Zsh Mailing List Archive
Messages sorted by: Reverse Date, Date, Thread, Author

Re: ZSH expansion of an evaluated parameter containing a pipe character (and differences between 4.x and 5.x)

Hi Stephen,

Doh! I think you nailed it! I didn’t notice GLOB_SUBST was set in the second case: I made all the tests you mentioned and the result is as expected.

I confess there was a moment when GLOB_SUBST came to mind, but dismissed it: I (wrongly) thought it was only used for filename expansion. Yesterday I went through your “A User’s Guide to the Z-Shell” (I always keep it close, it’s an excellent guide, kudos for your great work), and failed to realise that pattern matching could have a part in what was happening.

I already decided what I’ll do: I’ll stick with ZSH’s native operation, which I find way more compatible with my way of thinking (and, why not, even shell script aesthetics), which are the reason why I’m a ZSH user.

If you don’t mind, I’d suggest adding more references to the effect of GLOB_SUBST on pattern matching (maybe with an example). Although the effect is stated clearly (Section 5.4.5 “Flags for options: GLOB_SUBST and RC_EXPAND_PARAM”), as far as I can see all the other references and examples involving GLOB_SUBST only talk about filename expansion.

Thank you very much!
Enrico Maria Crisostomo

On 9 Oct 2014 at 12:49:22, Peter Stephenson (p.stephenson@xxxxxxxxxxx) wrote:

On Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:41:14 +0200  
Enrico Maria Crisostomo <enrico.m.crisostomo@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:  
> I’m trying to understand the rationale between a behavioural  
> difference between ZSH 4.3.17 (current in latest Debian stable) and  
> ZSH 5.0.2 (current in latest OS X).  I’m digging into the 'ZSH Shell  
> Manual’ but I haven’t found the (exact) answer to my question yet.  
> The issue is the following.  What I’m doing is storing into a variable  
> a command that will be executed later, the reason being the command  
> depend on information only available at runtime.  I’ve detected a  
> difference in behaviour between ZSH 4 and ZSH 5 when the  
> aforementioned command contains a pipe.  For the sake of argument,  
> let’s imagine the command is stored into `EXAMPLE_CMD` and is as  
> simple as:  
>     EXAMPLE_CMD=“ls -al | grep text”  
> If I eval this variable using ZSH 5, the result is the expected:  
>     $ eval ${EXAMPLE_CMD}  
> that is:  
>   * `ls` is executed and passed `-al` as a parameter.  
>   * Its output is piped through `grep`, that is passed `text` as a parameter.  
> When I do the same thing in ZSH 4, the behaviour is different and leads to this failure:  
>     # eval ${EXAMPLE_CMD}  
>     zsh: no matches found: ls -al | grep text  

I suspect you've got the GLOB_SUBST option set in the second case but  
not the first --- if I set that in either version of the shell  
(4.3.10-dev-1 is the oldest I had lying around) I get that error.  
If I unset it I don't.  

That's because in zsh "|" is a pattern match character as well as a  
syntactical character. In a normal command line you'd surround it with  
parentheses to use it for pattern matching. However, when it's being  
substituted into the command line, so the line isn't being parsed, and  
GLOB_SUBST is set, it's treated as a pattern character immediately.  

GLOB_SUBST is usually used for compatibility with other shells with  
different pattern matching behaviour. If you set the option SH_GLOB as  
well, which restricts pattern matching to standard sh-style patterns,  
you should find the error goes away --- it does here in both versions of  
the shell.  

Basically, I think you need to decide if you want native zsh operation  
--- both options off --- or sh-like operation --- both options on.  
Arguably there are too many combinations, for historical reasons.  


Messages sorted by: Reverse Date, Date, Thread, Author