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Emacsclient ERROR pop-up window and ~/.emacs.d/server/server

From: Christian Schlauer
Subject: Emacsclient ERROR pop-up window and ~/.emacs.d/server/server
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 09:50:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)


I see this confusing ERROR pop-up window all the time on MS Windows XP
(I use the "official" binary of Emacs 22.1 from ftp.gnu.org) when

(1) there is no Emacs running and

(2) I open files with Emacs via Windows Explorer: right-click on the
    file -> Send To: Emacsclient, where

(3) Emacsclient is a shortcut with the "command line":

    emacsclientw --no-wait --alternate-editor=runemacs

(An easy-to-follow recipe to reproduce the bug follows below.)

The pop-up window looks like this:

PNG image

In GNU Emacs 22.1.1 (i386-mingw-nt5.1.2600)
 of 2007-06-02 on RELEASE
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 5.1.2600
configured using `configure --with-gcc (3.4) --cflags -Ic:/gnuwin32/include'

Important settings:
  value of $LC_ALL: nil
  value of $LC_COLLATE: nil
  value of $LC_CTYPE: nil
  value of $LC_MESSAGES: nil
  value of $LC_MONETARY: nil
  value of $LC_NUMERIC: nil
  value of $LC_TIME: nil
  value of $LANG: DEU
  locale-coding-system: cp1252
  default-enable-multibyte-characters: t

Recipe to reproduce the problem:

1. Rename your .emacs to something else and create a new .emacs that
   only contains


2. Open a command prompt

3. For convenience, add the bin-directory of the Emacs distribution
   temporarily to your path if it isn't already -- adapt the following
   line to your system:

   set path=e:\emacs\bin;%path%

4. emacsclientw --no-wait --alternate-editor=runemacs foo.txt

   This causes the above error message to pop up. After pressing OK,
   Emacs starts and everything works as usual. If you haven't got the
   error message yet, just repeat step 4 once.

5. Now the "workaround" to avoid the error message: Delete the file
   "~/.emacs.d/server/server" and repeat step 4: no error message!

   But if you close Emacs and repeat step 4 *again*, the error message
   shows up *again* as there is a "~/.emacs.d/server/server"
   file *again*.

This pop-up window is confusing: the title bar of the pop-up says
`ERROR', but the text in the window says `No error'. What exactly is
it trying to tell the user?

On GNU/Linux, doing (roughly) the same on the command line gives this:

| address@hidden:~/sw/emacs-22/bin$ ./emacsclient --no-wait \
| > --alternate-editor=./emacs foo.txt
| ./emacsclient: connect: Connection refused

and Emacs starts. Note the `(roughly) the same' above because on
GNU/Linux I use `emacsclient' instead of `emacsclientw' and `emacs'
instead of `runemacs'. There is no pop-up window on GNU/Linux -- the
only thing that happens besides that Emacs is starting is that
`emacsclient' informs the user that there was no server it could
connect to.

I prefer the behaviour on GNU/Linux as the pop-up window (together
with the `ding'-noise that accompanies it) is *very* disruptive. My
guess: The problem is either in `emacsclientw' due to implementation
differences compared to `emacsclient' or it has something to do with
the file "~/.emacs.d/server/server". In fact, on GNU/Linux there isn't
even a directory "server" in "~/.emacs.d/":

| address@hidden:~/sw/emacs-22/bin$ ls ~/.emacs.d/
| auto-save-list
| address@hidden:~/sw/emacs-22/bin$

Christian Schlauer

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