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Old 02-16-2010, 11:36 AM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2009
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Handling wordbreaks in bash completion

Hello, people.

I am writing completion function for one PHP framework called symfony.
It has command line interface with syntax:

symfony [options] [namespace:]action
I want to make action be autocompletable.
The function is simplest so far:

function _symfony_commands()
   [ -r "cache/completion/.sf" ] && cat cache/completion/.sf

function _symfony
    COMPREPLY=( $( compgen -W "$(_symfony_commands)" -- ${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]} ) )

complete -F _symfony symfony
In the .sf file placed list of all available commands divided by space.
And it works fine if there is no namespace in symfony action, e.g.:

symfony he[TAB]
will be properly completed to
symfony help

But, if there is : symbol which separate namespace from action problems coming:
symfony doct[TAB]
will be completed to
symfony doctrine:

But nothing happens if you want complete after : symbol.
I've found out that for readline there is three words because it splits line with $COMP_WORDBREAKS

I played with $COMP_WORDS array and tried every thought I had to make it work, but failed.
What I should do to escape colon and make readline consider it as one word?
Or there is way perhaps to workaround it?

Any help are appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
David the H.
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Can't you just modify COMP_WORDBREAKS locally for the function?

Edit: P.S. Do you have any particular purpose for having a separate _symfony_commands function? I don't see any reason here not to simply incorporate it directly into the _symfony function. I'd personally just do something like this:

function _symfony

    simfony_commands=$([ -r "cache/completion/.sf" ] && cat cache/completion/.sf)

    COMPREPLY=( $( compgen -W "$symfony_commands" -- ${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]} ) )

complete -F _symfony symfony
I can't test this though, not having symfony.

Last edited by David the H.; 02-18-2010 at 01:39 AM.
Old 02-18-2010, 08:06 AM   #3
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Registered: Sep 2009
Posts: 3

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Thanks for the answer.

No, it won't help though.
Because $COMP_WORDBREAKS are used before this function call.

In fact bash fill COMP_WORDS array and pass it to the defined function.

Yes, there is no practical reason for now, you right.
But code will be growed to process options and change behavior depends on word completing.


You don't have to install symfony to test it.
You define the function in your shell, download the command list to /tmp/cache/completion/.sf
Then do something like this:

cd /tmp
touch symfony
chmod +x symfony
Don't forget load the function into your shell, including complete command.
It will work as:

/tmp/symfony log:[TAB]
Some clue may give this function:
# This function completes on user:group format
        local IFS=$'\n'
        cur=${cur//\\\\ / }
        if [[ $cur = *@(\\:|.)* ]] && [ -n "$bash205" ]; then
                COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -P ${user/\\\\} -g -- ${cur##*[.:]}) )
        elif [[ $cur = *:* ]] && [ -n "$bash205" ]; then
                COMPREPLY=( $( compgen -g -- ${cur##*[.:]} ) )
                COMPREPLY=( $( compgen -S : -u -- $cur ) )
It it doesn't work properly neither, despite the fact that it in debian bash-completion package.


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