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Re: Pretest

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Pretest
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 15:45:53 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20061025)

David Kastrup wrote:
"Juanma Barranquero" <address@hidden> writes:

On 11/19/06, Nick Roberts <address@hidden> wrote:

I'm not telling people what to do, or demanding anything.  I'm just
saying that I don't it is appropriate to delay things for further
improvements to emacsclient on Windows.  If you're going to sum up,
at least do it accurately.
Lennart is *proposing* changes that would allow emacsclient to
automatically start Emacs if it is not running already.

Could anybody summarize what is missing in order to make

emacsclient --alternate-editor "emacs --eval '(server-start)'"

work for this purpose?  That seems simple enough, but I could be
likely missing some part of the picture.

Perhaps I could answer ;-)

What is missing is something that allows you to just use

   emacsclient -n myfile

without doing any setup whatever, without having to start Emacs before. It should in my opinion work right out of the box.

The reason? The threshold is already high to start to use Emacs. For new users it is very important to be able to start immediately right after installing Emacs. Otherwise a lot of potential user might never start using Emacs.

The possibility to do something like the line you propose should still be there, but with my patch you should be able to just use

   emacsclient --alternative-editor="whateveryoulike" myfile


I have previously added similar functionality to gnuclient on w32. I have waited for a working emacsclient on w32 so that I could try to implement that feature there instead in a platform independent manner. I have done that now - I believe. The code is working on w32 and most of it is the same on other platforms. Starting a new process is however platform dependent. I think there are three different platform dependent ways:

   - fork()
   - CreateProcess() on w32
   - system() -- needs a helper program to avoid wait

To be clear the code is there for all three ways (but it is not yet submitted to the CVS). For those that does not want to use the new functionality to start Emacs automatically everything will work as before.

When I started to distribute binaries for Emacs on w32 Richard expressed that he wanted the official release of Emacs to have all functionality it included working on GNU/Linux. My proposal above is not exactly in line with that, but rather close. On w32 this functionality actually have been available for quite some time now.

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