2

I have tried very hard to figure this one out before actually posting here, but I can't seem to find any other examples of people solving this particular issue.

I am running Ubuntu 17.10

I have written a custom function to handle tab completion for one of my scripts. The intention is that when I type in the name of my script and hit [TAB] that it list all of the files in /opt/use that end in ".use" (without displaying the ".use" or the leading path). I seem to have made that work so far.

The files in /opt/use are as follows:

blender-2.79.use
chrome.use
clarisse-3.6.use
unity-2017.3.0p2.use

The code for the function and the completion is:

_use () {
    files=( `compgen -f -X "!*.use" /opt/use/` )
    output=()
    for file in "${files[@]}"; do
        fileBaseName=`basename $file .use`
        output+=("$fileBaseName")
    done
    COMPREPLY=( ${output[@]} )
}
complete -F _use use

Please don't judge me too harshly, I'm a graphic artist, not a programmer. :)

Also, my "use" script is actually an alias for the following command:

source /opt/scripts/use.sh

Now when I type:

use[SPACE][TAB][TAB]

I successfully get a list of the files in /opt/use that end in ".use".

So far so good. For example, I type "use[SPACE][TAB][TAB]", this is what it looks like:

bvz@bvz-xps15-linux:~$ use 
blender-2.79      chrome            clarisse-3.6      unity-2017.3.0p2  

My first question is why I have to hit [TAB] twice? The first time just beeps. The second time it shows me my options. That isn't an issue for me, I just wonder if it is a clue as to my problem, which is this:

If I type enough letters to be completely unique, the tab completion does not actually "complete" the line. It just leaves the entry exactly as I typed it and re-shows me the list of files in /opt/use. So, for example, if I type:

use clar[TAB][TAB]

instead of filling out the line to read:

use clarisse-3.6

which is what I would expect (and what I am after) it leaves the line as:

use clar

and shows me underneath the full list of possible completions. Here is a sample:

bvz@bvz-xps15-linux:~$ use clar[TAB][TAB]
blender-2.79      chrome            clarisse-3.6      unity-2017.3.0p2  
bvz@bvz-xps15-linux:~$ use clar

Notice how it didn't actually complete the line to read "clarisse-3.6" even though that is the only possible completion.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what I have done wrong? Also, if this is a duplicate I apologize. I have looked around for several days but can't find any examples where someone has even run into this issue, much less solved it.

Thanks

  • 1
    Your function is not making any use of the partial word being completed, which should be in ${COMP_WORDS[$COMP_CWORD]}. – muru Feb 1 '18 at 3:49
  • So, I should filter my results to only show those that match what was typed? I.e. I would use something like: word="${COMP_WORDS[$COMP_CWORD]}" and then only add to my output array those elements that start with $word? – bvz Feb 1 '18 at 4:47
  • That, in fact was what I needed to do! Thanks for your help. If you wan to put your comment in the form of an answer, I will accept that as the solution. Thanks again! – bvz Feb 1 '18 at 4:53
  • 1
    It would be better if you posted how you fixed the function using that as an answer! – muru Feb 1 '18 at 5:03
  • I did edit my post above. Should I post it as a separate answer? Thanks again for your help. This had me spinning for a few days! – bvz Feb 1 '18 at 5:04
3

Thanks to Muru for pointing me to the solution.

Apparently my issue was that every time my function was called it always returned the full list of possible matches. I needed to only return those possible completions that match what the user has typed so far. Once I return only a single item, then bash will auto-complete the rest of the line.

This is the function that works. Before adding each possible completion, I do a quick check to see if the completion starts with the word that was typed originally. I do this using regular expressions. I also had to test to see if they haven't entered anything yet - in which case I always return everything.

I also changed it to make some more variables "local".

_use () {
    local word="${COMP_WORDS[$COMP_CWORD]}"
    local files=( `compgen -f -X "!*.use" /opt/use/` )
    local output=()
    for file in "${files[@]}"; do
        fileBaseName=`basename $file .use`
        if [[ $fileBaseName =~ ^$word.* ]] || [ "$word" == "" ]; then
            output+=("$fileBaseName")
        fi
    done
    COMPREPLY=( ${output[@]} )
}
1

Now that I have had some time to consider this, I think the completion function can be simplified to:

_use () {
    local word="${COMP_WORDS[$COMP_CWORD]}"
    local IFS=$'\n'
    COMPREPLY=( $(find /opt/use/ -type f -name "$word*.use" -exec basename -as .use {} +) )
}

Assuming your basename is new enough to support -a, otherwise do -exec basename {} .use \; instead.

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