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Re: 21.x feature request: windows shortcut support

From: David Masterson
Subject: Re: 21.x feature request: windows shortcut support
Date: 15 Oct 2001 09:31:32 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

>>>>> Richard Stallman writes:

> If shortcuts are generally used only for execution, then the only
> thing Emacs *needs* to do, to fit in, is to handle them that way.
> The code for starting subprocesses has to handle the shortcut file
> properly once openp finds it, but no other change is needed that I
> can see.  And shortcuts pointing to directories would not make any
> sense.

I'm not much of a Windows developer, but I think the terminology is
wrong here.  Windows doesn't use shortcuts for "execution" -- it uses
them for "resolution".  That is, when a program (that understands
shortcuts) encounters a shortcut (I think the term is "shell link"),
it resolves the shortcut through the Windows shell.  This gives the
program access to the information in the shortcut from which the
program can decide what to do with it.  The information in the
shortcut is (culled from MSDN library):

* referenced location of corresponding object (CO)
* working directory of CO
* argument list for CO
* show state of CO (iconified, full-size, normal)
* icon location for CO
* description of CO
* hot key of shortcut

> The idea of making Emacs use shortcuts in ways that Windows doesn't
> use them makes little sense to me.  To extend this Windows feature
> in any coherent way would require changes in Windows itself and many
> other programs.  And why should we be spending time trying to
> improve Windows?

The one area where Emacs might logically go beyond other Windows
applications is in providing a shortcut-edit-mode to allow editing the
information in a shortcut from within Emacs.  However, I don't know
how difficult that would be to do properly.

With respect to opening a shortcut, does Emacs keep any side-lists of
information about the files that it opens?  Could Emacs resolve the
shortcut and stuff the above information into such a "side-list"?  It
would then be available for other functions to make use of as
appropriate.  With a toggle variable, these functions could either
work with the information on their own or invoke (say) w32-do-shortcut
to "execute" the shortcut (judging by the Windows docs, this looks
like a complex function to handle all possibilities).

David Masterson                dmaster AT synopsys DOT com
Sr. R&D Engineer               Synopsys, Inc.
Software Engineering           Sunnyvale, CA

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