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[O] Bug: Fix for org-make-link-description-function use in org-insert-li

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: [O] Bug: Fix for org-make-link-description-function use in org-insert-link [9.0.10 (9.0.10-5-g1654a5-elpa @ /home/rrt/.emacs.d/elpa/org-20170904/)]
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 17:27:24 +0100

Remember to cover the basics, that is, what you expected to happen and
what in fact did happen.  You don't know how to make a good report?  See


Your bug report will be posted to the Org mailing list.

I was trying to make link descriptions default to the link. This is
useful so that, for example, in LaTeX export, links without a
description do not turn into empty text if one has unnumbered sections.
Also, it’s useful if one is primarily using PDF output, with hyperlinks.

I used the following code:

(defun org-make-link-description (link desc)
  (or desc link))
(setq org-make-link-description-function #'org-make-link-description)

This works; however, no description is prompted for (the description is
*always* the default).

This seems to be incorrect behaviour, as the docstring for
org-insert-link says:

  If `org-make-link-description-function' is non-nil, this function will be
  called with the link target, and the result will be the default
  link description.

The implication is that the value returned is used as the default, not
that it overrides the prompt.

The current logic dates from commit d9e5aed2, which aims to fix a
previous bug where the prompt was not offered if
org-make-link-description-function failed. The commit message implies
that the prompt should not be offered if
org-make-link-description-function succeeds, but I believe that is

Below is a patch which both corrects the behaviour and simplifies the

First, org-make-link-description-function is called if it is non-nil,
and used to set default-description.

Then (unless auto-desc is non-nil) the description is prompted for with
default-description as the default value (unless
org-make-link-description-function returned nil, in which case the
current value of desc, if any, is used).

There is one further matter that my patch does not address: the
docstring for org-make-link-description-function says:

“When [org-make-link-description-function is] nil, the link location
will be used.”

This does not happen (it’s precisely the behaviour I’ve been trying to
obtain!), and my patch does not make it happen. Indeed, it’s not clear
that it’s desirable (if one is using numbered sections, for example).

Patch follows:

Subject: [PATCH] Fix logic of calling org-make-link-desciption-function

* lisp/org.el (org-insert-link): Simplify so that description is only
prompted for once, and org-make-link-description-function obviously
sets the default description, as per the docstring. Then, always
prompt for the description, even if the default is set.
 lisp/org.el | 19 +++++++++----------
 1 file changed, 9 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)

diff --git a/lisp/org.el b/lisp/org.el
index 2680cee..0731cf7 100644
--- a/lisp/org.el
+++ b/lisp/org.el
@@ -10286,16 +10286,15 @@ Use TAB to complete link prefixes, then RET for 
type-specific completion support
            (setq desc path)))))
     (if org-make-link-description-function
-       (setq desc
-             (or (condition-case nil
-                     (funcall org-make-link-description-function link desc)
-                   (error (progn (message "Can't get link description from 
-                                          (symbol-name 
-                                 (sit-for 2) nil)))
-                 (read-string "Description: " default-description)))
-      (if default-description (setq desc default-description)
-       (setq desc (or (and auto-desc desc)
-                      (read-string "Description: " desc)))))
+       (setq default-description
+             (condition-case nil
+                  (funcall org-make-link-description-function link desc)
+                (error (progn (message "Can't get link description from `%s'"
+                                       (symbol-name 
+                              (sit-for 2) nil)))))
+    (setq desc (or (and auto-desc desc)
+                   (read-string "Description: " (or default-description 
     (unless (string-match "\\S-" desc) (setq desc nil))
     (when remove (apply 'delete-region remove))

Emacs  : GNU Emacs 25.2.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.18.9)
 of 2017-04-29
Package: Org mode version 9.0.10 (9.0.10-5-g1654a5-elpa @ 

current state:
 org-tab-first-hook '(org-babel-hide-result-toggle-maybe 
 org-latex-classes '(("article" "\\documentclass[11pt]{article}" 
("\\section{%s}" . "\\section*{%s}")
                      ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}") 
("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}")
                      ("\\paragraph{%s}" . "\\paragraph*{%s}") 
("\\subparagraph{%s}" . "\\subparagraph*{%s}"))
                     ("report" "\\documentclass[11pt]{report}" ("\\part{%s}" . 
                      ("\\chapter{%s}" . "\\chapter*{%s}") ("\\section{%s}" . 
                      ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}") 
("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}"))
                     ("book" "\\documentclass[11pt]{book}" ("\\part{%s}" . 
                      ("\\chapter{%s}" . "\\chapter*{%s}") ("\\section{%s}" . 
                      ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}") 
("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}"))
                     ("scrartcl" "\\documentclass{scrartcl}" ("\\section{%s}" . 
                      ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}") 
("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}")
                      ("\\paragraph{%s}" . "\\paragraph*{%s}") 
("\\subparagraph{%s}" . "\\subparagraph*{%s}"))
 org-latex-default-packages-alist '(("postscript" "ucs" nil) ("" "pifont" nil) 
("utf8x" "inputenc" t) ("T1" "fontenc" t)
                                    ("" "fixltx2e" nil) ("" "graphicx" t) ("" 
"longtable" nil) ("" "float" nil)
                                    ("" "wrapfig" nil) ("" "rotating" nil) 
("normalem" "ulem" t) ("" "amsmath" t)
                                    ("" "textcomp" t) ("" "marvosym" t) ("" 
"wasysym" t) ("" "amssymb" t)
                                    ("" "hyperref" nil) "\\tolerance=1000" ("" 
"palatino" nil))
 org-texinfo-format-drawer-function #[514 "\207" [] 3 "\n\n(fn NAME CONTENTS)"]
 org-speed-command-hook '(org-speed-command-default-hook 
 org-occur-hook '(org-first-headline-recenter)
 org-metaup-hook '(org-babel-load-in-session-maybe)
 org-html-format-drawer-function #[514 "\207" [] 3 "\n\n(fn NAME CONTENTS)"]
 org-confirm-shell-link-function 'yes-or-no-p
 org-ascii-format-inlinetask-function 'org-ascii-format-inlinetask-default
 org-startup-folded nil
 org-export-with-section-numbers nil
 org-file-apps '((t . "xdg-open %s") (system . "xdg-open %s"))
 org-export-with-toc nil
 org-latex-format-headline-function 'org-latex-format-headline-default-function
 org-default-notes-file "~/Notes/Notes.org"
 org-startup-indented t
 org-after-todo-state-change-hook '(org-clock-out-if-current)
 org-latex-format-drawer-function #[514 "\207" [] 3 "\n\n(fn _ CONTENTS)"]
 org-odt-format-headline-function 'org-odt-format-headline-default-function
 org-from-is-user-regexp "\\<Reuben Thomas\\>"
 org-src-mode-hook '(org-src-babel-configure-edit-buffer 
 org-agenda-before-write-hook '(org-agenda-add-entry-text)
 org-babel-pre-tangle-hook '(save-buffer)
 org-mode-hook '((lambda nil (local-set-key "\351" (quote 
org-toggle-iimage-in-org))) window-margin-mode
                 #[0 "\300\301\302\303\304$\207" [add-hook 
change-major-mode-hook org-show-block-all append local] 5]
                 #[0 "\300\301\302\303\304$\207" [add-hook 
change-major-mode-hook org-babel-show-result-all append local] 5]
                 org-babel-result-hide-spec org-babel-hide-all-hashes 
 org-archive-hook '(org-attach-archive-delete-maybe)
 org-make-link-description-function 'org-make-link-description
 org-ascii-format-drawer-function #[771 "\207" [] 4 "\n\n(fn NAME CONTENTS 
 org-odt-format-inlinetask-function 'org-odt-format-inlinetask-default-function
 org-directory "~/Notes"
 org-cycle-hook '(org-cycle-hide-archived-subtrees org-cycle-hide-drawers 
 org-footnote-define-inline t
 org-confirm-elisp-link-function 'yes-or-no-p
 org-metadown-hook '(org-babel-pop-to-session-maybe)
 org-odt-format-drawer-function #[514 "\207" [] 3 "\n\n(fn NAME CONTENTS)"]
 org-latex-default-class "scrartcl"
 org-html-format-headline-function 'org-html-format-headline-default-function
 org-link-parameters '(("id" :follow org-id-open) ("rmail" :follow 
org-rmail-open :store org-rmail-store-link)
                       ("mhe" :follow org-mhe-open :store org-mhe-store-link)
                       ("irc" :follow org-irc-visit :store org-irc-store-link)
                       ("info" :follow org-info-open :export org-info-export 
:store org-info-store-link)
                       ("gnus" :follow org-gnus-open :store org-gnus-store-link)
                       ("docview" :follow org-docview-open :export 
org-docview-export :store org-docview-store-link)
                       ("bibtex" :follow org-bibtex-open :store 
                       ("bbdb" :follow org-bbdb-open :export org-bbdb-export 
:complete org-bbdb-complete-link :store
                       ("w3m" :store org-w3m-store-link) ("file+sys") 
("file+emacs") ("doi" :follow org--open-doi-link)
                       ("elisp" :follow org--open-elisp-link) ("file" :complete 
                       ("ftp" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat "ftp:" 
                       ("help" :follow org--open-help-link)
                       ("http" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat 
"http:" path))))
                       ("https" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat 
"https:" path))))
                       ("mailto" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat 
"mailto:"; path))))
                       ("message" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat 
"message:" path))))
                       ("news" :follow (lambda (path) (browse-url (concat 
"news:"; path))))
                       ("shell" :follow org--open-shell-link))
 org-footnote-auto-label nil
 org-agenda-files '("~/Writing/Ithaky/Calendar.org")
 org-clock-out-hook '(org-clock-remove-empty-clock-drawer)
 org-latex-inputenc-alist '(("utf8" . "utf8x"))

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