What is wrong with the name excel?

Eliot Moss moss@cs.umass.edu
Fri Apr 17 18:01:44 GMT 2020

On 4/17/2020 1:24 PM, Erik Soderquist via Cygwin wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 7:11 AM Gerlach van Beinum wrote:
>> I made a program to read a csv file from Excel. I called it excel.c
>> and it made an executable excel.exe
>> If irun that executable with:
>> ./excel.exe
>> nothing happens, i.i. no output.
>> If I rename it to a.exe it runs OK.
>> What about this name excel??
> I believe this is actually a Windows issue; Windows recognizes
> "excel.exe" as 'a Microsoft package' and intercepts the call to launch
> the program, though I would expect Microsoft Excel to launch rather
> than 'nothing happening'
> I've had this problem before on hosts that did not even have Cygwin
> installed when the executable file name matched an existing 'Microsoft
> package'

What seems a little odd to me is this.  If I had invoked via:


I would not be surprised the MS Excel would launch, because it is probably
earlier in the path.  But the OP said he typed:


So I am surprised, given the explicit path.  Which leads me to a background
wondering of whether ./excel.exe has execute permission set.  If not maybe
the search would continue, trying to find something on the path that could
be executed?  That would surprise me a little, but I'd have to go read the
fine print on bash, etc.

Regards - Eliot Moss

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