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bug#10980: 23.4; Variable initial-environment incorrectly set

From: Bo Johansson
Subject: bug#10980: 23.4; Variable initial-environment incorrectly set
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 00:26:06 +0100

From: Eli Zaretskii
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:05 PM
From: "Bo Johansson" <address@hidden>
Cc: <address@hidden>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 21:20:23 +0100

Summary: A value in the variable initial-environment according to the
documentation makes it possible to "get the same result doing something from
within Emacs as doing it from a Windows command prompt".

(See also

Is this only about SHELL, and only with dmake, or are there other
variables that get in the way of other programs?  Please be specific;
the few changes done to the variables outside Emacs are done for a
good reason, so it's important to know the exact adverse effects of
that to judge how justified would it be to change the current code.

It is not only about SHELL. But SHELL is the most frequent problem.
Dmake and other make programs is just one among many other cases.

I searched internet for "emacs" and "warning: extra args ignored after". There was +1400 hits. Many of theese depends on that SHELL is set to .../cmdproxy.exe. Adding -dmake to the search, resulted in 1280 hits. This indicates that dmake is only one case among others.

In the function compilation-start (lisp/progmodes/compile.el:1166) is the variable process-environment changed. This is done TEMPORARY by using "(let ((process-environment ...". However, in many other places are "persistent" changes made by using the lisp function setenv. This is in many cases not good. Activating a function can then result in an unexpected "persistent" change of the environment.

The last 20 years I have seen many unexpected things using "(compile "something" nil)", but it is first lately I have understood that one of the reasons are the changed environment.

At least the functions compile and shell-command should use an as far as possible unmodified "initial environment inherited by Emacs". I am missing a strategy how to handle the environment within Emacs.

I will try to find examples of other variables then SHELL!

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