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Bugs and Wish List
Here is a list of the known bugs in ange-ftp:
* Be warned that files created by using ange-ftp will take account
of the umask of the ftp daemon process rather than the umask of
the creating user. This is particulary important when logging in
as the root user. The way that I tighten up the ftp daemon's
umask under HP-UX is to make sure that the umask is changed to 027
before I spawn `/etc/inetd'. I suspect that there is something
similar on other systems.
* Some combinations of FTP clients and servers break and get out of
sync when asked to list a non-existent directory. Some of the
`ai.mit.edu' machines cause this problem for some FTP clients.
* Ange-ftp does not check to make sure that when creating a new file,
you provide a valid filename for the remote operating system. If
you do not, then the remote FTP server will most likely translate
your filename in some way. This may cause ange-ftp to get confused
about what exactly is the name of the file. The most common causes
of this are using lower case filenames on systems which support
only upper case, and using filenames which are too long.
* Null (blank) passwords confuse both ange-ftp and some FTP daemons.
* ange-ftp likes to use pty's to talk to its FTP processes. If GNU
Emacs creates a FTP process that only talks via pipes (for
example, if `process-connection-type' is `nil') then ange-ftp
won't be getting the information it requires at the time that it
wants it since pipes flush at different times to pty's. One
disgusting way around this problem is to talk to the FTP process
via rlogin which does the `right' things with pty's.
* You need to quote `$' characters in filenames by using `$$'
instead. This isn't actually a bug, but rather an Emacs convention
(which allows environment variables in filenames.) What *is* an bug
is that when filenames containing `$''s are inserted in the
minibuffer as defaults, the `$' is not converted into the `$$'
quoted form -- hopefully this will be fixed in version 19. It
doesn't usually bother Unix users, but VMS filenames often contain
`$'. Incidentally, Sebastian Kremer's `gmhist' package (which
comes with the Tree Dired distribution: Note: Obtaining source
code) fixes this bug.
* Some hosts (notably ULTRIX) mark symbolic links with a `@'
character in an `ls -F' listing. The variable
`dired-ls-F-marks-symlinks' when set to `t' (the default) alerts
Dired to this behaviour and everything is OK. Enabling this
behaviour by default is not generally a problem on hosts which
does *not* mark symlinks in this way, but if you have
`dired-ls-F-marks-symlinks' set to `t' while accessing a such a
host, then Dired will think that a symbolic link whose name ends
in `@' (a strange thing indeed!) is a regular file. The fix (other
than setting `dired-ls-F-marks-symlinks to' `nil', a bad idea if
you regularly access hosts who mark symbolic links) is to remove
`F' from the `ls' listing switches (use `C-u s' in the Dired
Another problem with symbolic links arises with hosts who do not
show the linked file with `->' in the listing, meaning that Dired
will not recognize the symlink. The solution here is to get a
decent `ls' program on that machine.
* No classic dired support for non-UNIX systems. Tree dired was
* If a directory listing is attempted for an empty directory on (at
least some) VMS hosts, an ftp error is given. This is really an
ftp bug, and I don't know how to get ange-ftp work to around it.
* Bombs on filenames that start with a space. Deals well with
filenames containing spaces, but beware that the remote ftpd may
not like them much.
* Doesn't autosave. Maybe someone could implement auto-saving on the
local host ...
* The code to do compression of files over ftp is not as careful as
it should be. It deletes the old remote version of the file, before
actually checking if the local to remote transfer of the
compressed file succeeds. Of course to delete the original version
of the file after transferring the compressed version back is also
dangerous, because some OS's have severe restrictions on the
length of filenames, and when the compressed version is copied
back the `-Z' or `.Z' may be truncated. Then, ange-ftp would
delete the only remaining version of the file. Maybe ange-ftp
should make backups when it compresses files?
* Remote to remote copying of files on non-Unix machines can be
risky. Depending on the variable
`ange-ftp-binary-file-name-regexp', ange-ftp will use binary mode
for the copy. Between systems of different architecture, this still
may not be enough to guarantee the integrity of binary files.
Binary file transfers from VMS machines are particularly
* Some CMS machines do not assign a default minidisk when you ftp
them as anonymous. It is then necessary to guess a valid minidisk
name, and `cd' to it. This is (understandably) beyond ange-ftp;
however Sebastian Kremer says:
It is beyond ange-ftp, but if the `init' ftp macro were
supported, one could write the appropriate `cd' command into
that. I used to do that on a CMS machine I had an account on
because I never could remember the name of the minidisk. I
think I even had to give an `account' command, too.
Supporting `init' would be a very handy thing.
Hmm, why start `ftp(1)' with the `-n' flag at all?
* For CMS support, we send too many `cd''s. Since `cd''s are cheap,
I haven't worried about this too much. Eventually, we should have
some caching of the current minidisk.
If you find any bugs or problems with this package, *please* e-mail
the author. Ideas and constructive comments are especially welcome. So
are any enhancements to ange-ftp, preferably debugged and documented.
Also welcome are any typo fixes, corrections or additions to this
manual. And just so you don't forget, here's Ange's address again:
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