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tramp filename problems

From: Tim Cross
Subject: tramp filename problems
Date: 06 Nov 2002 10:34:33 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

I have recently upgraded my tramp version to 2.0.22 and now I'm
getting some problems due to the changed tramp filename
specification. I'm running Emacs 21.2.

With my previous tramp version, the tramp filename specification was
of the form


The new version uses a format similar (the same) as ange-ftp uses e.g.


This appears to be fine on the surface and I understand the rationale
behind it etc. However, in practice this is a big pain in the bum. The
problem appears to be with the file handling alist and the order of
entries in this list. Here is the senario I am facing 

I use tramp to access a file on a remote system which only allows ssh
connections. This works fine and I work on the file for some
time. During the day, I also do other things from within emacs such as
read news with Gnus, read some web pages with w3 and w3m, read my
e0-mails with VM etc. Then suddenly I will get constant prompts to
enter my password. The problem seems to be that one/many of the other
applications I am running (actually, I think it centres around w3/w3m)
install a file-handler for ange-ftp which is added to the beginning of
the file-handle alist. The upshot of this appears to be that my
existing tramp connections are then interpreted as ange-ftp
connections and the system starts trying to update/save/auto-save the
remote file via ange-ftp rather than via tramp (which is how it was
originally accessed). At this point, all I can do is save the file to
my local disk, exit emacs (something I hardly ever do normally) and
then re-start it so that I can access the remote system via tramp
again. All will then work fine until something else (not sure what
yet) will cause my tramp filename specification to suddenly become an
ange-ftp file specification. 

Now I know I could just change the tramp settings to move back to the
old file spec type (e.g. /[method:user@host]:/path, but I do sort of
agree with the rationale/philosophy which wants to avoid introducing
yet another file spec type. So, I guess my question is what can I do
to ensure the tramp file spec and method is favored over ange-ftp? In
fact, I never use ange-ftp directly anymore (not since moving to
tramp) and its only other packages (w3?, Gnus?, w3m?, url?) which are
using it and I gather installing the handler for it which is being
installed after the tramp handler and therefore seems to get higher



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