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RE: Best practices for launching Emacs on Windows 7/8

From: Ludwig, Mark
Subject: RE: Best practices for launching Emacs on Windows 7/8
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:56:20 +0000

[Resending with nicer line breaks for text readers]

> From: Jason Rumney, Wednesday, February 20, 2013 7:37 AM
> On Tuesday, 19 February 2013 03:59:43 UTC+8, Ludwig, Mark  wrote:
> > For example, on Windows Vista, I used to be able to make a file
> > association with .TXT files that invoked emacsclient with the
> > --alternate-editor=runemacs option so that if Emacs wasn't
> > running, it would be launched.
> >
> > In Windows 7 and 8, the GUI simply does not allow any options.
> Setting ALTERNATE_EDITOR as an environment variable is an alternative to
> using the command line option.  At least in Windows 7 environment variables
> are still accessible from the Advanced properties of "My Computer".

Thanks, everyone!

When I looked back at what I had on Vista, I found that I was
using Emacs 23.1 and working around a bug in emacsclientw that,
if Emacs wasn't running as a server, insisted on popping up an
error dialog box that had to be manually dismissed.  (My
workaround was a very complicated command line using NirCmd to
launch emacsclient but keep it hidden.  Because it was
emacsclient, I also needed the --no-wait option.)  Now that I'm
on Emacs 24.2, I can use emacsclientw directly (which does not
need --no-wait); combined with setting the ALTERNATE_EDITOR
environmental variable, it all works perfectly by simply
associating emacsclientw using the regular file association GUI.
It's very nice.

In reviewing the documentation in,
it incorrectly claims:

   '-a command'
   Specify a command to run if emacsclient fails to contact Emacs. This is 
useful when running emacsclient in a script. 
   As a special exception, if command is the empty string, then emacsclient 
starts Emacs in daemon mode (as emacs --daemon) and then tries connecting 

Instead with an empty string, emacsclient/emacsclientw 24.2 complain:

   --alternate-editor argument or ALTERNATE_EDITOR variable cannot be
   an empty string

Is this a documentation problem or is the code incorrect?  That
is, which way should I report the bug?

Side-question: I have (server-start) in my init (which is fairly
complicated), so I use runemacs and never use emacs --daemon, but
I wonder if there's any effective difference.  Is there anything
really special about emacs --daemon that I might be missing by
using (server-start) myself?


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