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Re: [NEWBIE] exec path not expanding

From: Kai Grossjohann
Subject: Re: [NEWBIE] exec path not expanding
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 21:56:22 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (berkeley-unix)

Robert Pollard <> writes:

> On Tuesday, October 14, 2003, at 02:20 PM, Kai Grossjohann wrote:
>> Robert Pollard <> writes:
>>> I am curious as to why my exec path is not expanding the PATH
>>> variable. Does it expand it when it uses it or should it be expanded
>>> in the exec-path variable?
>> I guess that $PATH should be expanded already.  I think that
>> exec-path is initialized from $PATH.
> You are correct!

Okay.  So what does M-: (getenv "PATH") RET say in Emacs?

>> In the shell where you start Emacs, have a look at $PATH.  Does it
>> contain them "$SYBASE" strings literally, dollar-sign and all?
> Technically, I don't start Emacs from a shell since it is a Mac OS X
> app

Hm, yeah.  I hate that.  How can people do any debugging in this
circumstance?  Argh :-(

Do you have a menu item similar to the "Start/Run..." item in
Windows?  Then you could try to enter as the command "env" and check
the "run in terminal" checkbox.  If there is one.

> but in a round about way it starts from my home, which does have the
> expanded versions of the path names.  If I go to the terminal and
> printenv for PATH it has the path names expanded out.

Home doesn't have much to do with PATH.  But I think what you mean is
that if you open a terminal window, then your current working
directory is your home dir, and in that terminal window, the
environment looks sane.

But it could be that ~/.cshrc or ~/.login (I'm wildly guessing that
MacOS is following the BSDish tradition of using csh by default) is
playing psychotherapist to make your environment sane.

Hm.  Can't you start Emacs from the shell?  Like "start" or
"open" or something like this?  Then you could compare an
Emacs started from the shell with an Emacs started by double-clicking
or whatever it is that one does on MacOS to start Emacs.

>> Maybe PATH="$PATH" or setenv PATH "$PATH" might be useful things to
>> type in the shell before starting Emacs.
> I believe it is correct.  However, I don't know why Emacs doesn't see
> it the same.  Maybe it expands the variables before it uses and it is
> some other problem???  I don't know what's is going on.  For now, I'm
> dragging the documents to Emacs instead of using Dired to find files.

My guess is that the environment that Emacs starts in is different
from the environment set up by the shell.  Does this make sense?


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