Hobo facilitates editing remote files by automating file transfers via SCP, relying on SSH-AGENT (or RSA/DSA) to authenticate. Hobo stores files locally in a temporary directory structure and can automatically clean up the temporary files and directories when you’re done. In addition, it makes accessing the remote files a lot easier using aliases/shortcuts with all of the connection info already set up.
The latest version of Hobo can be found at:
;;; Existential Background: ;; ;; Hobo's raison d'être can best be defined in terms of what it's ;; not, and that can best be accomplished by looking at TRAMP ;; (http://tramp.sf.net). Hobo is the antithesis of what TRAMP ;; stands for (literally): "Transparent Remote Access, Multiple ;; Protocol". From the TRAMP homepage, TRAMP seeks to provide a way ;; ;; to access files on remote machines as though they were ;; local. Access to the remote file system for editing files, ;; version control, and dired are transparently enabled. Your ;; access to the remote machine can be with the rsh, rlogin, ;; telnet programs or with any similar connection method. ;; ;; Hobo does not provide a transparent interface, nor does it support ;; multiple protocols. It has no support for version control (and ;; none planned) and no support for dired (though that may come ;; someday). It has no facility for file completion, does not ;; support any protocols other then 'scp', cannot tell when the file ;; you're visiting has changed on the remote system and cannot be ;; used to edit local files as a different user via 'su'. If you ;; must have dired, must know when a file changes on the remote ;; system and update the local buffer automatically, need to use rcp ;; and so on, then Hobo is not for you. ;; ;; So why use Hobo at all? A couple of reasons. With the power and ;; flexibility of TRAMP comes a certain amount of complexity and ;; overhead. For some uses/users, TRAMP setup and configuration is ;; very straight-forward, but for others it can be quite complex. In ;; my case the complexity was caused and/or compounded by the ;; protocol I chose (ssh/scp) and the limitations of the available ;; tools for the Win32 platform (the Cygwin version of SSH has ptty ;; problems). ;; ;; When I tried & failed recently to get TRAMP to work (my fourth or ;; fifth try), I came to the conclusion that part of the problem, for ;; me, had to do with stuff that I didn't need. The only thing I ;; wanted was a nice easy way to bring a file located on a remote ;; machine into my local Emacs session, work on it and, when I save ;; it locally, have it automatically go back to the remote system. ;; Everything else that TRAMP does would have been nice, but I could ;; live without it. ;; ;; So I wrote Hobo (playing on the vagabond definition of tramp; I'm ;; sure I could have had more fun with some other definitions :). ;; It's basic and straight-forward, there's very little setup or ;; configuration and it works. And that for me was the most ;; important thing. ;; ;; There are a couple of things that Hobo has that TRAMP doesn't (at ;; least that I know of). One is the concept of aliases, where ;; instead of typing in "firstname.lastname@example.org:/some/default/path", you ;; can store all of that in an alias called "foo" and then just ;; provide "foo" as the connection info. See `hobo-alias-alist' and ;; `hobo-find-file' for more info. ;; ;; The second feature that Hobo has that TRAMP does not is the ;; ability to save the file locally and NOT transmit it back to the ;; remote site. Ok, it's not earth-shattering, but it is something.
;;; Statement of intent re: TRAMP ;; ;; Just to be clear, Hobo will never be anything more than a ;; utilitarian replacement for TRAMP. Hobo is the bottem-end ;; sub-compact to TRAMP's ultra-high-end SUV. The sub-compact is ;; cheap, easy to use, and reliable, but lacking in comfort features. ;; The SUV is powerful, fun, and much more feature-rich, but requires ;; lots of resources and some TLC. Both have their place. Sure, the ;; sub-compact will get you where you need to be if you're desperate ;; and can't get the SUV started because it's out of gas or in the ;; shop. But honestly, wouldn't you rather be driving around in the ;; SUV?