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bug#25076: 24.5; Enhancement request: Make `archive-mode' more Dired lik

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#25076: 24.5; Enhancement request: Make `archive-mode' more Dired like (sorting etc.)
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2016 08:13:00 -0800 (PST)

> > > > Subject line says it all.  `archive-mode' still seems pretty
> > > > rudimentary.  It would be good to at least be able to sort the
> > > > lines by file name etc.
> > >
> > > I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be smarter to actually use dired to
> > > access archives, like how we can use dired to access remote
> > > directories through tramp.
> > >
> > > I expect this is probably a much bigger/harder job than I
> > > imagine, but what would be required? Just a function that
> > > could produce ls style output for archives?
> >
> > I can't speak to that question.  I suggest that you file a
> > separate enhancement request for it.  If it turns out that
> > it is trivial then the two bugs can be merged - I don't have
> > any objection to being able to use Dired (completely) for archives.
> >
> > But no, it is not just a question of producing an ls-style
> > listing. The various Dired operations available currently
> > expect a file as target.
> Then one almost obvious solution is to unpack the archive under
> temporary-file-directory, and invoke Dired on that.

Yes.  And that is what I've done, manually.  I think wrapping
that up so that it happens transparently is probably the best

> In any case, IMO adding such a feature (which I agree should be
> nice) is out of scope of archive-mode, as it is designed.  Its
> basic design is to show you the archive as it is on disk, with
> no changes.  The file listing you are looking at in archive-mode
> is in most cases a specially-formatted TOC that is recorded in
> the archive.  Changing its order means changing the archive itself,
> which is not what the request wants, AFAIU.

I think you're right.

> So if Dired on a temporary copy is not a good solution for some
> reason, I guess we need a new mode, which will reuse some basic
> capabilities of archive-mode, but otherwise be designed similarly
> to Dired.

I think opening Dired on a temporary extraction is probably the
way to go.  Do you want to rename this enhancement request to that
effect, or do you want a new request for that?

Once that is available, a question will be whether, by default,
`dired-find-file' and `find-file' should open an archive file in
archive mode or should open Dired on (a temporary extraction of) it.

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