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dired-do-shell-command: allow changing time bomb * to @

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: dired-do-shell-command: allow changing time bomb * to @
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 00:14:34 -0700 (MST)

That message suggests an idea to me.  We could solve several problems
by changing the character that dired-do-shell-command uses to mean
"all files at once" from * to something else like @.

This way, people could use *.  And we could say that @ only has
that meaning when it is surrounded by whitespace.  That way, if you
want to quote @, you just have to write "@" which would quote
it for the shell anyway.

What do people think of this?  It is an incompatible change,
but the benefit may be worth the incompatibility.

To: address@hidden
From: Dan Jacobson <address@hidden>
Newsgroups: gnu.emacs.bug
Subject: dired-do-shell-command: allow changing time bomb * to @
Organization: Taiwan
Reply-To: address@hidden
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Date: 10 Jan 2002 15:57:51 +0800

Dear sirs, upon perusal of dired-aux.el I find "*" is duly hardwired
into dired-do-shell-command.

Kindly allow users to setq it to something else [me? "@" looks good].
Why? Because "*" is just a time bomb waiting to delete all your files
one day when you get confused between ! and M-!

"*" might have seemed nifty to the designers, but with all these marks
that I don't seem to keep track of.... well, as other users have
pointed out ... tick tock...

Yes, and when one day it happens it is user error, true.  But: I don't
like how you have now challenged my already challenged brain's
impression of "*", which is something that we have to be very careful
about in the shell already.  Now you've come up with this double
vision thing about how it means something else in dired... something
with less matching power than * in the shell... but oops I typed a M-!
instead of a ! and one of those swifto "usage: command input output"
like uniq(1) has like laid waste to my file.  That in addition to
adding a level of nervousness in my brain as to the meaning of * which
I took many years to learn in the shell, and now some young punks come
along and redefine it just because they think it looks pretty.  @ also
looks pretty... why can't you pick on that instead?
http://www.geocities.com/jidanni/ Tel+886-4-25854780

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