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Re: Is there any possible way to automatically escape characters when executing an alias in zsh?

If you're never using these commands in any sort of pipeline or other
structured shell input, why are you using a general-purpose shell for
this at all?  Why not write a taskwarrior front-end that does nothing
but read literal lines without interpretation and pass them along?

This is how taskwarrior works out of the box, through the shell. Others have written front ends for TW: https://github.com/vit-project/vit

But I'm 99% happy using TW through the command line especially since it allows me to write my own functions to speed up entering tasks with command arguments I use regularly. It wouldn't be a good idea to throw out the baby with the bath water and write my own front end or move to some front end that I may or may not be able to hack to behave as I wish to address this minor annoyance.

I think you'll find it's the shell that's removing (interpreting) the
quotes, not taskwarrior.

Ok, yeah, didn't think about that.

But you aren't interacting with "an application" in the sense that you
mean it.  You're interacting with the shell, which has explicit syntax
rules so that you can precisely describe what you intend to have it

I don't agree with this statement. If I launch a command with the shell and pass it some argument to open up a full-blown GUI for with a particular color theme, that doesn't mean I'm interacting with the shell. The shell is just a useful go-between and then it gets out of my way. Similarly, the shell is just a useful go-between for manipulating the TW database. I (usually) want it to get out of the way and leave me alone when I do that. I only want the shell to reveal itself at the appropriate times (like writing aliases and functions). But the more it can get out of the way when I'm trying to achieve my goal of manipulating the TW database, the better. For me to have to worry about making the shell happy when entering tasks is a nuisance I'd prefer not to deal with.

You're in effect arguing that this input should not be on a shell
command line and instead should always be consumed separately, so that
the shell doesn't have to interpret it first.

No, I'm saying that I personally would like to get the best of both worlds, if possible. And why wouldn't I?

And what could possibly be the harm in having the shell do some typing for me without me having to think about it? Isn't that what computers are for, to automate things for us?

If the only thing that ever follows "tasn" is something that's
supposed to be a human-readable sentence interpreted exactly as typed,
you can skip the whole business of messing about with checking for
quotes etc., but the fact that you're worried about autocompletion
suggests that is not the case.

Correct, I can type in pro<tab> and it will autocomplete to "project:" for me. It can also autocomplete project names as and perform other minor completions (none of which will ever contain special characters that need to be escaped).

I'm going to assume that the trailing backquote there is a typo.
Here's a modification of PWS's widget, that really does take
everything after the word "tasn" (or any other word beginning with
"ta" or "tm") as raw human-readable text:

taskwarrior-literal() {
  setopt localoptions extendedglob
  local -a match
  # Assumes human never types tab or backslash
  # and everything after the first word is literal
  if [[ -z ${BUFFER/(#s)(#b)((ta|tm)[a-z](#c1,) )(*)/} &&
        $match[3] != *\\* ]]
  then BUFFER="$match[1] ${(@q)${=match[3]}}"
zle -N taskwarrior-literal
autoload add-zle-hook-widget
add-zle-hook-widget line-finish taskwarrior-literal

Yeah, so I don't think this would work because I need <tab> for autocompletion. Or am I not understanding this?

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