not be better to follow the freedesktop spec?
>   > https://specifications.freedesktop.org/basedir-spec/basedir-spec-0.6.html
> Concretely, what change would that mean in Emacs?

In short, the approach that I proposed divides up `user-emacs-directory'
into multiple subdirectories and keeps `user-emacs-directory' as the
all-in-one source of a user's Emacs files, while the XDG Base Directory
approach as suggested by Gunnar would imply keeping only configuration
files in `user-emacs-directory', and moving data and cache files to
"$XDG_DATA_HOME/emacs/" and "$XDG_CACHE_HOME/emacs/" respectively, where
'XDG_DATA_HOME' defaults to "~/.local/share" and 'XDG_CACHE_HOME' to

The pros of the approach I proposed include `user-emacs-directory'
remaining self-contained like before, and it being divided up into
subdirectories for specific categories of files for each package.  The
cons of the approach include it not following a particular spec such as
the XDG Base Directory spec.

The pros of the XDG Base Directory approach suggested by Gunnar include
the proposed behaviour by Emacs conforming to the XDG Base Directory
spec, which has been seeing adoption among GNU/Linux applications.  Its
cons would include `user-emacs-directory' no longer being the one-stop
shop for the user's Emacs files, a more significant departure from
Emacs's traditional behaviour.

I'm personally leaning towards the former, somewhat more conservative
approach, but could see the arguments for the latter as well.  I'm
interested in hearing other folks' thoughts and opinions, and other
pros/cons they can think of.

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