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Re: [PATCH] Added inotify support.

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Added inotify support.
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2012 23:28:48 +0200

> From: Rüdiger Sonderfeld <address@hidden>
> Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2012 16:09:55 +0200
> Cc: Leo <address@hidden>, address@hidden
> On Monday 01 October 2012 00:38:09 Stefan Monnier wrote:
> > If there's a good chance this won't work without breaking compatibility,
> > maybe a better option is to provide a low-level API that maps very
> > closely to inotify and then an Elisp layer on top which abstracts away
> > differences between different systems.  In that case we can install the
> > inotify support right away while we're still experimenting with the
> > higher-level abstraction.
> That's probably the best approach here.  I changed the patch to provide a low
> level inotify interface.  However I did not provide an inotify_init(2) like 
> function and instead initialization and closing of the inotify handle is done
> internally.  I don't think that this should be exposed to elisp even in the 
> low level interface.

Btw, what are Emacs use cases for using this kind of feature?

Watching a directory or even a single file can easily flood Emacs with
many events, and in some extreme cases (like watching /tmp, especially
using IN_ACCESS) so many that it will probably make Emacs unusable.
(The equivalent Windows APIs give you an even longer rope, in that you
can watch a directory and all its subdirectories, recursively, with a
single watch handle.)  Also, a typical file operation can be presented
as a series of notifications that are not easy to make sense of,
unless you are a filesystem expert and know exactly what to expect.

Maybe we should think a little more, before we expose all the guts of
inotify to the Lisp level.  It's not like anyone will write an OS in
Emacs Lisp any time soon, is it?

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