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bug#35367: 26.2; `dired-copy-how-to-fn' and HOW-TO arg of `dired-create-

From: Mike Kupfer
Subject: bug#35367: 26.2; `dired-copy-how-to-fn' and HOW-TO arg of `dired-create-files'
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 20:20:27 -0700

Drew Adams wrote:

> Kinda seems odd that we'd have created a
> variable for something that someone _might_
> want to do (but probably never has done).
> Usually, when someone proposes something
> like that it gets rejected as fulfilling
> only a hypothetical need.

Indeed.  Maybe there were consumers of dired-copy-how-to-fn back in the
1990s.  While poking around in the sources I noticed a comment in
vc-dir.el saying that it *used to be* based on dired.  (Or maybe whoever
was the Emacs maintainer at the time thought dired-copy-how-to-fn was a
cool idea and didn't insist on having a consumer for it.)

> Anyway, if the variable will stay then it
> would be great if the doc could be fixed
> a bit, based on some of what you said here.

I can try proposing clearer wording for the dired-do-create-files
docstring, though it'll probably be several days before I can get to it.

I want to be cautious about proposing ways to use dired-copy-how-to-fn.
My earlier comments were based on my reading of the documentation and a
tiny bit of testing.  I wasn't involved with Emacs development when the
dired how-to stuff was introduced, so I don't have any special insights
into what the thinking was at the time.  Though the more I think about
my tarfile example, the more I think it'd be a fun little hack.


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