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Re: Compilation warnings of ELisp seem wrong and misleading


From: Pascal J. Bourguignon
Subject: Re: Compilation warnings of ELisp seem wrong and misleading
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:39:18 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

"Ludwig, Mark" <address@hidden> writes:

> Greetings,
>
> I've been using an ancient Emacs (19.29) on Solaris and finally
> got around to installing a current one (24.4).
>
> I don't normally compile my ".emacs" code, but stumbled
> across a change in the compile code (compile-internal is no
> longer present), and that prompted me to explicitly
> byte-compile my custom Elisp code to see what other problems
> that would expose, so I could take care of all of them at
> the same time.
>
> I find my custom Elisp generates warnings that seem pretty stupid.
> For example:
>
> emacs.el:255:10:Warning: reference to free variable `if'
> emacs.el:219:8:Warning: reference to free variable `save-excursion'
> emacs.el:331:41:Warning: reference to free variable `forward-char'
> emacs.el:261:17:Warning: reference to free variable `insert'
> emacs.el:261:17:Warning: reference to free variable `forward-sexp'
>
> Those are all valid functions.  For example, here are lines 255-258:
>
>       (if (not (= ans ?q))
>           (progn
>             (goto-char found-start)
>             (delete-region found-start found-end)))
>
> This is inside a large-ish "let*" form (111 lines).
>
> Most of this code is duplicated on Windows, where I'm using
> Emacs 24.2 (just to give some context that my Elisp
> knowledge isn't all completely ancient).
>
> I can't see how these warnings can be correct, but there are
> so many that they obscure the "meaningful" ones.  Are these
> sorts of warnings known flaws in the byte compiler, do I
> need to compile differently, am I doing something stupid, or
> what?

We cannot see either, because the meaning of a sexp is determined by its
surrounding form, which you didn't provide.

You probably have a parenthesis problem in your let* form which makes
lisp interpret some parts as being variable names instead of operators.

-- 
__Pascal Bourguignon__                 http://www.informatimago.com/
“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a
dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to
keep the man from touching the equipment.” -- Carl Bass CEO Autodesk


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