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Re: makeinfo function execute feature

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: makeinfo function execute feature
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:11:03 -0500

    Does not every internet browser have this same risky security

Browsers don't execute arbitrary "foreign" code on the user's machine as
the Info execute: feature does.  As you probably know, JavaScript and
Java applets are carefully designed so as not to be able to modify any
files or do anything destructive.  And even with all the effort put into
them, there have been (of course) serious bugs.

So I don't think it's practical (or worthwhile) to adopt the same
sandbox approach for Elisp.  It would be a huge amount of work,
definitely not worth it just for this feature.

That said, I don't see any harm in leaving the code in info.el, just as
it is now.  It is perfectly safe, since it is disabled by default and
can't be enabled without explicit user action.  (I assume you setq
Info-enable-active-nodes t.)

That's a separate matter from adding a feature to Texinfo source
documents to use it.  Like Bob, I'm not at all convinced yet that is a
good idea.

I suspect you are the only person, or virtually the only person, in the
world using it.  You're definitely the only person who's written about
it since I started working on Texinfo, a decade or so ago.

So I suggest that you simply write an awk or perl or whatever script
yourself.  You could add the Elisp you want in Texinfo comments, run
makeinfo, and the script could extract your code and put it into the
execute block for the appropriate node.


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