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Re: [Patch] Add project.el command to replace symbol at point throughout

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: [Patch] Add project.el command to replace symbol at point throughout project
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:12:11 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.14.0

On 12.01.2022 21:56, Juri Linkov wrote:
If we're trying to improve project-query-replace-regexp, why not make it
use the symbol at point by default?

I thought about the option of using symbol at point by default, but
I noticed that the command currently uses the history
variable. I wondered if some people were relying on its current behavior
in a way that I didn’t anticipate (especially since I’m pretty new to all
this). If so, it would be an annoying change to have to worry about
whether the cursor is on a symbol when using a command you previously
relied on. I wanted to try to put forth something possibly useful without
breaking stuff.

You would use the same command, but would be able to press RET to have
the default regexp (symbol at point) used as FROM. I don't have a patch
yet, but it might be something that all callers of
query-replace-read-args might benefit from.
Since I think I can understand what you’re suggesting, I would be happy
to make an attempt at a patch to modify the callers of
query-replace-read-args to default to a regexp quoted
symbol-at-point. But no worries if you would rather have experienced eyes
on it.

I'm actually not sure about the best way to implement this: whether we
definitely want query-replace-read-args to use symbol-at-point as the
default FROM. But it does sounds handy to me. Let's ask the developer who
touched it last.

query-replace-read-args can't be changed because in query-replace
RET should use the previous from->to pair from the history.

That probably makes sense. But the user could use 'M-p' for that and otherwise enjoy a different default (FROM defaulting to symbol-at-point).

But it would be a breaking change, admittedly.

So if you want, you could change project-query-replace-regexp:
let-bind read-regexp-defaults-function around the call
of query-replace-read-args, and use a symbol at point as the default.

...or that. After all, when doing project-wise replacements, you probably wouldn't repeat the same search twice. Or at least, not do it often.

And you can actually do this right now:

- Enter command 'project-query-replace-regexp'
- Press M-n, having the symbol at point picked up as FROM, hit return
- Enter the replacement string and hit return
This is awesome! Did not know about that behavior, thank you for sharing!

That capability actually comes with the "forward history" thing. Not very
obvious, but when you learn about it, it's pretty nice.

Maybe the prompt should show some indication that the default
can be fetched by M-n?

Could be an improvement, but I'm not sure how that'd look, or what text to show ("future history" is not a very obvious name).

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