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Re: & and M-& to run programs asynchronously

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: & and M-& to run programs asynchronously
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 2009 10:03:26 +0900

Juri Linkov <address@hidden> writes:
>> As it stands its usefulness is rather dubious: the user could just as
>> easily type the extra & at the end.  Could someone remind me what were
>> the arguments for adding it?  What are the expected use-cases and
>> planned improvements?
> Sure, in its current state it is useless.  That's why I said
> it is just a starting point for adding more options relevant only
> for asynchronous commands.  These options include using M-& as an
> application launcher that will allow automatic creation of
> multiple *Async Shell Command* buffers, deciding whether to
> display the output buffer for GUI apps or not, etc.

I agree -- a separate command feels much cleaner to me than insisting
the user type "&" at the end of the command.  The "&" syntax is a nice
_add-on_ hack for people used to using a shell, but it shouldn't be the
primary method of invocation for background apps.

I personally would often like to use emacs to launch GUI apps, rather
than needing to use a shell or search through menus.

In general, the current Emacs support for asynchronous apps seems quite
clumsy.  I usually don't want the "*Async Shell Command*" output buffer,
or at least, don't want to see it unless there's actually some
output... (which there usually isn't).  The current restriction to a
single background app is simply dumb.

Fixing those problems isn't necessarily connected with having a
separate command -- both forms of invocation should benefit -- but the
dedicated command still seems a much nicer interface to me


Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

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