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

From: Kévin Le Gouguec
Subject: bug#28969: 27.0.50; dired: Confirmation prompt for wildcard not surrounded by whitespace
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:19:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Michael Heerdegen <address@hidden> writes:

> 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.

Yup, that's what I set out to do in bug#35564.  Here is the patch
series, condensed into a single patch for convenience.

Attachment: 0001-Tweak-dired-warning-about-wildcard-characters.patch
Description: Text Data

It is a bit more involved than a simple rewording, mainly because I
could not find a concise sentence that sounded 100%-unambiguous
(e.g. "literal" might be taken to mean "suitably backslash-escaped or

> 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.

Allowing the user to substitute non-isolated characters is something
Drew also suggested in bug#35564.

I haven't tackled that yet (haven't met the use-case).  What would a
good UI look like?  Successive prompting for each non-isolated
character?  Something like:

> Substitute highlighted occurrence of `?'? ([y]es, [n]o, [a]bort)

Although note that you can already tell Dired that your '?' is meant to
be substituted, by surrounding it with backquotes.  E.g. try to mark
some files, then

    ! echo 'foo`?`bar'

It's not implemented for '*' though.

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