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Re: master 9dc306b1: Improve reporting of I/O, access errors

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: master 9dc306b1: Improve reporting of I/O, access errors
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 17:21:09 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.1.0

On 9/18/19 12:41 AM, Michael Albinus wrote:
Tramp trusts on file-attributes returning nil, when a
file does not exist or is not accessible for whatever reason. This is
true also for local files.

Could you give an example of where Tramp does this? That is, suppose there is a serious local-file error (I/O error, ancestor-directory permissions failure, etc.) when one uses Tramp to access a file - when would it be wrong for Tramp to signal such an error?

You suggested that there might be such an example in Bug#37202; I didn't quite understand that suggestion, and have followed up there.

Furthermore, Tramp does not report anything but nil if a remote file is
not accessible due to I/O errors. So the promise of this change cannot
be kept for all situations.

It would be nicer if serious errors were also signaled for remote files, but that's not essential; such a feature can be delayed until a later version (if ever).

Although the jury might still be out on the ancestor-directory-permissions aspect of the change (certainly on MS-Windows, which reports EACCES for missing directories), surely Emacs should not simply ignore I/O errors and the like. And the permissions change has been helpful for testing, as it's uncovered a configuration bug in how Emacs starts up (Bug#37445, still being investigated). As that bug is possibly security-relevant, I'd like to shake it out (along with any similar bugs that crop up) before deciding any withdrawal of the ancestor-directory permissions aspect of the change.

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