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I'm running 26.1, I don't believe I have anything weird help-related in my .emacs.

When I try to get help on a variable, C-h v, it tells me Symbol’s value as variable is void: default.

Any hints of where to look?

With the suggestion of @phils, I get the following traceback (it's longer than allowed, I've tried to edit to the relevant bits):

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (void-variable default)
  #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)()
( apply(#f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>) nil)
  helm-apply-functions-from-source( [STUFF))
  helm-compute-attr-in-sources(init (((name
  . "describe-variable") (init . #f(compiled-function ()
  #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([Keymay STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))))
  helm-initial-setup("" (((name . "describe-variable") (init
  . #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([keymap stuff]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))))
  helm-initialize(noresume nil "" ((name
  . "describe-variable") (init . #f(compiled-function ()
  #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn)))
  helm-internal(((name . "describe-variable") (init
  . #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))
  nil "Describe variable: " noresume
  nil "*helm-mode-describe-variable*" nil "" nil)
  apply(helm-internal (((name . "describe-variable") (init
  . #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))
  nil "Describe variable: " noresume
  nil "*helm-mode-describe-variable*" nil "" nil)) helm(((name
  . "describe-variable") (init . #f(compiled-function ()
  #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))
  nil "Describe variable: " noresume
  nil "*helm-mode-describe-variable*" nil "" nil)
  apply(helm (((name . "describe-variable") (init
  . #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))
  nil "Describe variable: " noresume
  nil "*helm-mode-describe-variable*" nil "" nil))
  helm(:sources ((name . "describe-variable") (init
  . #f(compiled-function () #<bytecode 0x4071e069>)) (candidates
  . helm-candidates-in-buffer) ([KEYMAP STUFF]) (action
  . identity) (persistent-action
  . #f(compiled-function (candidate) #<bytecode
  0x43c4638d>)) (persistent-help . "Toggle show help for the
  symbol") (help-message
  . helm-comp-read-help-message) (filtered-candidate-transformer
  helm-apropos-default-sort-fn
  helm-fuzzy-highlight-matches) (volatile) (match
  identity) (redisplay . identity) (header-line . "C-j: Toggle
  show help for the symbol (keeping
  session)") (multimatch) (group . helm) (get-line
  . buffer-substring-no-properties) (search helm-mm-exact-search
  helm-mm-search helm-candidates-in-buffer-search-default-fn))
  :prompt "Describe variable: "
  :buffer "*helm-mode-describe-variable*" :input nil :history nil
  :resume noresume :default "")
  helm-completing-read-symbols("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil
  nil "describe-variable" "*helm-mode-describe-variable*")
  apply(helm-completing-read-symbols ("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil
  nil "describe-variable" "*helm-mode-describe-variable*"))
  helm--completing-read-default("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil nil)
  apply(helm--completing-read-default ("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil nil)) #f(advice-wrapper
  :override completing-read-default
  helm--completing-read-default)("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil nil)
  completing-read("Describe variable: "
  help--symbol-completion-table #f(compiled-function (vv)
  #<bytecode 0x434f3dc5>) t nil nil nil) byte-code("\301
  \302p\303\002\030\304\0049\203\025\0\305\306\006\006\"\202\026\0\307\310\311\312\313\314\315\006\011!\316\"\317\320%\302\303\211\006\n9\2051\0\321\006\013!&\007\262\001\211\322\232\203?\0\003\202B\0\323\001!)C\207"
  [enable-recursive-minibuffers variable-at-point t nil
  completing-read format "Describe variable (default
  %s): " "Describe variable: " help--symbol-completion-table
  make-byte-code
  257 "r\300q\210\211\301N\206\024\0\302\001!\205\024\0\303\001!?)\207"
  vconcat vector [variable-documentation boundp keywordp]
  3 "\n\n(fn VV)" symbol-name "" intern] 13)
  call-interactively(describe-variable nil nil)
  command-execute(describe-variable)

Sorry about formatting...

But it seems to be helm related? interesting.

7
  • What does C-h c C-h v say? – NickD Jul 17 '20 at 18:34
  • Bisect your init file. You can use M-x comment-region to comment out 1/2, then 3/4,7/8,... - a binary search. You can use C-u with the command to uncomment the region. – Drew Jul 17 '20 at 22:19
  • 1
    Please provide more info - what's the variable? Show some code you use that binds/sets the variable. – Drew Jul 17 '20 at 22:21
  • Do you mean that as soon as you type C-h v Emacs gives you that error? You can also improve your question by using M-x toggle-debug-on-error and adding the error backtrace to the question. – phils Jul 18 '20 at 2:37
  • There is no variable. Yes, @phils, as soon as I hit C-h v it gives me the error. I'll try toggle-debug-on-error. – Brian Postow Jul 20 '20 at 14:50

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