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bug#28969: 27.0.50; dired: Confirmation prompt for wildcard not surround

From: Michael Heerdegen
Subject: bug#28969: 27.0.50; dired: Confirmation prompt for wildcard not surrounded by whitespace
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 03:34:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lars Ingebrigtsen <address@hidden> writes:

> > | `*' and `?' when not surrounded by whitespace nor `\\=`' have no special
> > | significance for `dired-do-shell-command', and are passed through
> > | normally to the shell, but you must confirm first.
> >
> > However, the `y-or-n-p' prompts asks:
> >
> >   "Confirm--do you mean to use `*' as a wildcard? "
> >
> > and
> >
> >   "Confirm--do you mean to use `?' as a wildcard? "
> >
> > and you must answer with 'y' to let these not be treated as wildcards -
> > if you answer with 'n' as the docstring suggests, the operation is
> > aborted.  So, with other words, I think the questions must be inverted.
> Hm...  I don't quite follow you here...  It says it has no significance
> for the command, but just passes it through to the shell.  Where, of
> course, it has great significance.

The docstring is good I think, but the questions are bad IMHO.  First
it's not clear if "wildcard" is meant with respect to the command or to
the shell (this is answered by the doc, yes, still, you have to remember
it), and second, it depends on the concrete command string if the shell
would interpret * or ? as a wildcard at all.  In my example (in my
initial report), also the shell did not interpret it as wildcard, but I
had to say "y" to get it executed.  This is very confusing.  It would be
better to ask "confirm - pass literal `*' to the shell?" or so.

BTW, I had several use cases where * or ?, don't remember, was not
isolated, and I wanted to answer "n" to still get the substitution by
the command and was disappointed that Emacs just canceled.  Maybe one of
the suggested patches also improves that, I haven't checked yet.


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