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I wrote the following emacs lisp procedure to kill a dead ansi-term buffer. It works well if called with M-x. Also, it appears to run correctly when the called in a living term buffer. However, dead buffers happily insert Q anyways. Why is that and how can I make it actually kill the buffer when the process is dead without calling M-x?

(defun terminal-burn-when-dead-or-insert-Q ()
  (interactive)
  (setq buf (current-buffer))
  (if (not (process-live-p (get-buffer-process buf)))
      (kill-buffer buf)
    (insert "Q")))

(define-key term-raw-map (kbd "Q") #'terminal-burn-when-dead-or-insert-Q)
(define-key term-mode-map (kbd "Q") #'terminal-burn-when-dead-or-insert-Q)
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(define-key term-raw-map (kbd "Q") #'terminal-burn-when-dead-or-insert-Q)

That's definitely not going to do what you wanted it to in char mode. You need to send something to the process (like the regular binding term-send-raw does), not just insert some text into the buffer (which tells the process nothing).

It's also not clear from the question whether you'd loaded term.el before those define-key calls happened. If not, then those keymaps didn't exist (and you should have been seeing errors), in which case Q might never have been calling your custom command at all.

I would typically use:

(with-eval-after-load "term"
  (define-key term-mode-map ...))

Regarding your main question, when the process is killed, term-sentinel does this:

(with-current-buffer buffer
  ...
  ;; Get rid of local keymap.
  (use-local-map nil)
  (term-handle-exit (process-name proc) msg)
  ...)

I suggest you piggy-back onto the latter like so:

(define-advice term-handle-exit (:after (&rest _) Q-for-quit)
  "Make Q kill the buffer once the process is dead."
  (use-local-map (let ((map (make-sparse-keymap)))
                   (define-key map "Q" #'kill-current-buffer)
                   map)))

You don't need any of your existing code.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks so much for the detailed explanation of what was going on! – wdkrnls Jul 7 at 13:32

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