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bug#17250: 24.3; find-variable gives search-failed error message


From: Lars Ingebrigtsen
Subject: bug#17250: 24.3; find-variable gives search-failed error message
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:58:39 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Johan Claesson <address@hidden> writes:

> emacs -Q
> (defvar foo nil) C-M-x
> M-x find-variable RET foo RET
>
> This gives the following error:
>
> Search failed: "Vfoo
> "
>
> Since foo is defined interactively in the *scratch* buffer emacs does
> not know what file it belongs to.  That is expected.  I just think it
> should say something like "Don't know where foo is defined" instead of
> the above error message.

The following patch fixes the problem.

Simplest test case:  (help-C-file-name 'foo 'var)

But there are several places that use this function without checking the
return value.  Are they relying on this function to bug out with a
cryptic error, or are they all confident that the file name can be
found?

So I haven't applied it yet.  Perhaps somebody else will weigh in...

diff --git a/lisp/help-fns.el b/lisp/help-fns.el
index ec46a479ed..ab3fe3a732 100644
--- a/lisp/help-fns.el
+++ b/lisp/help-fns.el
@@ -169,7 +169,8 @@ describe-function
 ;;;###autoload
 (defun help-C-file-name (subr-or-var kind)
   "Return the name of the C file where SUBR-OR-VAR is defined.
-KIND should be `var' for a variable or `subr' for a subroutine."
+KIND should be `var' for a variable or `subr' for a subroutine.
+If we can't find the file name, nil is returned."
   (let ((docbuf (get-buffer-create " *DOC*"))
        (name (if (eq 'var kind)
                  (concat "V" (symbol-name subr-or-var))
@@ -181,19 +182,23 @@ help-C-file-name
           (expand-file-name internal-doc-file-name doc-directory)))
       (let ((file (catch 'loop
                    (while t
-                     (let ((pnt (search-forward (concat "\^_" name "\n"))))
-                       (re-search-backward "\^_S\\(.*\\)")
-                       (let ((file (match-string 1)))
-                         (if (member file build-files)
-                             (throw 'loop file)
-                           (goto-char pnt))))))))
-       (if (string-match "^ns.*\\(\\.o\\|obj\\)\\'" file)
-           (setq file (replace-match ".m" t t file 1))
-         (if (string-match "\\.\\(o\\|obj\\)\\'" file)
-             (setq file (replace-match ".c" t t file))))
-       (if (string-match "\\.\\(c\\|m\\)\\'" file)
-           (concat "src/" file)
-         file)))))
+                     (let ((pnt (search-forward (concat "\^_" name "\n") nil 
t)))
+                        (if (not pnt)
+                            (throw 'loop nil)
+                         (re-search-backward "\^_S\\(.*\\)")
+                         (let ((file (match-string 1)))
+                           (if (member file build-files)
+                               (throw 'loop file)
+                             (goto-char pnt)))))))))
+        (if (not file)
+            nil
+         (if (string-match "^ns.*\\(\\.o\\|obj\\)\\'" file)
+             (setq file (replace-match ".m" t t file 1))
+           (if (string-match "\\.\\(o\\|obj\\)\\'" file)
+               (setq file (replace-match ".c" t t file))))
+         (if (string-match "\\.\\(c\\|m\\)\\'" file)
+             (concat "src/" file)
+           file))))))
 
 (defcustom help-downcase-arguments nil
   "If non-nil, argument names in *Help* buffers are downcased."


-- 
(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
   bloggy blog: http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no





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