I can not wrap my head finding a solution for this simple editing task in Readline. I just want to kill the characters forward until the end of a Big word, that is, (more or less) until the next space character (dE in vim).

Specially, when hitting a key sequence,

> 2234I567.890 32345678

would become

> 2234I 32345678

where the cursor position is indicated by I.

Here are what I've tried to add in ~/.inputrc to make it happen.

  1. First attempt:

    "\eF": vi-fWord
    "\eD": "\eF\C-w"

This does kill forward for a Big word, but it works incorrectly if the cursor is placed in word. In that case, the whole word is killed.

  1. Second attempt:

    "\eF": vi-fWord
    "\C-x1": kill-region
    "\eD": "\C-@\eF\C-x1 "

This should have worked, shouldn't it? At least it works if I manually kick the complete \C-@\eF\C-x1 key sequence myself on the commandline. However it was weird that nothing happened when I kicked \eD key sequence.

  1. I also thought about using vi mode command vi-delete-to and the likes, but not sure how to do it due to the complete lack of documentation relating to Readline vi mode.

So I'm here to seek help.


OK, I have got it work finally.

It turns out that I just have to remap set-mark function to another key sequence (say, \C-x2) and replace the default \C-@ with this new mapping. Then everything works just fine.

Maybe it's a bug that \C-@ doesn't function as expected when appearing in RHS of a Readline macro.

The following is my setup that makes Alt + D delete input forward to the next space or big WORD (in vim jargon).

"\C-x0": vi-eWord
"\C-x1": kill-region
"\C-x2": set-mark
"\eF": "\C-x0\C-f"
"\eD": "\C-x2\eF\C-x1"

Because we didn't use shell-specific Readline function such as shell-forward-word, the key binding works in all applications that utilize Readline library, for example, bash, (i)python, etc.

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