Commit 75b7e407 authored by Eli Zaretskii's avatar Eli Zaretskii

Improve doc of file-symlink-p per bug #17073.

 doc/lispref/files.texi (Kinds of Files): Improve documentation of
 file-symlink-p.  Add cross-references.
parent 08cf935b
2014-03-25 Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org>
* files.texi (Kinds of Files): Improve documentation of
file-symlink-p. (Bug#17073) Add cross-references.
2014-03-24 Barry O'Reilly <gundaetiapo@gmail.com>
* markers.texi (Moving Marker Positions): The 2014-03-02 doc
......
......@@ -950,22 +950,26 @@ as directories, symbolic links, and ordinary files.
@defun file-symlink-p filename
@cindex file symbolic links
If the file @var{filename} is a symbolic link, the
@code{file-symlink-p} function returns the (non-recursive) link target
as a string. (Determining the file name that the link points to from
the target is nontrivial.) First, this function recursively follows
symbolic links at all levels of parent directories.
If the file @var{filename} is not a symbolic link (or there is no such file),
@code{file-symlink-p} function returns its (non-recursive) link target
as a string. (The link target string is not necessarily the full
absolute file name of the target; determining the full file name that
the link points to is nontrivial, see below.) If the leading
directories of @var{filename} include symbolic links, this function
recursively follows them.
If the file @var{filename} is not a symbolic link, or does not exist,
@code{file-symlink-p} returns @code{nil}.
Here are a few examples of using this function:
@example
@group
(file-symlink-p "foo")
(file-symlink-p "not-a-symlink")
@result{} nil
@end group
@group
(file-symlink-p "sym-link")
@result{} "foo"
@result{} "not-a-symlink"
@end group
@group
(file-symlink-p "sym-link2")
......@@ -976,6 +980,40 @@ If the file @var{filename} is not a symbolic link (or there is no such file),
@result{} "/pub/bin"
@end group
@end example
Note that in the third example, the function returned @file{sym-link},
but did not proceed to resolve it, although that file is itself a
symbolic link. This is what we meant by ``non-recursive'' above---the
process of following the symbolic links does not recurse if the link
target is itself a link.
The string that this function returns is what is recorded in the
symbolic link; it may or may not include any leading directories.
This function does @emph{not} expand the link target to produce a
fully-qualified file name, and in particular does not use the leading
directories, if any, of the @var{filename} argument if the link target
is not an absolute file name. Here's an example:
@example
@group
(file-symlink-p "/foo/bar/baz")
@result{} "some-file"
@end group
@end example
@noindent
Here, although @file{/foo/bar/baz} was given as a fully-qualified file
name, the result is not, and in fact does not have any leading
directories at all. And since @file{some-file} might itself be a
symbolic link, you cannot simply prepend leading directories to it,
nor even naively use @code{expand-file-name} (@pxref{File Name
Expansion}) to produce its absolute file name.
For this reason, this function is seldom useful if you need to
determine more than just the fact that a file is or isn't a symbolic
link. If you actually need the file name of the link target, use
@code{file-chase-links} or @code{file-truename}, described in
@ref{Truenames}.
@end defun
The next two functions recursively follow symbolic links at
......
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