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making already started shell-commands (ESC !) asynchronous

From: Dan Jacobson
Subject: making already started shell-commands (ESC !) asynchronous
Date: 03 May 2001 02:17:11 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

Often I do ESC ! [or ! in dired] for what turns out to be a long
extended command, like xdvi, gv, xpdf.  Sure if I had added an & to
the command line, I wouldn't have to wait for the command to finish
before getting emacs to stop waiting.  But there should be a mechanism
provided where one can turn a synchronous command into a asynchronous
background command, even after the command has started.

Currently I can kill the command with C-g, so at least emacs is
monitoring that key.  Well, how about monitoring other keys like C-h,
which could print out a list of things one can do while waiting for a
synchronous command to finish, including what key to press to turn it
into an asynchronous command.  To test do ESC ! sleep 2222 and note that
only C-g can do anything, and that one thing it can do is kill the
process... Gee, how inflexible, either sacrifice a halfway done 'big
job' or give up access to all the things you were doing in emacs until
it finishes... I mean the shell can do it, how about emacs?

[Yes I know about shell mode.  I'm talking about ESC ! and dired !
here, when you change your mind about syncronosity.  "I thought it
would complete right away but it turned out long and involved, sure
wish I had used & at the end of that line, but now it's too late...]

By the way, ! on a .pdf file in dired has one guess: acroread.  How
about at least adding xpdf, gv... and rank appropriately.
http://www.geocities.com/jidanni Tel886-4-25854780 e-mail:restore .com.

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