GNU bug report logs - #11571
24.0.97; doc string of `dired-get-subdir-min'

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Package: emacs; Severity: minor; Reported by: "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>; dated Sun, 27 May 2012 21:40:02 UTC; Maintainer for emacs is bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN.

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From: Drew Adams <drew.adams@HIDDEN>
To: Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN>
Subject: RE: bug#11571: 24.0.97; doc string of `dired-get-subdir-min'
References: <144EDF3C01664A2180447B02D1A6EB09@HIDDEN>
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> > Actually, the real bug is that `dired-get-subdir-min' has no doc
> > string, so the doc string of `cdr' is used in its stead.  The
> > whole point of defining and using a separate function for this,
> > instead of just coding with `cdr', is to enable readers of the
> > code - and a fortiori the doc - to think in terms of the data
> > structure of directories and not just abstract cons cells.  There
> > should be doc at the proper level of abstraction here.
>=20
> Help says:
>=20
> ---
> dired-get-subdir-min is an alias for `cdr' in `dired.el'.
> (dired-get-subdir-min LIST)
> Return the cdr of LIST.  If arg is nil, return nil.
> Error if arg is not nil and not a cons cell.  See also `cdr-safe'.
> ---
>=20
> I think that's fine.

No, it is not fine.  That doc is 100% unrelated to "dired",
"getting" something, "subdir", and "minimum".

If it were fine, then it would be even finer to get rid of this
function, with its supposedly descriptive name, and use just cdr.

If that is the fix you make, fine with me.  If you keep the
function then users deserve its doc to explain what it is about.
Clearly, it is not just "about" returning the cdr.  The function
is named, presumably, to suggest what it is for: its purpose or
behavior WRT DIRED AND SUBDIRS.

Hard to believe that when someone goes to the trouble of
spelling out in the bug report why better doc is needed here
you cannot read and understand that.

> However:
>=20
> ;; can't use macro,  must be redefinable for other alist format in
> dired-nstd.
> (defalias 'dired-get-subdir-min 'cdr)
>=20
> Which is kinda er.
>=20
> I don't know what nstd is, and the function doesn't seem to be
> redefined anywhere, so is this just legacy gunk?  Should
> `dired-get-subdir-min' just be replaced by `cdr' in all the
> calling sites?

Yes, that can be the first question, if you want to get into it.
If you do not want to file a separate (code) bug for that, fine.
But if this function is kept then please document it properly.




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#11571; Package emacs. Full text available.

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From: Lars Ingebrigtsen <larsi@HIDDEN>
To: "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#11571: 24.0.97; doc string of `dired-get-subdir-min'
References: <144EDF3C01664A2180447B02D1A6EB09@HIDDEN>
 <484EACDE2A4A4185B158B84473AB1710@HIDDEN>
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 2014 19:59:19 -0800
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"Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN> writes:

> Actually, the real bug is that `dired-get-subdir-min' has no doc string, so the
> doc string of `cdr' is used in its stead.  The whole point of defining and using
> a separate function for this, instead of just coding with `cdr', is to enable
> readers of the code - and a fortiori the doc - to think in terms of the data
> structure of directories and not just abstract cons cells.  There should be doc
> at the proper level of abstraction here.

Help says:

---
dired-get-subdir-min is an alias for `cdr' in `dired.el'.

(dired-get-subdir-min LIST)

Return the cdr of LIST.  If arg is nil, return nil.
Error if arg is not nil and not a cons cell.  See also `cdr-safe'.
---

I think that's fine.

However:

;; can't use macro,  must be redefinable for other alist format in dired-nstd.
(defalias 'dired-get-subdir-min 'cdr)

Which is kinda er.

I don't know what nstd is, and the function doesn't seem to be redefined
anywhere, so is this just legacy gunk?  Should `dired-get-subdir-min'
just be replaced by `cdr' in all the calling sites?

-- 
(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
  bloggy blog http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/




Information forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#11571; Package emacs. Full text available.

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ping





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bug#11571; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Subject: RE: bug#11571: 24.0.97; doc string of `dired-get-subdir-min'
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Actually, the real bug is that `dired-get-subdir-min' has no doc string, so the
doc string of `cdr' is used in its stead.  The whole point of defining and using
a separate function for this, instead of just coding with `cdr', is to enable
readers of the code - and a fortiori the doc - to think in terms of the data
structure of directories and not just abstract cons cells.  There should be doc
at the proper level of abstraction here.





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bug#11571; Package emacs. Full text available.

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Subject: 24.0.97; doc string of `dired-get-subdir-min'
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These parts have nothing to do with this function per se, and should be
removed:
 
 "... If arg is nil, return nil.
  Error if arg is not nil and not a cons cell.  See also `cdr-safe'."
 
This is not the place to teach about cdr - this is misplaced zeal.  Just
say that the function returns the cdr of LIST.  If you want to add
something useful, say what that is, in terms of directories etc.  But do
not teach cdr and cons cells here.
 
See Info node `(elisp)Cons Cells' for a discussion of related basic
Lisp concepts such as cdr, car, cons cell and list.
 
In GNU Emacs 24.0.97.1 (i386-mingw-nt5.1.2600)
 of 2012-05-16 on MARVIN
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 5.1.2600
Configured using:
 `configure --with-gcc (4.6) --no-opt --enable-checking --cflags
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/libXpm-3.5.8/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/libXpm-3.5.8/src
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/libpng-dev_1.4.3-1/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/zlib-dev_1.2.5-2/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/giflib-4.1.4-1/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/jpeg-6b-4/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/tiff-3.8.2-1/include
 -ID:/devel/emacs/libs/gnutls-3.0.9/include'
 





Acknowledgement sent to "Drew Adams" <drew.adams@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-gnu-emacs@HIDDEN:
bug#11571; Package emacs. Full text available.
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