#326 invalid emacs TAGS file generated on OSX


In versions from 5.6 onwards on OSX Lion there are problems when generating an emacs TAGS file, even if you simply pass -x to show the table.

The output always contains (possibly in addition to other errors), the line:

(where 22 might be a different number depending on the file)

I tested this with the simplest possible files. When called with a list of files (-L) or recursively on a directory, only the first file seems to generate this invalid tag (but other invalid entries exist, such as "^^,120" and "/var/folders/m7/6b_4vfzx06b9mg52lc9d31r0001jmd/T//tags.l1LmvG,2960".

I have tried configuring using --disable-external-sort.

I am unable to configure versions before /tags/CTags-5_6 because of errors during configure (cannot find ./install.sh, unable to guess build system).


  • sullymandias

    sullymandias - 2012-05-02

    This problem seems to be specific to the LLVM compiler that ships with Xcode 4.3.2 on Max OS X Lion. It's not clear to me if this is a bug in Exuberant, or the compiler. But I was able to get a non-buggy version of Exuberant built on my Lion box with a version of the GCC compiler I built from scratch, following these instructions:


  • Taranaki

    Taranaki - 2012-05-02

    sullymandias: I happened to have an alternate gcc (4.6) compiler installed already and when I switched to using that... lo and behold I have working ctags.

    I will send a message to the fink maintainer as well.


  • jonathon

    jonathon - 2012-06-18

    Has anyone made any progress in isolating the root cause of this issue? The compiler, or the source code?


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