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In the documentation for lisp/eshell/esh-var.el (and 
`eshell-parse-variable-ref' in that file), it says that "$<FOO>" is a 
way of accessing the value of the variable FOO to disambiguate the 
length of the variable name, sort of like "${FOO}" in ordinary shells. 
However, that's not actually true. The correct syntax for that is:

   $"FOO"
   ;; or...
   $'FOO'

In fact, what "$<FOO>" does is to run FOO as a subcommand, writing its 
stdout to a temp file, and returning that file's name. This is (very!) 
subtly implied in the Eshell manual in the "Bugs and ideas" section, 
where it says:

   `grep python $<rpm -qa>' doesn't work, but using `*grep' does

   This happens because the `grep' Lisp function returns immediately,
   and then the asynchronous `grep' process expects to examine the
   temporary file, which has since been deleted.

Attached is a patch which updates the documentation to correctly 
describe the current behavior. Note: since this is just a documentation 
change, it might be worth pushing to the 28 branch.

--------------621208421B5428A95558A3F5
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From: help-debbugs@HIDDEN (GNU bug Tracking System)
To: Jim Porter <jporterbugs@HIDDEN>
Subject: bug#54190: Acknowledgement (29.0.50; [PATCH] Incorrect/missing
 documentation for some Eshell "$" syntaxes)
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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2022 21:35:02 +0000

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On 2/27/2022 1:34 PM, Jim Porter wrote:
> In fact, what "$<FOO>" does is to run FOO as a subcommand, writing its 
> stdout to a temp file, and returning that file's name.
Hmm, that's unfortunate. It seems that the "$<FOO>" syntax in Eshell 
broke sometime between 27.2 and 28. I'm bisecting to figure out where 
that happened, but figured I'd mention it now so there's no confusion if 
someone tries it out now on 28/29. Fix forthcoming (hopefully).




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On 2/27/2022 10:11 PM, Jim Porter wrote:
> Hmm, that's unfortunate. It seems that the "$<FOO>" syntax in Eshell 
> broke sometime between 27.2 and 28. I'm bisecting to figure out where 
> that happened, but figured I'd mention it now so there's no confusion if 
> someone tries it out now on 28/29. Fix forthcoming (hopefully).

Ok, the breaking commit is b03f74e0f2a578b1580e8b1c368665850ee7f808 
("Don't quote lambdas in several places"). Reverting the change in that 
commit in lisp/eshell/esh-var.el fixes things, although I'm not sure why 
yet. I believe that code gets evaluated by `eshell-do-eval', which 
evaluates things in a very particular way in order to support deferring 
evaluation at various points. Once I'm sure I understand why this is 
breaking, I'll post a patch to fix the bustage.




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 commit is b03f74e0f2a578b1580e8b1c368665850ee7f808 > ("Don't quote lambdas
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 lisp/eshell/esh-var.el fixes things, althoug [...] 
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Jim Porter <jporterbugs@HIDDEN> writes:

> Ok, the breaking commit is b03f74e0f2a578b1580e8b1c368665850ee7f808
> ("Don't quote lambdas in several places"). Reverting the change in
> that commit in lisp/eshell/esh-var.el fixes things, although I'm not
> sure why yet. I believe that code gets evaluated by `eshell-do-eval',
> which evaluates things in a very particular way in order to support
> deferring evaluation at various points. Once I'm sure I understand why
> this is breaking, I'll post a patch to fix the bustage.

It's this bit?  Hm...

diff --git a/lisp/eshell/esh-var.el b/lisp/eshell/esh-var.el
index 96838d4132..7388279f15 100644
--- a/lisp/eshell/esh-var.el
+++ b/lisp/eshell/esh-var.el
@@ -463,8 +463,8 @@ eshell-parse-variable-ref
                    (eshell-as-subcommand ,(eshell-parse-command cmd))
                    (ignore
                     (nconc eshell-this-command-hook
-                           (list (function (lambda ()
-                                              (delete-file ,temp))))))
+                           (list (lambda ()
+                                   (delete-file ,temp)))))
                    (quote ,temp)))
             (goto-char (1+ end)))))))
    ((eq (char-after) ?\()


Trying to follow the logic of how this is eventually evaluated isn't,
er, obvious, but I'm not sure how that change could break anything,
either.  Perhaps Stefan has a comment; added to the CCs.

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





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