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bug#42704: Documentation of call-process

From: Gregory Heytings
Subject: bug#42704: Documentation of call-process
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2020 19:47:55 +0200 (CEST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.21 (NEB 202 2017-01-01)

The documentation of 'call-process' doe not make reference to the variable 'exec-path'. It should.

The ELisp manual says that, see the node "Subprocess Creation". This isn't specific to call-process, that variable is used by all the functions that create subprocesses.

Indeed. I still believe that adding the sentence "If PROGRAM is not an absolute file name, the variable exec-path contains a list of directories to search." in the docstring of call-process (and a similar sentence in the docstrings of make-process and call-process-region) would be useful.

Using '(setenv "PATH" "...")' does not have the expected effect for 'call-process'. The environment variable "PATH" is correctly updated, the variable 'process-environment' is also updated, but what 'call-process' actually uses to locate the executable is the variable 'exec-path'.

The changes to the environment variables only affect the environment passed to subprocesses, they don't affect the environment of the Emacs process itself.

Indeed. Creating a subprocess is in between the two (Emacs and the subprocess), and I at least would have expected that setting "PATH" would have changed the path in which the program executable is searched.


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