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Re: Why can't I use xargs emacs?

From: Pascal J. Bourguignon
Subject: Re: Why can't I use xargs emacs?
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 23:56:51 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1008 (Gnus v5.10.8) Emacs/22.3 (darwin)

Adam Funk <address@hidden> writes:

> The emacs command can take a list of filename arguments, so why can't
> I get xargs to work with it?
> $ find -name '*.txt' |xargs emacs -nw
> emacs: standard input is not a tty
> $ grep -rl 'foo' some/path  |xargs emacs -nw
> emacs: standard input is not a tty

emacs is an interactive program.  It expects its stdin and stdout to
be hooked to the terminal, where it can display a character matrix,
and from which it can read user input.

When you use a pipe to send paths to xargs, you disconnect the
terminal from the stdin, and replace it with a pipe.  When xargs forks
and exec emacs, emacs inherit this pipe as stdin, and cannot get user
input, but will get instead further path from grep.

% echo hello > file ; ( echo -b ; echo file ) | xargs -L 1 cat 

To open several files in emacs, you could either use emacsclient, or
an emacs lisp script.

Launch emacs in a separate terminal: xterm -e emacs -nw & 
In emacs, start the server:          M-x server-start RET
In a shell, you can then type:       find -name '*.txt' | xargs emacsclient -n

Simplier would be to just open the file in emacs:

Launch emacs:  emacs -nw 
Then type: C-x C-f *.txt RET

For the second case, you could type:
M-: (map nil 'find-file (split-string (shell-command-to-string "grep -rl 'foo' 
some/path") "\n")) RET

__Pascal Bourguignon__

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