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Re: Question on filename completion

On Sun, 18 May 2008, Bart Schaefer wrote:

On May 18, 10:53pm, Gowtham M wrote:
} When I hit tab at
} zsh> ls /some/path/to/something/761/xyz/_  # Tab is hit when cursor is at _
} zsh spends a lot of time in stat64()ing all the directories from
} /some/path/to/something/0 to /some/path/to/something/9999
} I do not understand why this is required to complete the filename
} after /some/path/to/something/761/xyz

This is _path_files at work.  Try typing

   zsh> ls /s/p/t/s<TAB>

and you'll find that it gets competed to

   zsh> ls /some/path/to/something/

On any given completion attempt, _path_files doesn't know whether any
path component might be only part of a directory name which, if it were
completed, would lead to additional matches among the sub-directories,
etc.  So it re-scans the whole hierarchy.

One way to prevent this from happening for hierarchies that you know
to be very broad is:

 zstyle ':completion:*' preserve-prefix '/some/path/to/something/*/'

That's not really the intended use of preserve-prefix but it has the
desired effect.  Note that preserve-prefix is a single string, not a
list of patterns (too bad, really) so if you want to use it for more
than one pattern, you have to construct the alternatives yourself:

 zstyle ':completion:*' preserve-prefix \

The preserve-prefix pattern is matched against a string, not against
files on disk, so it can have slashes inside the parens and cannot
use glob qualifiers that test file attributes.

Oops, sorry for the noise. Didn't see this due to mail delay. Is there a simple way to disable this completely? I tend to do something like:


to get /some/path/to/something. And, I suppose this is also what causes this confusing behavior:

$ tree dir*
`-- only_file
$ <dir/<Tab>
$ <dira/only_file

i.e. trying to tab-complete a file in an empty directory whose name happens to be the prefix of another will bring up files in the other directory.


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