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[bug-recutils] Several questions and comments

From: Brian Zwahr
Subject: [bug-recutils] Several questions and comments
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:48:22 -0600

I've been using recutils, and I really like it! I've found it to be quite useful. However, I've read through the documentation, and there's several things I either don't know how to do, don't work, or that I think would be good to be able to do. I'd like to mention them all here and see if anyone has answers or suggestions.

1) Is there a way to programmatically create and defined a record type? recins and recset let you add record entries of a given type, but I don't see any commands, arguments, or flags that let you define a new record type with fields, constraints, etc.

2) With recset, is it possible to set multiple fields at once?

3) With recins/recset, I think it'd be great to see the added/updated records. Currently, I use recsel to find the record I want to update, then use recset to update it, then use recsel again to see the updated record to make sure it was updated properly. It'd be nice if that third setup wasn't necessary because recset did it automatically.

4) Is there a way to disallow all types that aren't defined as mandatory or allowed for a type? I'd like to restrict a record type to only the specifically defined fields. This would be useful in preventing typos, like accidentally adding "Noets" instead of "Notes" to a record.

5) Is it possible to update text fields by appending to them? I have a Notes field that I use, which I will occasionally update by appending to it. Currently, I either have to use recsel to get the current value, then edit the record with the current value appended by the new notes I want to add or I have to manually edit the document.

6) Is it possible to define multiple fields for sorting with %sort%? For instance, if I want to sort by Brand then Product, instead of just Brand.

7) This is specific to the macOS Homebrew installation of recutils, but the info documentation didn't get installed. Does anyone happen to know how to fix that or get it installed?

8) Commands that modify a recfile, like recins, recset, and recfix --auto, don't seem to work when the recfile is on a network drive. For instance, I use pCloud for cloud storage (instead of Dropbox, etc.). pCloud works first and foremost by setting up basically a cloud network drive on your computer. On macOS, it's at ~/pCloud Drive and on Windows its drive P: (which I mount to /mnt/p in the Windows Linux Subsystem), by default. Trying to modify recfiles directly in these locations fails. For instance, just now on my Mac, trying to edit a file with recfix --auto results in:

recfix: error: renaming file /var/folders/2p/2ksrj79s3tj08ztq2q4lh5280000gn/T/recQi0IZr to test.rec

Seems like it can copy the file to a temporary file, which it then modified, then when it tried to copy the modified temp file back to replace the original recfile, it can't.

9) Small English grammar note: On the FAQ, page  one of the questions is "What is the name of the turtles?" but it should be "What are the names of the turtles?" instead.


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