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Visual completion ellipsis

From: Grzegorz Adam Hankiewicz
Subject: Visual completion ellipsis
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 23:36:53 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040722i

Here's a proposed patch for Bash (or readline) which implements a
usability feature.  This feature reduces the amount of text output
when filename completion shows a list of files after pressing TAB
twice (or once if you configure it so), showing as first letter
what you have to type to disambiguate the completion. Here's an
output example:

  [0:address@hidden:0] [~/project/bash-3.1-ellipsis]$ ./bash
  address@hidden:~/project/bash-3.1-ellipsis$ ls ar<hit tab>
  ___.c         ...func.c     ...func.h     ...func.o     ___.h         ___.o
  address@hidden:~/project/bash-3.1-ellipsis$ ls array

As you can see, instead of showing the full name, an ellipsis
replaces the common prefix in the list.  This is more helpful the
longer the names get:

  address@hidden:~/project/bash-3.1-ellipsis$ ls ~/all<hit tab>
  ...df       ...s.gz
  address@hidden:~/project/bash-3.1-ellipsis$ ls ~/allegro-manual-4.0.3.en.p

The patch is not implemented for multibyte (don't know how to deal
with that) and it would be better if the length of the ellipsis
could be set at runtime rather than with a define. I wonder if you
would like to merge this patch with the main distribution. Please
tell me what modifications would I have to do, if you so desire.

Now, about the long story of this improvement. I started thinking
about it during April of 2003. The 16th of that month I mailed
address@hidden asking what would be the procedure to
collaborate a patch implementing this feature. While I waited for
an answer (which never came), I implemented this for bash 2.x and
used it just myself.

Years later I realise I forgot to contribute the patch digging
through an old mailbox.  This time, the 29th of October of 2005
I try luck with address@hidden Again, no luck. This time I
even included the patch for bash 2.x.

Nearly a month later, despite a lack of instructions, I manage to
subscribe to this mailing thanks to the answers of Bob Proulx and
Chet Ramey. Lurking here, I see no trace of active development,
no information about the process of submitting patches, no real
hint of what somebody would have to do to contribute one...

It just looks very very sad that two presumably valid email
addresses don't have anybody reading their mail (or somebody not
bothering to answer), and even instructions about mailing list
subscription are hidden and have to be asked or discovered. Isn't
the bash/readline community preventing software contributions
through lack of communication?

I yet have to find if there is any source control software in use,
so I could make a diff against some sort of development branch. I
wonder, is there any or you guys control things by hand?

Attachment: ellipsis.diff
Description: Text document

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