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Re: improving network utility calls in lisp/net/net-utils.el

From: Chad Brown
Subject: Re: improving network utility calls in lisp/net/net-utils.el
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:42:21 -0700

I suspect it comes down to usage patterns, but if something is wrong (network-wise), then the following two things happen:

a) people are more likely to want to use the commands
b) the commands are more likely to hang, be slow, etc.

In particular, it's really not hard to get into a situation where dns name resolution will fail, but won't give up for a couple minutes. Nobody wants emacs to hang for two minutes to tell them that something's broken, especially when they were originally asking because something looked to be broken.

Back when I had to care about such things professionally, I took to using a program called mtr to check on such situations. I would have preferred to use something built into emacs, until the first time it made emacs hang. Put another way, my former self would have been quite happy to see your proposal as long as it didn't require synchronized processes. I imagine that there are still quite a few people in my former boat, so don't get discouraged. It shouldn't be hard to made it work with an async process, and afterward you will have learned (assuming you don't already know) something cool about emacs.

Regardless, thanks for your efforts to improve emacs.

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