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Re: emacspeak intialization

Hi Alex,

I'll try to clarify why I think we should not rush to get rid of the -q.

The benefit of having -q is that we know that emacs and emacspeak are running in a known good state. This can be quite important, especially for new users as otherwise it is almost impossible to provide assistance to resolve their problems because the search space of possible causes is too large.

There is even a benefit with having the -q for more experienced users when they start to configure emacs and emacspeak. There are a number of ways you can break emacspeak when configuring emacs and lose speech. Having a script which returns the system to a known good state means you can start emacs with speech, edit or remove the configuration changes which have caused the problem and then start again. I think this has become even more important with the growth in popularity of package systems like ELPA as I've found a number of occasions when installing an ella package that the package is not compatible with emacspeak without additional tweaking.

Most experienced emacs and emacspeak users don't tend to use the default script once they start customising emacs and emacspeak. Instead, they create their own setup. For example, I have emacspeak called directly from my .emacs.d startup scripts and just run emacs directly rather than running the provided shell script. In fact, I'd argue that if you don't yet have the level of understanding to create your own configuration, then you possibly are not ready and when you are ready, you should roll it yourself. If you get it wrong, you can revert to the default script and work out where you went wrong.

Your argument appears to be that the -q switch can cause confusion because the new user doesn't realise it is there and doesn't understand why they cannot use custom or create a customisation file. I agree this can happen, but feel the real solution is to improve the documentation so that they are more likely to be aware the switch is being used rather than remove the switch. For me, removing the switch is like addressing the symptom of the problem rather than addressing the cause of the problem, which is really an awareness issue and an indication we need to improve the documentation.



Tim Cross

On 10/10/2013, at 8:06 AM, Alex Midence <alex.midence@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Ok, I admit it, I'm rather dense today.  Please help me understand something, if you would.  Why is the -q needed?  I can't wrap my head around anything else until I understand that.  Nobody likes the -q because you can't customize Emacs if you run it with that flag.  All I was saying was change the little batch file to which I now have a desktop shortcut called emacspeak.bat for people to download in future.  I changed it myself and it was extremely easy and minor but, if someone doesn't know where to look for it, they might have a devil of a time figuring out what's wrong.  That's all I was saying.  I really didn't mean to indicate I felt all that much work needed doing.  The problem I sought to solve with my suggestion was:  How do we get Emacspeak to run for someone initially ready to be customized and personalized from the get-go with minimal work on the part of the developer?
> Rather confused,
> Alex
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jarek Czekalski [mailto:jarekczek@xxxxxxxxxxx] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 11:05 AM
> To: emacspeak@xxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: emacspeak intialization
> W dniu 2013-10-09 17:32, Alastair Irving pisze:
>> I agree regarding the -q switch.  However,  its still included in the 
>> emacspeak.sh script on linux and we presumably want things to be as 
>> consistent as possible.
> This is the thing I want to fix. That's why I put a note about it in readme file in Windows version. The road is not easy, because core emacs doesn't want to help. Here is a fresh discussion on subject on emacs-devel list:
> http://emacs.1067599.n5.nabble.com/run-load-a-lisp-script-before-user-init-file-tp299200.html
> As you said, Alastair. I would like to fix it in a cross-platform way. 
> But if someone does it before me, that's even better. The only thing is to synchronize with each other, not to duplicate our work. Here is my plan:
> 1. Locate site-start and remember its directory  2. If necessary, create a new site-start.el in (car load-path).
>    load-path must be checked while run through a script with -Q or -q  3. Create a site-start.d directory  4. Put a testing script in that directory  5. Run emacs and test if the script gets executed  6. If the script is not executed, make site-script.d executable
>    directory (details in thread mentioned above). This change is to
>    stay forever in Emacs, uninstall won't remove the directory. This is
>    the thing Emacs should do for us, but admins there are not
>    interested. Storing the directory name in a site-start-d variable
>    should also be a handy thing.
> 7. Place a startup script in site-start.d  8. The script will test if env var ACTIVATE_EMACSPEAK is set. Only then
>    will it activate emacspeak.
> Points 1-6 should be spread as a universal workaround for the lack of site-start.d in Emacs.
> On Windows we have additional problem, becase dll files must be in the system path. Currently it is done by batch file, so putting a load command in user init file may be not enough to fire our app. Maybe a complete initialization script will solve this issue. Or I'll try to link whole library into a single dll.
> Jarek
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