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Re: Cygwin-mount.el (Was: Re: Using GDB in NTEMACS)

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Cygwin-mount.el (Was: Re: Using GDB in NTEMACS)
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 11:53:38 +0200

> From: address@hidden (Jari Aalto+mail.linux)
> Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 11:19:15 +0200
> If I understood correct, your premises are that:
> - If Emacs would include cygwin-mount.el, users expect to be able
>   use FULL cygwin paths EVERYWHERE.
> I don't think that is a correct view. I don't see in a foreseeable
> future for anyone starting to use Cygwin style paths in their Lisp
> code or applications

You assume that any Cygwin-style file name comes from something a user
types.  But that's not true: some file names are gotten from something
output by a program.  This thread started (on gnu.emacs.help) because
someone could use GDB from GUD; that's one case where Emacs gets a
file name from a program.  There are others: Dired, for example (if
the user wants to use the Cygwin port of `ls').

> Users want to MANAGE cygwin from Emacs. They do not want to "use
> cygwin paths" in their Emacs configuration. What I mean, is that users
> that have installed cygwin want to be able to use addresses like:
>     C-x C-f /etc/passwd
> to configure their Apache, Inetd, Squid, Exim and
> other nifty stuff that can now be used natively under Windows.

You've just contradicted yourself, I think: to support /etc/passwd
like in the above example, we do need to handle Cygwin-style file
names everywhere in Emacs, because Emacs needs to know about the
Cygwin mount points.

> To require perfection before anything can be added to Emacs is
> a sad paths for Emacs.

I didn't require perfection.  A good solution doesn't have to be
perfect, but it should be reasonably reliable, IMHO.  If it hides
subtle bugs and misfeatures, it's broken.

> Cygwin is an Unix emulation, it should not understand DOS style
> paths at all.

As I explained earlier, there's no contradiction here.  Cygwin
applications could support both styles.

> How the heck would a pure Unix application understand configuration
> file that would include dos paths?

By passing the file names unchanged into the Windows API.

> You can't expect to change 10 000 unix applications to support DOS
> paths.

Please re-read my messages in gnu.emacs.help: the changes are already
there in the sources, they just need to be used by the Cygwin build
(by simple modifications of the existing C preprocessor macros).

> Cygwin cannpt solve that in their libraries, because the application
> use the paths, not Cygwin.

That's true.

> Emacs is at least now pure windows application, so it understandas
> DOs paths. But it could be taught to understand cygwin paths and
> that change is small in the scope where cygwin paths are mainly
> used.

That's the crux of this argument: I don't think the change is small.

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