[mosh-devel] Application specific agents, side-channel file transfers and triggers

Mikko Ohtamaa mikko at opensourcehacker.com
Wed Apr 25 17:23:54 EDT 2012

Hi all,

In Pycon Finland 2012 someone proposed following:

- It is pain to edit files on the server over terminal using terminal
editors like vi, emacs or nano if you are used to GUI editors like Sublime
Text or TextMate. This goes for most desktop users of the world, but not
necessarily hardcore UNIX users.

- It would be nice that you could somehow invoke a local text editor to
edit remote files and have a generic solution for this problem without
messing with operating system file system layers

This would be possible if

- Your server has a remote command which can invoke a local text editor
(let's call it redit)

- redit signals the current remote connection session (ssh / mosh) that the
user would like to invoke the text editor against file X

- the file is transferred to the local computer using a terminal session
side channel, so that there is no need to open a new connection or know
from which server the file comes from

Then what happens on your local computer

- file is saved in /tmp

- a local editor is opened by a terminal software side-channel trigger,
opening the fresh downloaded file

- the temp file is being monitored on the local file system

- when the user presses save in the local editor, monitor triggers
transfers of the edited content back to the server redit command / agent

As far as I know adding such application specific support in SSH would be
major pain where one of the pain points is that SSH community is perceived
as archaic for modern developers. However, now Mosh is gaining popularity
rapidly and due to its fast development pace could be open for new ideas.

So, my question is: What kind of job it would be adding application
specific side-channel / triggering support for Mosh session so that
arbitary applications could utilize Mosh connection for their nefarious

Thank you for a great software,

Mikko Ohtamaa
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