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Re: Rename, delete and move current buffer and file

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Rename, delete and move current buffer and file
Date: Mon, 07 May 2018 13:01:28 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>> Similarly
>>     M-x rename-file RET
>> could try and detect if the source name matches some of the buffers's
>> filenames and ask whether we want to rename those buffers's filenames
>> accordingly.
> People might not remember the whole command name, but when they use M-x, or
> C-h f with some filtering it will pop up when typing "rename" or "move",
> So I stand by my commands proposal.

I don't understand: it seems like "rename-file" is a name which should
just work with your M-x and C-h f examples, so I don't see how those examples
argues in favor of "my commands proposal" instead of using "rename-file".

>> C-x C-w gives you "/current/dir/" is initial input.  If you then type
>> "/other/dir/" it will "move" the file without "renaming" it (I
>> personally don't like to make this distinction, probably because
>> I consider the file's name to include all the leading directories, which
>> is also the implicit point of view of the GNU Coding Standard which uses
>> "file name" rather than "path" and reserves the word "path" for things
>> like $PATH, $LS_LIBRARY_PATH, load-path, ...).
>> And M-n inserts the current name, so I think it handles both
>> use-cases well enough.
> This creates a copy of the file, while I want to rename/move it.

I only presented this example to illustrate how Emacs merges both "new
name" and "new directory" into a single UI (tho indeed currently
C-x C-w doesn't actually "move/rename" but it copies instead).

> include things like deal with version control. A single "move" function is
> fine, maybe even the set-visited-file-name semantics are OK, it just has a
> bad name, has no key bindings, no menu item,

C-x C-w does have all those feature (other than the name).

> and I would like a delete-visited-file to complement it.

Could you give details as to why you'd want to separate it from

> When I look for a command to move a file in the M-x completion prompt,
> I will try "move" and "rename" and see what matches,

Right, and you'll find `rename-file`, which is what I think should do
what you want.

> but I would surely not naturally come up with any substring
> of set-visited-file-name when thinking how Emacs might have named a command
> to move files, except for "file-name", but this matches a ton of things. I
> am sure many people using Emacs don't even know the concept of a visited
> file.

Agreed.  So I find it odd that you insist on having "visited-file" in
the name of the commands ;-)

> Also, note there is rename-file, rename-buffer, but then
> set-visited-file-name for what is effectively
> rename-file-with-visited-buffer.

set-visited-file-name does not rename any file, AFAIK (and I don't see
any suggestion to change this).

> There is also an interactive delete-file, obviously there is kill-buffer,
> but no way to delete file and kill its visiting buffer.

FWIW, I very rarely need to do delete-file and kill-buffer at the same
time, so I'm not convinced there's a need for a separate command for
that.  But as noted, I'd be OK for delete-file to kill the matching
buffer(s) [ either subject to a prompt or a user-config, for those users
who like to `delete-file` while keeping the buffer, as is occasionally
my case.  ]


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