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editor: use canonicalized absolute path

By improving the relative_path() algorithm, e02ca72 (path.c:
refactor relative_path(), not only strip prefix, 2013-06-25)
uncovered a latent bug in Emacs.  While most editor applications
like cat and vim handle non-canonicalized relative paths fine, emacs
does not.  This is due to a long-standing bug in emacs, where it
refuses to resolve symlinks in the supplied path:

  cd /tmp
  mkdir z z/a z/b
  echo moodle >z/a/file
  ln -s z/b
  cd b
  emacs ../a/file # fail: attempts to open /tmp/a/file

Even if emacs were to be patched to fix this bug, it may be nicer to
help users running older versions.

Note that this can potentially regress for users of all editors,
when they ask "what file am I editing?" to the editor, as it is
likely to answer with an unsightly long full path.

Co-authored-by: Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy <>
Signed-off-by: Ramkumar Ramachandra <>
Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
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1 parent 117eea7 commit 09c5ae5a503b0293205c7e6d63a739bd8d0529dc @artagnon artagnon committed with gitster Jul 28, 2013
Showing with 1 addition and 1 deletion.
  1. +1 −1 editor.c
@@ -37,7 +37,7 @@ int launch_editor(const char *path, struct strbuf *buffer, const char *const *en
return error("Terminal is dumb, but EDITOR unset");
if (strcmp(editor, ":")) {
- const char *args[] = { editor, path, NULL };
+ const char *args[] = { editor, real_path(path), NULL };
struct child_process p;
int ret, sig;

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