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Re: External viewers; Select-by-Copy

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: External viewers; Select-by-Copy
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 10:10:18 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

On Tue, 01 Dec 2009 15:50:58 -0500 "Mark T. B. Carroll" <> wrote: 

>> That's a feature, I'm not sure why it should be changed.  Why is it
>> harmful?

MTBC> I copy and paste fragments of articles in checking them out in
MTBC> other applications, taking notes, etc. But then the selection has
MTBC> happened so when I get to replying, it just quotes a little bit of
MTBC> the article, so I have to undo the selection first, whether by
MTBC> going to some other article then back to that one, or using M-u to
MTBC> mark it unread, quit the group altogether, reenter it and go back
MTBC> to the article, or whatever. Maybe there's an easier way to get
MTBC> rid of the selection, but a high fraction of my selecting has
MTBC> nothing to do with what I might want to quote in reply, so having
MTBC> to undo it just causes me extra work for no gain.

On Wed, 02 Dec 2009 08:58:06 -0500 "Mark T. B. Carroll" <> wrote: 

MTBC> Anders Wirzenius <> writes:

>> Try C-g before you reply.

MTBC> Ah, cool, that works better and makes it, from my point of view, a
MTBC> smaller bug! (-: I'm getting the impression that there's no variable
MTBC> I've missed to just turn it off, then.

MTBC> (Some other kind soul suggested to me by e-mail that `S W' to reply
MTBC> might help, at least until this feature infects that too.)

Sorry, I thought you knew how to clear the selection.  I really don't
think it needs to be turned off or that it's a bug from anyone's point
of view.  If you feel strongly about it, perhaps you or someone else can
produce a patch to disable the feature on demand.  It should be fairly

>> I think to correct that, the child process needs to disassociate itself
>> from Emacs as its parent and that's pretty complicated (requires C calls
>> that are not available in ELisp AFAIK).

MTBC> Oh, that's a bit unfortunate! What happens is it starts up a web
MTBC> browser, say, then I get reminded of or linked to other things I want to
MTBC> check out, and in the same session after a while I'm now looking at
MTBC> things that are nothing to do with what I originally launched from
MTBC> emacs. This is especially bad with things like web browers, Acrobat
MTBC> Reader, etc., where, when I view different things from outside emacs,
MTBC> those attempts to view things attach to the existing emacs-spawned
MTBC> process instead of spawning a new viewer, and then they want to die with
MTBC> an application that never had anything to do with them.

Yeah, that's annoying.  You can do the disassociation in a
shell/Perl/etc. script.  Also there are programs to launch the URL or
file in the OS's default URL handler, e.g. in Ubuntu there's a way to do
it.  When you launch the URL or file that way, the handler won't be
associated with Emacs.  With temporary files from a message attachment,
however, this won't work because they get deleted after the external
viewer is done.  I personally use and prefer w3m so I don't experience
this issue.


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