Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: Readline-like ^W behavior

Haakon Riiser wrote:
> Is it possible to make ^W delete the word to the left of the cursor
> with the same word-boundary rules as in readline/bash?  Here's what
> I'm looking for:
>     bash$ ls foo-bar | wc^W
> =>  bash$ ls foo-bar | ^W
> =>  bash$ ls foo-bar ^W
> =>  bash$ ls ^W
> =>  bash$

So you're assuming unix-word-rubout in bash?  (The usual bash/readline
rules for words are to use alphanumerics only, but the default ^w
binding does what you show.)

As you're using zsh 4.1.1, you have an easy solution: redefine
backward-kill-word to the Swiss-army-knife function variant with
`-match' appended, and set the style to use whitespace word boundaries:

  bindkey '^w' backward-kill-word		# as before
  autoload -U backward-kill-word-match
  zle -N backward-kill-word backward-kill-word-match
  zstyle ':zle:backward-kill-word' word-style whitespace

See the zshcontrib manual for more on these functions, implemented by
match-words-by-style (and not match-word-by-style, hence the following
patch).  If you want all functions to use this behaviour, you can use
select-word-style (which you can bind to a keystroke for instant
control) instead of setting the style yourself.

Index: Doc/Zsh/contrib.yo
RCS file: /cvsroot/zsh/zsh/Doc/Zsh/contrib.yo,v
retrieving revision 1.26
diff -u -r1.26 contrib.yo
--- Doc/Zsh/contrib.yo	28 Mar 2003 11:34:07 -0000	1.26
+++ Doc/Zsh/contrib.yo	3 Jul 2003 13:16:50 -0000
@@ -381,12 +381,12 @@
 xitem(tt(forward-word-match), tt(backward-word-match))
 xitem(tt(kill-word-match), tt(backward-kill-word-match))
 xitem(tt(transpose-words-match), tt(capitalize-word-match))
 xitem(tt(up-case-word-match), tt(down-case-word-match))
-item(tt(select-word-style), tt(match-word-by-style))(
+item(tt(select-word-style), tt(match-words-by-style))(
 The eight `tt(-match)' functions are drop-in replacements for the
 builtin widgets without the suffix.  By default they behave in a similar
 way.  However, by the use of styles and the function tt(select-word-style),
@@ -484,10 +484,10 @@
 the resulting expression is tt(bar)var(X)tt(foo).
 The word matching and all the handling of tt(zstyle) settings is actually
-implemented by the function tt(match-word-by-style).  This can be used to
+implemented by the function tt(match-words-by-style).  This can be used to
 create new user-defined widgets.  The calling function should set the local
 parameter tt(curcontext) to tt(:zle:)var(widget), create the local
-parameter tt(matched_words) and call tt(match-word-by-style) with no
+parameter tt(matched_words) and call tt(match-words-by-style) with no
 arguments.  On return, tt(matched_words) will be set to an array with the
 elements: (1) the start of the line (2) the word before the cursor (3) any
 non-word characters between that word and the cursor (4) any non-word

Peter Stephenson <pws@xxxxxxx>                  Software Engineer
CSR Ltd., Science Park, Milton Road,
Cambridge, CB4 0WH, UK                          Tel: +44 (0)1223 692070

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