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From: Greg Hill
Subject: file-name-all-completions
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 12:48:28 -0700

platform:  GNU Emacs 21.2.2 (sparc-sun-solaris2.7, X toolkit)

This is a really wierd one that I hate to report because it will probably be impossible for you to even replicate it, let alone do anything about it.

I can only catch it happening once in thousands of tries. Most likely it is not even truely an "Emacs bug," because it probably originates in the operating system, and for all I know there is no way that Emacs could possibly even detect that it has happened. It might properly be called an "Emacs bug" if-and-only-if it can be shown that Emacs potentially _could_ have detected a file system error but failed to notice and report it.

The platform (described above) is getting its directory data from an NSF-mounted drive. Once in a blue moon the directory listing returned by 'file-name-all-completions is incomplete. The missing file names are always from what would have been the beginning of a complete list. Below is the invocation of the function in question and the results returned as it was executed four time in succession in my *scratch* buffer. (Getting two errors in a row like that was _really_ unusual.) The first and last lists are correct.

  (file-name-all-completions "ecom" bom.BrdPin-dir)
("ecom-n" "ecom-m" "ecom-k" "ecom-j" "ecom-g" "ecom-f" "ecom-e" "ecom-d" "ecom-h" "ecom-c" "ecom-a") ("ecom-m" "ecom-k" "ecom-j" "ecom-g" "ecom-f" "ecom-e" "ecom-d" "ecom-h" "ecom-c" "ecom-a")
  ("ecom-g" "ecom-f" "ecom-e" "ecom-d" "ecom-h" "ecom-c" "ecom-a")
("ecom-n" "ecom-m" "ecom-k" "ecom-j" "ecom-g" "ecom-f" "ecom-e" "ecom-d" "ecom-h" "ecom-c" "ecom-a")

I'm not expecting you to be able to solve this problem. However, I thought you might at least be interested in knowing about it, in case you can think of some way that the file system error could be detected and reported.


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