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Re: Change Tramp syntax

From: Michael Albinus
Subject: Re: Change Tramp syntax
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:50:38 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:

Hi John,

>> This is the essence of my question: Does it solve the problem for some, at a
>> cost to others? What is the new user experience if they fail to use "ssh:"?
>> Is it obvious what they've done wrong and how to fix it?
> Michael, I'd still like an answer to these questions, please. I'm concerned
> about how this change is going to affect users who aren't as aware of Tramp
> and its workings. Thanks! Alternatively, if we implement a compat translation
> that is on by default for at least a few versions, it would resolve these
> questions as well.

If people do a simple "C-x C-f /localhost:" from an Emacs started with
-Q, they get an error "File not found and directory
write-protected". Tramp cannot do anything else, because it is not

If there is a file name completion package active (ido, icomplete,
whatever), they get a guidance while typing the filename, latest when
the trailing ":" has been typed.

If a user tries to complete a filename, even if only plain Emacs is
called with -Q, she gets a guidance. Typing "/ l o c <TAB>" does not
complete to anything.

Well, this decision is a trade-off between my permanent frustration of
not working parts of Tramp (and being blamed for this when I tried to
find a solution), and limiting users with a changed syntax. If you call
me guilty, then I'm guilty for not doing this change 15 years ago.

I believe it won't be too much bad feedback after people have understood
the change. Some years ago, the obscure /multi:ssh:host1:ssh:host2:
syntax was removed, even w/o an alternative. Later, the alternative
/ssh:host1|ssh:host2: was introduced. People did accept.

Of course, I'm biased, and there might have been a lot of frustration
from people because of that change. But then it didn't reach me.

Adding pure ange-ftp like syntax, as I have offered, seems to be a good
compromise for all of us.

And please take also into account, that I mean it seriously: if you
insist in keeping the syntax as it was, I will insist in seeing other
people working on Tramp. I'm the lonely maintainer since 2004, and there
are no remarkable contributions from somebody else except tramp-adb.el,
written by Juergen Hoetzel.

> Thanks,

Best regards, Michael.

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