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auto-save fails sometimes

From: Robert Moniot
Subject: auto-save fails sometimes
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 18:57:05 -0500

This bug report will be sent to the Free Software Foundation,
 not to your local site managers!!
Please write in English, because the Emacs maintainers do not have
translators to read other languages for them.

In GNU Emacs 20.7.1 (i386-redhat-linux-gnu, X toolkit)
 of Tue Jun 13 2000 on porky.devel.redhat.com
configured using `configure  --mandir=/usr/man --infodir=/usr/info 
--prefix=/usr --libexecdir=/usr/lib --sharedstatedir=/var --with-gcc --with-pop 
--with-x-toolkit i386-redhat-linux-gnu'

Please describe exactly what actions triggered the bug
and the precise symptoms of the bug:

First, the environment in which this is happening: I am using rmail to
read mail that is initially in file ~/RMAIL.

After being read, mail messages are filed in various rmail files in
directory ~/Mail.

pascal:~/$ ls -ld Mail
drwxr-x---   11 moniot   staff        4096 Jan  2 15:06 Mail/

The particular rmail file in this case is in a subdirectory Classes.

pascal:~/$ ls -ld Mail/Classes
drwxr-xr-x    2 moniot   staff        1024 Jan  3 18:26 Mail/Classes/

The file itself is named switching.

pascal:~/$ ls -l Mail/Classes/switching
-rw-r--r--    1 moniot   staff      408300 Jan  3 17:25 Mail/Classes/switching

The steps that produced the bug:
  1. read a message in RMAIL (using M-x rmail).
  2. save the message (using o) into ~/Mail/Classes/switching
  3. read the switching rmail file (using rmail-input
     ~/Mail/Classes/switching or, later, simply C-x b switching).
  4. Move to a different message in the switching rmail file (using p
     or n).  (Presumably this causes the buffer to need auto-saving.)
  5. go back to RMAIL (using C-x b RMAIL)
  6. wait till time-out causes auto-save to run.  (The switch to
     *Messages* buffer at the end of "Recent input" was to make sure
     the bug had happened.)

The bug happens for other files too, in similar circumstances.  I
think it has happened while in other modes than rmail-mode.  One
essential requirement seems to be that the file to be auto-saved is in
a directory tree that is not world-readable.  At least, I do not
recall ever seeing the bug happen for any file that is in a
world-readable directory.

Recent input:
y SPC f o r SPC m a i l SPC b u f f e r s . return 
C-x b return o M-backspace S y s SPC l i n SPC return 
d n n o return d C-x b U M backspace backspace * M 
SPC return down-mouse-1 mouse-1 menu-bar buffer "RMAIL" 
g o M-backspace C l a SPC s w i SPC return d o return 
d C-x b s w i SPC return n n C-x b return C-x b U backspace 
* M e s SPC return end C-x b return menu-bar help-menu 

Recent messages:
Counting new messages...
Counting new messages...done (2)
Saving file /u/pascal/moniot/RMAIL...
Wrote /u/pascal/moniot/RMAIL
2 new messages read
No following nondeleted message
Autosaving...error for switching
No following nondeleted message
Mark set

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