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bug#9361: 24.0.50; default value of `dired-do-chmod'

From: Juri Linkov
Subject: bug#9361: 24.0.50; default value of `dired-do-chmod'
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:49:23 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

> I think there's a problem here, indeed.  It's a bad idea to take an
> empty input to mean a certain default permission---especially when that
> default permission is not displayed in the prompt.
> The following patch makes dired-do-chmod demand a non-empty input.  The
> precomputed permission is still available in the M-n `future history'.

There are other demands that dired commands should not use `read-string'
that returns the default value for an empty input.  Please see

So we should either change `read-string' (backward-incompatible change)
or to change `dired-mark-read-string' not to use `read-string'.

Another solution is to add a new global variable that changes the default
behavior of `read-string' and let-bind it in `dired-mark-read-string'.

> +     (while (equal result "")
> +       (setq result
> +         (read-from-minibuffer prompt nil nil
> +                               nil nil default)))

I think it should tell the user what's wrong, like `read-number' does
with "Please enter a number."

Too bad that currently semantically similar functions
`read-string' and `read-number' differ significantly
WRT handling an empty input and default values.

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