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Re: URL filename syntax?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: URL filename syntax?
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:29:07 -0400

> > Is it desirable to use URL-like syntax for remote files?
> Summary: No.

I think in the abstract: yes.  But since url-handler.el already tries
to do it, you have to be careful not to step on each other's toes.

> For normal find-file syntax, // means to discard everything before the
> second slash; thus, your suggested change may be hard to get through the
> standard read-file-name function (without some changes at the C level).

I think it works OK in practice.  You need to provide an appropriate
file-handler for substitute-in-file-name, which is inconvenient
(since you need to re-implement the env-var expansion code), but
it's nothing too bad.

> >   I think we can't require our users to type %2F in such cases, and
> >   therefore I propose to change the ftp URL syntax to interpret
> >   ftp://address@hidden//foo as the file /foo on the remote host.  (And
> >   ftp://address@hidden/foo refers to ~user/foo.)
> Again, you are violating the principle that // has a special meaning
> when entering a file name.

But it's only relevant for file-name entry, so the only question is
whether it's going to surprise people and I'd say that as a user
I'd be rather happy to be able to enter a URL even if that means
that I might sometimes need to C-a C-k rather than just appending
the absolute name of the file I'm looking for.

> > * Tramp allows to omit the method.  How do I do that with URLs?

You don't.  Or you provide a handler for /address@hidden:/ that turns
the name into a URL, so people can use the old syntax and
it's automatically changed for them.

>      /multi://telnet:address@hidden/su:address@hidden//etc/passwd
> or you would open ~root/etc/passwd,  right?

The home dir of the user "root" doesn't have to be "/".

> I definitely prefer the current tramp syntax!  It does the job well,
> has a tidy syntax, works well with read-file-name (and ido), and it
> doesn't pretend to be something it ain't.

I can probably agree with the fact that Tramp's syntax is OK and does
the job well.  For ange-ftp it's different: the URL syntax is well
established for FTP whereas it's not for ssh and friends.
I like to be able to copy/paste URLs from email and whatnot and open
them in Emacs without having to adjust the name.  url-handler.el
serves me "well" except for the fact that it's not too robust.


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