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Re: Rough Draft of Article on Writing Completion Functions

John Beppu wrote:
> The one source of information that had a chance to get it right was
> the I<Zsh User's Guide>.  It provides many examples followed by
> explanations, but what it lacks is an example that takes a command
> and then writes a completion function for it, from start to finish.
> It also starts talking about some very advanced material without
> preparing the reader for this onslaught.  However, it is a living
> document, so let's hope that it matures and grows sensitive to what
> people really want from such a document so that it can effectively
> satisfy those needs.

It's probably worth pointing out it's not going to change at all without
more specific suggestions.  So far I have had no suggestions about
structural changes whatsoever.

I deliberately didn't write a whole real-world completion function
because there are already so many to look at, I just explained the
possibilities.  But if you can think of a good example you think is
missing I'll add it.

> The great tragedy of Zsh is that they actually made it very easy to
> write completion functions, but you'd never know it by just
> reading the documentation.

Hmm...  how much simpler than

  _foo() { compadd Yan Tan Tethera; }
  compdef _foo foo

do I need to get?  This is the sort of hint I need from the puzzled.

> [ BEGIN SIDEBAR 2 - A Public Service Announcement ]
> For those of you just joining us, Zsh has quite the completion
> system.  Your tab key will have answers to practically everything if
> you put the following in your I<.zshrc> and start up I<zsh>.
> C<
> autoload -U compinit
> compinit
> >
> Try running C<compinstall>, too.  It will let you interactively
> configure the behaviour of the completion system.

I suggest you mention that you need zsh 4.0.x as a matter of priority,
regardless of space limitations, or some people are going to get
confused --- there must be a great many 3.0.x versions still around from
older distributions.  (Maybe you said that in a previous article, but
even so people picking up just this one really need to know.)  I know
there are a few Mandrake distributions with 3.1.x versions which are
probably good enough, but it's been changing so fast I would recommend
someone starting from scratch to make sure they have a 4.0 release.

Peter Stephenson <pws@xxxxxxx>                  Software Engineer
CSR Ltd., Science Park, Milton Road,
Cambridge, CB4 0WH, UK                          Tel: +44 (0)1223 392070

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