GNU bug report logs - #66706
[PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion

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Package: emacs; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: Mattias Engdegård <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>; Keywords: patch; dated Mon, 23 Oct 2023 17:48:01 UTC; Maintainer for emacs is bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN.

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From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
To: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <87cyx227gx.fsf@HIDDEN> (Po Lu's message of "Wed, 25 Oct 2023
 20:48:46 +0800")
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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 10:56:50 -0400
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Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
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> OK, and why is it such a reply does not suffice?  And why would any
> measure short of initializing lexical-binding to t eliminate these
> people, when so many have failed in the past?

Initializing lexical-binding to t by default is currently not an option,
because it would introduce too much breakage.  For this reason, we need
to take smaller steps that will later make this change possible.

> How will the automatic insertion of lexical binding cookies in new files
> affect M-: or IELM, both of which already execute lexically bound code?

Because it will reduce the occurrence of the case where I copy a chunk
of code which relies on dynbind and then incorrectly execute it in
lexbind mode in `M-:` or ielm.


        Stefan





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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> Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 16:06:43 +0300
> Cc: luangruo@HIDDEN, mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
>  stefankangas@HIDDEN
> From: Dmitry Gutov <dmitry@HIDDEN>
> 
> On 25/10/2023 15:03, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> >> From: Stefan Monnier<monnier@HIDDEN>
> >> Cc: Eli Zaretskii<eliz@HIDDEN>,  Mattias Engdegård
> >>   <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>,66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
> >>    stefankangas@HIDDEN
> >> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 22:01:25 -0400
> >>
> Regarding intermediate steps toward making 'lexical-binding: t' the 
> default, are you of the opinion that we've made enough of them now? And 
> will just be able to flip the default in some future release?

I thought we already answered this question by YES.




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bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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To: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
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On 25/10/2023 16:20, Po Lu wrote:
> We cannot make lexical binding the default until an adequately
> proficient writer is found to explain it within the Emacs Lisp
> introduction.

Do we have an explanation there of "dynamic binding"? Or mentions of any 
features that wouldn't work in the context of lexical binding (e.g. 
referencing a local variable of a caller function)?

If so, those would be the places to start with.




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bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
To: Dmitry Gutov <dmitry@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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Dmitry Gutov <dmitry@HIDDEN> writes:

> I wasn't aware of that indication myself, FWIW. Or forgot.
>
> Regarding intermediate steps toward making 'lexical-binding: t' the
> default, are you of the opinion that we've made enough of them now?
> And will just be able to flip the default in some future release?
>
> All in all, I'd say the byte-compilation warning "file has no
> =E2=80=98lexical-binding=E2=80=99 directive" which we already show might =
suffice. But
> it only helps after the user learns how to byte-compile files and/or
> enable flymake-mode.

We cannot make lexical binding the default until an adequately
proficient writer is found to explain it within the Emacs Lisp
introduction.  Any volunteers?  For doing so would certainly be more
conducive towards that goal.

But today's software types are generally more interested in the much
simpler (if doubtfully efficacious) expedient that is coercion.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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To: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>, Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
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On 25/10/2023 15:03, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>> From: Stefan Monnier<monnier@HIDDEN>
>> Cc: Eli Zaretskii<eliz@HIDDEN>,  Mattias Engdegård
>>   <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>,66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
>>    stefankangas@HIDDEN
>> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 22:01:25 -0400
>>
>> Just to be clear: the long term goal is to eliminate the dynbind
>> dialect, or at least make it be an opt-in that requires taking extra
>> steps, such as adding a cookie to the file, whereas the lexbind dialect
>> should be the default.  Not because dynbind is evil.  Not because it
>> imposes an undue burden on the implementation.
>> But because having two dialects imposes an undue burden on our users.
>> Those who read all the docs may not care, but all the others are
>> vulnerable to the usual "I copied the code from that webpage and it
>> doesn't work" because the code on that webpage used the other dialect.
>>
>> So the question is how to move from here to there in the least
>> painful way and I believe that inserting this cookie by default is a step
>> that will make this transition less painful.
> I thought we already decided on that: we should make lexical-binding
> the default at some point.  Until then, I see no reason why the
> prominent indication on the mode line should not be enough.

I wasn't aware of that indication myself, FWIW. Or forgot.

Regarding intermediate steps toward making 'lexical-binding: t' the 
default, are you of the opinion that we've made enough of them now? And 
will just be able to flip the default in some future release?

All in all, I'd say the byte-compilation warning "file has no 
‘lexical-binding’ directive" which we already show might suffice. But it 
only helps after the user learns how to byte-compile files and/or enable 
flymake-mode.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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On 25/10/2023 15:17, Stefan Kangas wrote:
> This will mean that a lot of users will have a Bad Time (TM) when we
> eventually change the default to lexical-binding:t.  We can help
> mitigate that pain, or we can choose not to.

There will be such users, but their number will likely be lower than 
some might expect, simply because the lexical dialect very much 
resembles how programs are written in other languages these days.

To use a feature specifically available only in dynbind (e.g. access a 
local variable from a caller function), one would really have to know 
about it. But of course there can be typos, wrong refactorings, etc, 
which could contribute.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <jwvedhjx7gh.fsf-monnier+emacs@HIDDEN> (Stefan Monnier's message
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Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> writes:

> There's no patronizing, here.  Just experience.  It *is* a source of
> confusion.  I've seen enough such examples during my time in SX where
> people give a valid answer, followed by comments like:
>
>    "doesn't work here" --Mr.Foo
>    "I assumed you have lexical-binding enabled, try enabling it and see
>     if it works" --Mr.Bar

OK, and why is it such a reply does not suffice?  And why would any
measure short of initializing lexical-binding to t eliminate these
people, when so many have failed in the past?

> I don't doubt that our users have the capacity to solve those problems.
> It's just that my sadism is already satisfied by all the other problems
> we foist on them.

Then please inure yourself to such trifling matters of theirs.  Those
who are ignorant of lexical binding will run afoul of it once, learn
their lesson, and from that time forward routinely check whether it is
enabled.

You are not obliged to guarantee that no person stumbles across this
pitfall, and we are long past the juncture after which the law of
diminishing returns begins to assert itself in full force.  Such
"safeguards" as those proposed here will irk the informed and the
ignorant alike, while the latter, which is to say those who elect not to
read the documentation, take notice of the prominently decorated mode
line lighter, or heed advice given to them on forums such as
StackExchange, will continue not to enable lexical binding where it is
due.  As they have always done.

I am not the only person empty of the =C3=A9lan for lexical binding that
serves as the impetus for these increasingly heavy-handed measures,
incidentally.  Eli seems to agree with me.

> I myself get bitten by the different dialects every once in a while,
> sometimes even copying code within Emacs itself (typically taking
> a chunk of code from a buffer and running it inside `M-:` or `M-x
> ielm`).

How will the automatic insertion of lexical binding cookies in new files
affect M-: or IELM, both of which already execute lexically bound code?




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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To: Nikolay Kudryavtsev <nikolay.kudryavtsev@HIDDEN>, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
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From: Dmitry Gutov <dmitry@HIDDEN>
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On 25/10/2023 15:36, Nikolay Kudryavtsev wrote:
> Same thing here. Assuming the user is reasonable, but not knowledgeable 
> yet, there's a risk that forcefully adding that cookie would derail such 
> a user solving some trivial problem into learning the differences 
> between dynamic and lexical scoping way before he really has to actually 
> care about them.

Knowing the difference can be helpful, though.

E.g. flymake in emacs-lisp-mode isn't very useful without lexbind.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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On 25/10/2023 14:48, Stefan Monnier via Bug reports for GNU Emacs, the 
Swiss army knife of text editors wrote:
> I myself get bitten by the different dialects every once in a while,
> sometimes even copying code within Emacs itself (typically taking
> a chunk of code from a buffer and running it inside `M-:` or `M-x
> ielm`).

+1




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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I think a better perspective to frame this discussion is this:

Lets say you go to a restaurant and you order a duck. The waiter asks 
whether you want a white duck or a yellow duck. And then you're stuck 
thinking about the differences in gastronomic quantities of both.

Same thing here. Assuming the user is reasonable, but not knowledgeable 
yet, there's a risk that forcefully adding that cookie would derail such 
a user solving some trivial problem into learning the differences 
between dynamic and lexical scoping way before he really has to actually 
care about them.





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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN> writes:

> We should also ask ourselves if this is not "too much".  I think it
> is, since a clear indication of dynamic binding, with a face that
> makes it stand out, already exists on the mode line.  I think this is
> enough.

I expect the users most helped by this to not even register that warning
on the mode line.  It's quite inconspicuous.  I never see it, myself.

We have had the mode-line warning for years, yet most user
configurations still implicitly use "lexical-binding:nil".  Just have a
look at the configurations posted on GitHub, Reddit and elsewhere.

This will mean that a lot of users will have a Bad Time (TM) when we
eventually change the default to lexical-binding:t.  We can help
mitigate that pain, or we can choose not to.

The controversial choice here is to see this situation coming yet refuse
to take reasonable steps to help.  That would be unfortunate, and a
disservice to our users.

> It is not Emacs's business to force users into something they don't
> want to do.

No one disagrees with that, AFAICT.  The proposed patch has a user
option to disable the new behavior.




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> From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>,  Mattias Engdegrd
>  <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>,  66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
>   stefankangas@HIDDEN
> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 22:01:25 -0400
> 
> Just to be clear: the long term goal is to eliminate the dynbind
> dialect, or at least make it be an opt-in that requires taking extra
> steps, such as adding a cookie to the file, whereas the lexbind dialect
> should be the default.  Not because dynbind is evil.  Not because it
> imposes an undue burden on the implementation.
> But because having two dialects imposes an undue burden on our users.
> Those who read all the docs may not care, but all the others are
> vulnerable to the usual "I copied the code from that webpage and it
> doesn't work" because the code on that webpage used the other dialect.
> 
> So the question is how to move from here to there in the least
> painful way and I believe that inserting this cookie by default is a step
> that will make this transition less painful.

I thought we already decided on that: we should make lexical-binding
the default at some point.  Until then, I see no reason why the
prominent indication on the mode line should not be enough.




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> enough.  It is not Emacs's business to force users into something they
> don't want to do.

Not inserting a cookie (i.e. what we do now) forces the use of the
dynbind dialect.  In my experience, most users either don't know which
dialect they want or want the lexbind dialect.

This is reflected in the fact that almost all the code I find out there,
is either using lexbind or is old: the only code still using dynbind is
the code that started its life before lexbind existed, pretty much.
And this is to be expected: lexical scoping is the standard in virtually
all programming languages (e.g. Python, JavaScript, C, C++, Java, C#,
Rust, ...)  so programmers are much more at ease with that choice.

So we currently do "force users into something they don't want to do"
and the patch will simply let us do that less often.


        Stefan





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From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
To: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <87h6mf1k43.fsf@HIDDEN> (Po Lu's message of "Wed, 25 Oct 2023
 11:01:00 +0800")
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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 07:48:19 -0400
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Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
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>> But because having two dialects imposes an undue burden on our users.
>> Those who read all the docs may not care, but all the others are
>> vulnerable to the usual "I copied the code from that webpage and it
>> doesn't work" because the code on that webpage used the other dialect.
> I find this categorical dismissal of the intellectual or problem-solving
> capacity, and perhaps fortitude if you will, of Emacs users very
> patronizing, needless to say with my Emacs user hat on.

There's no patronizing, here.  Just experience.  It *is* a source of
confusion.  I've seen enough such examples during my time in SX where
people give a valid answer, followed by comments like:

   "doesn't work here" --Mr.Foo
   "I assumed you have lexical-binding enabled, try enabling it and see
    if it works" --Mr.Bar

Sometimes the original poster tried to avoid the problem by including
the `-*- lexical-binding:t -*-` cookie in his snippet, but the other
user just copied that snippet to his existing file so the cookie didn't
end up on the first line.

I don't doubt that our users have the capacity to solve those problems.
It's just that my sadism is already satisfied by all the other problems
we foist on them.

I myself get bitten by the different dialects every once in a while,
sometimes even copying code within Emacs itself (typically taking
a chunk of code from a buffer and running it inside `M-:` or `M-x
ielm`).

> Furthermore, it is quite dubitable that minor customizations of the
> sort found on most web pages are suceptible to influence by the type
> of variable binding used.

And yet.


        Stefan





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <jwvpm13xz2s.fsf-monnier+emacs@HIDDEN> (Stefan Monnier's message
 of "Tue, 24 Oct 2023 22:01:25 -0400")
References: <17C83052-7946-45DE-B660-DA7EB82001B0@HIDDEN>
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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 11:01:00 +0800
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Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> writes:

> The lexbind dialect is the dialect we recommend:
>
>     Lately Emacs is moving towards using lexical binding in more and
>     more places, with the goal of eventually making lexical binding the
>     default.  In particular, all Emacs Lisp source files and the
>     @file{*scratch*} buffer use lexical scoping.
>
> So why should a new file default to using the dynbind dialect instead?

Because that is the default, rather than a mere recommendation.  A
suggestion is an idea its recipients are meant to judge for themselves,
on the grounds of its merits and deficiencies.

> We simply can't satisfy everyone: either we impose the dynbind
> dialect by default (the current situation) or we impose the lexbind
> dialect by default.  In both cases you can look at it as something
> imposed out of a sense of superiority, but I don't think that is
> a useful way to look at it.

There is no quandary between default values here.  This change is borne
out of both a desire to _retain the status quo_, and a belief that our
users are of such low intellectual caliber as to require instruction for
even the most elementary of tasks, so that the one pious way of writing
Emacs Lisp code is inculcated into them from the outset.

> Those users who read all the docs can easily turn that option off if
> they so wish.  We shouldn't decide on what's a good defaults based
> on them.

As mentioned above, we are not adjuding which form of variable binding
is to be enabled by default.

> Just to be clear: the long term goal is to eliminate the dynbind
> dialect, or at least make it be an opt-in that requires taking extra
> steps, such as adding a cookie to the file, whereas the lexbind dialect
> should be the default.  Not because dynbind is evil.  Not because it
> imposes an undue burden on the implementation.
> But because having two dialects imposes an undue burden on our users.
> Those who read all the docs may not care, but all the others are
> vulnerable to the usual "I copied the code from that webpage and it
> doesn't work" because the code on that webpage used the other dialect.

I find this categorical dismissal of the intellectual or problem-solving
capacity, and perhaps fortitude if you will, of Emacs users very
patronizing, needless to say with my Emacs user hat on.  Furthermore, it
is quite dubitable that minor customizations of the sort found on most
web pages are suceptible to influence by the type of variable binding
used.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@HIDDEN>
In-Reply-To: <CADwFkmnqXAVvJfU6pAE_acMnuDf+O+cmRXfGje1mE3SadakJzg@HIDDEN>
 (message from Stefan Kangas on Tue, 24 Oct 2023 13:22:03 -0700)
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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> From: Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@HIDDEN>
> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 13:22:03 -0700
> Cc: Mattias Engdegård <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>, 
> 	66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
> 
> Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> writes:
> 
> > That makes the patch completely useless.  There's already an opt-in
> > solution (via `auto-insert`), so I'd oppose this patch if it's OFF by
> > default since it's just added complexity.
> 
> Indeed.  I also can't see any downsides to making it non-optional.
> 
> I think we should mainly ask ourselves if this feature will help users.
> In my opinion, the answer is clearly yes, in almost all cases.  For the
> rest, a very small minority indeed, the patch provides a user option.

We should also ask ourselves if this is not "too much".  I think it
is, since a clear indication of dynamic binding, with a face that
makes it stand out, already exists on the mode line.  I think this is
enough.  It is not Emacs's business to force users into something they
don't want to do.  Emacs never did that, and should not do that in the
future.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 05:27:30 +0300
Message-Id: <83y1frjv1p.fsf@HIDDEN>
From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
In-Reply-To: <jwv7cnbn83o.fsf-monnier+emacs@HIDDEN> (message from Stefan
 Monnier on Tue, 24 Oct 2023 15:19:46 -0400)
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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> From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
> Cc: Mattias Engdegrd <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>,
>   stefankangas@HIDDEN,  66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 15:19:46 -0400
> 
> > As mentioned earlier, please make the automatic insertion be off by
> > default, and please reflect that in the NEWS entry.
> 
> That makes the patch completely useless.  There's already an opt-in
> solution (via `auto-insert`), so I'd oppose this patch if it's OFF by
> default since it's just added complexity.
> 
> The whole point of this patch is to help those users who don't
> know better.

But we already have ample features that help those "who don't know
better".  We turned on lexical-binding by default in *scratch* and
other situations, and we have the prominent indication in the mode
line when dynamic binding is in effect.  How much more is needed, and
why?

This looks like an overkill to me.  Almost like tyranny.  And
inserting stuff into a buffer without the user's say-so is completely
against the Emacs spirit.

So I'm very much against this.  I can live with it if it's off by
default, but if you and others cannot live with such a compromise,
then neither will I.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
To: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <87pm131pq6.fsf@HIDDEN> (Po Lu's message of "Wed, 25 Oct 2023
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Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
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> I want this off by default.  We teach users to enable lexical binding in
> the Lisp introduction and a myriad of other places; inserting lexical
> binding cookies is not "the icing on the cake", but a gesture that
> implies we should override the judgement of our users, and are willing
> to browbeat them into abiding by such notions of ours.

The lexbind dialect is the dialect we recommend:

    Lately Emacs is moving towards using lexical binding in more and
    more places, with the goal of eventually making lexical binding the
    default.  In particular, all Emacs Lisp source files and the
    @file{*scratch*} buffer use lexical scoping.

So why should a new file default to using the dynbind dialect instead?

> Similar measures taken by other software bespeaks the existence of a
> sense of superiority in their developers; doubtless,

We simply can't satisfy everyone: either we impose the dynbind
dialect by default (the current situation) or we impose the lexbind
dialect by default.  In both cases you can look at it as something
imposed out of a sense of superiority, but I don't think that is
a useful way to look at it.

> they think it beyond their users to read several pages of
> documentation pertaining to lexical binding, and to make from that an
> informed decision.

Those users who read all the docs can easily turn that option off if
they so wish.  We shouldn't decide on what's a good defaults based
on them.

> We never insert text to enforce our conceptions of good practice in any
> major mode.  Such is the first step down a very precipitous slope, which
> culminates in the adoption of the haughty attitude that other software
> has seized upon with particular zeal.

Just to be clear: the long term goal is to eliminate the dynbind
dialect, or at least make it be an opt-in that requires taking extra
steps, such as adding a cookie to the file, whereas the lexbind dialect
should be the default.  Not because dynbind is evil.  Not because it
imposes an undue burden on the implementation.
But because having two dialects imposes an undue burden on our users.
Those who read all the docs may not care, but all the others are
vulnerable to the usual "I copied the code from that webpage and it
doesn't work" because the code on that webpage used the other dialect.

So the question is how to move from here to there in the least
painful way and I believe that inserting this cookie by default is a step
that will make this transition less painful.


        Stefan





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From: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <87pm131pq6.fsf@HIDDEN> (Po Lu's message of "Wed, 25 Oct 2023
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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 09:20:35 +0800
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Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN> writes:

> I want this off by default.  We teach users to enable lexical binding in
> the Lisp introduction and a myriad of other places; inserting lexical

I was mistaken here.  Lexical binding is briefly mentioned as
non-default behavior.

So why are we attempting to remedy this pitfall of the novice in Emacs
Lisp mode by inserting a feature hitherto _undocumented_ in our manual
for the uninitiated?  Everything suggest to me that documenting lexical
binding in the manual is the proper course of action.

> binding cookies is not "the icing on the cake", but a gesture that
> implies we should override the judgement of our users, and are willing
> to browbeat them into abiding by such notions of ours.
>
> Similar measures taken by other software bespeaks the existence of a
> sense of superiority in their developers; doubtless, they think it
> beyond their users to read several pages of documentation pertaining to
> lexical binding, and to make from that an informed decision.
>
> Users who know what lexical-binding controls will enable it without any
> wheedling, should they so desire.  Users who don't or won't will delete
> the cookie, then repine about its presence; quite justly at that, for
> software which holds its users in such low regard is nothing except
> impertinent.
>
> We never insert text to enforce our conceptions of good practice in any
> major mode.  Such is the first step down a very precipitous slope, which
> culminates in the adoption of the haughty attitude that other software
> has seized upon with particular zeal.

I recognize this argument is grounded wholly on principle, but principle
itself is as important a consideration as any other.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Po Lu <luangruo@HIDDEN>
To: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <jwv7cnbn83o.fsf-monnier+emacs@HIDDEN> (Stefan Monnier's message
 of "Tue, 24 Oct 2023 15:19:46 -0400")
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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 08:59:45 +0800
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Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>, 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
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Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> writes:

>> As mentioned earlier, please make the automatic insertion be off by
>> default, and please reflect that in the NEWS entry.
>
> That makes the patch completely useless.  There's already an opt-in
> solution (via `auto-insert`), so I'd oppose this patch if it's OFF by
> default since it's just added complexity.
>
> The whole point of this patch is to help those users who don't
> know better.
>
>
>         Stefan

I want this off by default.  We teach users to enable lexical binding in
the Lisp introduction and a myriad of other places; inserting lexical
binding cookies is not "the icing on the cake", but a gesture that
implies we should override the judgement of our users, and are willing
to browbeat them into abiding by such notions of ours.

Similar measures taken by other software bespeaks the existence of a
sense of superiority in their developers; doubtless, they think it
beyond their users to read several pages of documentation pertaining to
lexical binding, and to make from that an informed decision.

Users who know what lexical-binding controls will enable it without any
wheedling, should they so desire.  Users who don't or won't will delete
the cookie, then repine about its presence; quite justly at that, for
software which holds its users in such low regard is nothing except
impertinent.

We never insert text to enforce our conceptions of good practice in any
major mode.  Such is the first step down a very precipitous slope, which
culminates in the adoption of the haughty attitude that other software
has seized upon with particular zeal.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN> writes:

> That makes the patch completely useless.  There's already an opt-in
> solution (via `auto-insert`), so I'd oppose this patch if it's OFF by
> default since it's just added complexity.

Indeed.  I also can't see any downsides to making it non-optional.

I think we should mainly ask ourselves if this feature will help users.
In my opinion, the answer is clearly yes, in almost all cases.  For the
rest, a very small minority indeed, the patch provides a user option.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
To: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <8334xzlvy9.fsf@HIDDEN> (Eli Zaretskii's message of "Tue, 24 Oct
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> As mentioned earlier, please make the automatic insertion be off by
> default, and please reflect that in the NEWS entry.

That makes the patch completely useless.  There's already an opt-in
solution (via `auto-insert`), so I'd oppose this patch if it's OFF by
default since it's just added complexity.

The whole point of this patch is to help those users who don't
know better.


        Stefan





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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> From: Mattias Engdegård <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>
> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 19:31:33 +0200
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>,
>  66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org,
>  Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
> 
> Here is an updated patch, now with a test.

As mentioned earlier, please make the automatic insertion be off by
default, and please reflect that in the NEWS entry.

Thanks.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

Message received at 66706 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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Here is an updated patch, now with a test.

Not sure if this belongs in the manual, but if so it's probably in the =
Elisp manual ('Selecting Lisp Dialect'), right?


--Apple-Mail=_99AF7CD7-EDAA-4EEB-A008-E149862B67F9
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--Apple-Mail=_99AF7CD7-EDAA-4EEB-A008-E149862B67F9--




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bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
From: =?utf-8?Q?Mattias_Engdeg=C3=A5rd?= <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>
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23 okt. 2023 kl. 21.21 skrev Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@HIDDEN>:

> Yeah, it's not something we usually do.  But we also don't change =
Emacs
> Lisp in such a fundamental way very often (once every 40 years, give =
or
> take?).  So I think veering from what we usually do is justified.

It's actually a rather timid feature as language modes go. They are =
supposed to act in their users' best interests, after all.

> I also note that this can only help and will never hurt users.

Right. This always informs our designs.

The feature is carefully designed not to get in the way. It is not =
opinionated: it does not add any other header, footer, copyright text, =
preamble or anything else.

Not including the cookie at all is the odd choice, and it is not =
unreasonable having to type C-p C-k in that rare case.






Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#66706: [PATCH] Automatic elisp dialect insertion
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Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN> writes:

>> This patch inserts the lexical cookie in new Elisp files automatically.
>> It helps users by making it less likely that they forget to add it, and eliminates some drudgery.
>> Their code will be more future-safe, and more robust and performant here and now.

Sounds good to me.

> This could be an optional feature, but not the default.  It is
> un-Emacs'y to insert stuff into user files or buffers without an
> explicit consent.  We have several auto-insert features in Emacs, and
> they are all optional, so this one must be optional as well.

Yeah, it's not something we usually do.  But we also don't change Emacs
Lisp in such a fundamental way very often (once every 40 years, give or
take?).  So I think veering from what we usually do is justified.

I also note that this can only help and will never hurt users.

If anyone happens to hate this, they can easily disable it.  Whereas, on
the other hand, making the feature optional makes it much less useful.

So my vote would be in favor of this change.




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From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz@HIDDEN>
To: Mattias =?utf-8?Q?Engdeg=C3=A5rd?= <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>
In-Reply-To: <17C83052-7946-45DE-B660-DA7EB82001B0@HIDDEN> (message from
 Mattias =?utf-8?Q?Engdeg=C3=A5rd?= on Mon, 23 Oct 2023 19:46:14 +0200)
Subject: Re: bug#66706: =?utf-8?Q?=5BPATCH=5D=C2=A0Automatic?= elisp dialect
 insertion
References: <17C83052-7946-45DE-B660-DA7EB82001B0@HIDDEN>
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> From: Mattias Engdegård <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>
> Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2023 19:46:14 +0200
> 
> This patch inserts the lexical cookie in new Elisp files automatically.
> It helps users by making it less likely that they forget to add it, and eliminates some drudgery.
> Their code will be more future-safe, and more robust and performant here and now.

This could be an optional feature, but not the default.  It is
un-Emacs'y to insert stuff into user files or buffers without an
explicit consent.  We have several auto-insert features in Emacs, and
they are all optional, so this one must be optional as well.

Thanks.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Stefan Monnier <monnier@HIDDEN>
To: Mattias =?windows-1252?Q?Engdeg=E5rd?= <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#66706: =?windows-1252?Q?=5BPATCH=5D=A0Automatic?= elisp
 dialect insertion
In-Reply-To: <17C83052-7946-45DE-B660-DA7EB82001B0@HIDDEN> ("Mattias
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> This patch inserts the lexical cookie in new Elisp files
> automatically.  It helps users by making it less likely that they
> forget to add it, and eliminates some drudgery.

Yes, please,

> Their code will be more future-safe, and more robust and performant here and now.

I wouldn't make any claim about "performant": there are important cases
where we execute lexically scoped code more efficiently, but there are
also cases (hopefully less important) where the reverse is true.


        Stefan





Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.

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--Apple-Mail=_D3432800-D637-4F59-A33C-6BB3EE9E184F
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
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	charset=us-ascii

This patch inserts the lexical cookie in new Elisp files automatically.
It helps users by making it less likely that they forget to add it, and =
eliminates some drudgery.
Their code will be more future-safe, and more robust and performant here =
and now.


--Apple-Mail=_D3432800-D637-4F59-A33C-6BB3EE9E184F
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(let=20((was-modified=20(buffer-modified-p)))=0A+=20=20=20=20=20=20=
(insert=20";;;=20-*-=20lexical-binding:=20t=20-*-\n")=0A+=20=20=20=20=20=20=
(setq-local=20lexical-binding=20t)=0A+=20=20=20=20=20=20;;=20Mark=20the=20=
buffer=20unmodified=20(unless=20it=20was=20modified=20before)=0A+=20=20=20=
=20=20=20;;=20so=20that=20the=20user=20isn't=20bothered=20when=20killing=20=
it=20or=20quitting=20Emacs.=0A+=20=20=20=20=20=20(set-buffer-modified-p=20=
was-modified))))=0A=20=0A=20;;=20Font-locking=20support.=0A=20=0A--=20=0A=
2.32.0=20(Apple=20Git-132)=0A=0A=

--Apple-Mail=_D3432800-D637-4F59-A33C-6BB3EE9E184F--




Acknowledgement sent to Mattias Engdegård <mattias.engdegard@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#66706; Package emacs. Full text available.
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Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham, 1997 nCipher Corporation Ltd, 1994-97 Ian Jackson.