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bug#23400: Emacs etags fails to handle file format generated

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: bug#23400: Emacs etags fails to handle file format generated by Exuberant Ctags 5.8 in etags emulation mode
Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 23:23:17 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.1

On 05/01/2016 06:47 PM, Robert Weiner wrote:

The main Exhuberant CTags site is: http://ctags.sourceforge.net/ which
shows a last released version of 5.8.

That doesn't mean it's the last version of the code produced by that project: https://sourceforge.net/p/ctags/code/816/log/?path=/trunk lists newer commits that continue up to the year 2014.

It was my assumption that Ubuntu's version either used one of the later snapshots (like "~svn" in the version indicates), or included only minimal changes made by Ubuntu's maintainers.

The popular `brew' package
manager for OS X installs version 5.8 as the latest.

Have you tried discussing that the Brew maintainers?

There is universal-ctags (version 0, based on V5.8) which fixes the
problem I listed and has a separate web page: http://ctags.io.

Indeed, this project seems to be THE way forward for ctags.

Any reason to believe that it isn't based on any of the subsequent version of code posted to the original project's SVN?

The patch to fix the problem is simple but whether you want to apply it
given all of this is left for you far more knowledgeable maintainers to

I'm inclined toward "no", because:

- The problem seems limited to `M-x list-tags', which is not really essential functionality.
- ctags 5.8 clearly violates the established format.
- The only generator of TAGS files that we officially support is our 'etags' program. - Adding a workaround for an old version of ctags in counterproductive in other ways: the sooner the user notices problems with the ctags they installed, the sooner they might go looking for a newer version. Which contains other improvements and bugfixes as well.

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