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bug#27798: Documentation of locate-dominating-file is wrong

From: Clément Pit--Claudel
Subject: bug#27798: Documentation of locate-dominating-file is wrong
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 16:52:51 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.2.1

On 2017-07-23 16:31, Eli Zaretskii wrote:>> This part is wrong, because 
locate-dominating-file also accepts directories:
>>   Look up the directory hierarchy from FILE
> Actually, FILE _must_ be a directory, because the function does this:
>       (setq try (if (stringp name)
>                     (file-exists-p (expand-file-name name file))
>                                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Ouch.  This is a problem, because I'm not the only one who assumed that this 
had to be a file and not a directory.  There are instances of 
locate-dominating-file being called with file-name in vc, trampver, yasnippet, 
company, flycheck, proof-general, etc.  Github finds 35k matches for 
(locate-dominating-file buffer-file-name) 

> It's possible that "directory hierarchy from FILE" doesn't convey that
> clearly enough, in which case we could add
>   FILE should be a directory.

Yes, this would be great.  In fact, I think we should rename the argument to 
DIRECTORY, if it's a directory.
But I'm not sure what we should do about all the existing callers…

>> This part is wrong, because the predicate is called with the initial file 
>> name, too:
>>   NAME can also be a predicate taking one argument (a directory)
> Why you say that this is wrong?  The doc string never said anything to
> the contrary.

The docstring says "one argument (a directory)", but locate-dominating-file 
(when called with a file name, not a directory name) passes that file name to 
NAME (thus calling it with one argument that's not a directory).

I understand now that this isn't a valid use of locate-dominating-file, 
however, so that point is moot.  I was under the impression from the docstring 
that locate-dominating-file had to be called with a file name, not a directory 

Thanks for the explanations!

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