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36.7 Sending Input to Processes

Asynchronous subprocesses receive input when it is sent to them by Emacs, which is done with the functions in this section. You must specify the process to send input to, and the input data to send. The data appears on the “standard input” of the subprocess.

Some operating systems have limited space for buffered input in a pty. On these systems, Emacs sends an EOF periodically amidst the other characters, to force them through. For most programs, these EOFs do no harm.

Subprocess input is normally encoded using a coding system before the subprocess receives it, much like text written into a file. You can use set-process-coding-system to specify which coding system to use (see Process Information). Otherwise, the coding system comes from coding-system-for-write, if that is non-nil; or else from the defaulting mechanism (see Default Coding Systems).

Sometimes the system is unable to accept input for that process, because the input buffer is full. When this happens, the send functions wait a short while, accepting output from subprocesses, and then try again. This gives the subprocess a chance to read more of its pending input and make space in the buffer. It also allows filters, sentinels and timers to run—so take account of that in writing your code.

In these functions, the process argument can be a process or the name of a process, or a buffer or buffer name (which stands for a process via get-buffer-process). nil means the current buffer’s process.

Function: process-send-string process string

This function sends process the contents of string as standard input. It returns nil. For example, to make a Shell buffer list files:

(process-send-string "shell<1>" "ls\n")
     ⇒ nil
Function: process-send-region process start end

This function sends the text in the region defined by start and end as standard input to process.

An error is signaled unless both start and end are integers or markers that indicate positions in the current buffer. (It is unimportant which number is larger.)

Function: process-send-eof &optional process

This function makes process see an end-of-file in its input. The EOF comes after any text already sent to it. The function returns process.

(process-send-eof "shell")
     ⇒ "shell"
Function: process-running-child-p &optional process

This function will tell you whether a process has given control of its terminal to its own child process. The value is t if this is true, or if Emacs cannot tell; it is nil if Emacs can be certain that this is not so.

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