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New zshcompctl manual page

I have substantially rewritten the zshcompctl manual page.  I have not
added any of the changes since 2.6.10, so those will need to be merged
by hand.

Constructive criticism (such as `why don't you get some work done?')
is welcome.  If anyone knows how to make nested .RS/.RE lines work,
let me know and I will replace the .nf/.fi lines.  Also let me know if
you are aware of a Society for the Total and Utter Abolition of Nroff
from the Face of the Earth by Any Means Whatsoever (no smiley face).

I shall be away for two weeks so the FAQ will either appear this
afternoon, if I get round to it, or in two weeks' time.

.TH ZSHCOMPCTL 1 "July 17, 1995" "zsh version 2.7"
zshcompctl \- zsh programmable completion
\fBcompctl\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP [ \fIcommand\fP ... ]
\fBcompctl\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP
[ \-\fBx\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \- ... \-\- ]
[ \fB+\fP \fIoptions\fP [ \-\fBx\fP ... -- ] ... [+] ]
[ \fIcommand\fP ... ]
\fBcompctl\fP \-\fBL\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] [ \fIcommand\fP ... ]
\fBcompctl\fP + \fIcommand\fP ...
Control the editor's completion behavior according to the supplied set
of \fIoptions\fP.  Various editing commands, notably
\fBexpand-or-complete-word\fP, usually bound to \fBTAB\fP, will
attempt to complete a word typed by the user, while others, notably
\fBdelete-char-or-list\fP, usually bound to ^D in emacs editing
mode, list the possibilities; \fBcompctl\fP controls what those
possibilities are.  They may for example be filenames (the most common
case, and hence the default), shell variables, or words from a
user-specified list.
Completion of the arguments of a command may be different for each
command or may use the default.  The behavior when completing the
command word itself may also be separately specified.  These
correspond to the following flags and arguments, all of which (except
for \-\fBL\fP) may be combined with any combination of the
\fIoptions\fP described subsequently in the section \fBOPTION FLAGS\fP:
.PD 0
\fIcommand\fP ...
controls completion for the named commands, which must be listed last
on the command line.  If completion is attempted for a command with a
pathname containing slashes and no completion definition is found, the
search is retried with the last pathname component.  Note that aliases
are expanded before the command name is determined unless the
\fBCOMPLETE_ALIASES\fP option is set.  Commands should not be combined
with the \-\fBD\fP, \-\fBC\fP or \-\fBT\fP flags.
controls default completion behavior for commands not assigned any
special behavior.  Without this command, filenames are completed.
controls completion when there is no current command, in other words
when the command word itself is being completed.  Without this command,
the names of any executable command (whether in the path or specific to
the shell, such as aliases or functions) are completed.
supplies completion flags to be used before any other processing is
done, even those given to specific commands with other compctl
definitions.  This is only useful when combined with extended
completion (the \-\fBx\fP flag, see the section \fBEXTENDED
COMPLETION\fP below).  Using this flag you can define default behavior
which will apply to all commands without exception, or you can alter
the standard behavior for all commands.  For example, if your access
to the user database is too slow and/or it contains too many users (so
that completion after \fB~\fP is too slow to be usable), you can use
    compctl -Tx  'C[0,*/*]' -f - 's[~]' -k friends -S/
to complete the strings in the array \fBfriends\fP after a \fB~\fP.
The first argument is necessary so that this form of ~-completion is
not tried after the directory name is finished.
lists the existing completion behavior in a manner suitable for
putting into a start-up script; the existing behavior is not changed.
Any combination of the above forms may be specified, otherwise all
defined completions are listed.  Any other flags supplied
are ignored.
\fIno argument\fP
If no argument is given, \fBcompctl\fP lists all defined completions
in an abbreviated form;  with a list of \fIoptions\fP, all completions
with those flags set (not counting extended completion) are listed.
If the + flag is alone and followed immediately by the \fIcommand\fP list,
the completion behavior for all the commands in the list is reset to
its default by deleting the command from the list of those handled
[ \-\fBfcFBdeaRGovNAIOPZEnbjrzu\fP ]
[ \-\fBk\fP \fIarray\fP ] [ \-\fBg\fP \fIglobstring\fP ]
[ \-\fBs\fP \fIsubststring\fP ]
[ \-\fBK\fP \fIfunction\fP ] [ \-\fBH\fP \fInum pattern\fP ]
[ \-\fBP\fP \fIprefix\fP ] [ \-\fBS\fP \fIsuffix\fP ]
[ \-\fBq\fP ] [ \-\fBX\fP \fIexplanation\fP ]
[ \-\fBl\fP \fIcmd\fP ] [ \-\fBU\fP ]
The remaining \fIoptions\fP specify the type of command arguments
to look for during completion.  Any combination of these flags may be
specified; the result is a sorted list of all the possibilities.  The
options are as follows.
.SS "Simple flags"
These produce completion lists made up by the shell itself:
.PD 0
Filenames and filesystem paths.
Command names, including aliases and shell functions.
Function names.
Names of builtin commands.
Names of disabled commands.
Names of executable (and enabled) commands.
Alias names.
Names of regular (non-global) aliases.
Names of global aliases.
Names of shell options (see the zshoptions manual page).
Names of any variable defined in the shell.
Names of scalar (non-array) parameters.
Array names.
Names of integer variables.
Names of read-only variables.
Names of parameters used by the shell (including special parameters).
Names of shell special parameters.
Names of environment variables.
Named directories.
Key binding names.
Job names:  the first word of the job leader's command line.  This is useful
with the \fBkill\fP builtin.
Names of running jobs.
Names of suspended jobs.
User names.
.SS "Flags with arguments"
These have user supplied arguments to determine how the list of
completions is to be made up:
\-\fBk\fP \fIarray\fP
Names taken from the elements of \fB$array\fP (note that the \fB$\fP
does not appear on the command line).
Alternatively, the argument \fIarray\fP itself may be a set
of space- or comma-separated values in parentheses, in which any
delimiter may be escaped with a backslash; in this case the argument
should be quoted.  For example,
    compctl -k "(cputime filesize datasize stacksize 
    coredumpsize resident descriptors)" limit
\-\fBg\fP \fIglobstring\fP
The \fIglobstring\fP is expanded using filename globbing; it should be
quoted to protect it from immediate expansion. The resulting
filenames are taken as the possible completions.  Use `*(/)' instead of
`*/' for directories.  The \fBfignore\fP special parameter is not
applied to the resulting files.  More than one pattern may be given
separated by blanks. (Note that brace expansion is \fInot\fP part of
globbing.  Use the syntax `(either|or)' to match alternatives.)
\-\fBs\fP \fIsubststring\fP
The \fIsubststring\fP is split into words and these words are than
expanded using all shell expansion mechanisms (see the \fBzshexpn\fP
manual page). The resulting words are taken as possible
completions. The \fBfignore\fP special parameter is not applied to the
resulting files.  Note that \-\fBg\fP is faster for filenames.
\-\fBK\fP \fIfunction\fP
Call the given function to get the completions.  The function is
passed two arguments: the prefix and the suffix of the word on which
completion is to be attempted, in other words those characters before
the cursor position, and those from the cursor position onwards.  The
function should set the variable \fBreply\fP to an array containing
the completions (one completion per element); note that \fBreply\fP
should not be made local to the function.  From such a function the
command line can be accessed with the \fB\-c\fP and \fB\-l\fP flags to
the \fBread\fP builtin.  For example,
    function whoson { reply=(`users`); }
    compctl -K whoson talk
completes only logged-on users after `talk'.  Note that `whoson' must
return an array so that "reply=`users`" is incorrect.
\-\fBH\fP \fInum pattern\fP
The possible completions are taken from the last \fInum\fP history
lines. Only words matching \fIpattern\fP are taken. If \fInum\fP is
zero or negative the whole history is searched and if \fIpattern\fP is
the empty string all words are taken (as with `\fB*\fP').  A typical
use is
    compctl -D -f + -H 0 '' -X '(No file found; using history)'
which forces completion to look back in the history list for a word if
no filename matches.  The explanation string is useful as it tells
the user that no file of that name exists, which is otherwise
ambiguous. (See the next section for \-\fBX\fP).
.SS "Control flags"
These do not directly specify types of name to be completed, but
manipulate the options that do:
\-\fBP\fP \fIprefix\fP
The \fIprefix\fP is inserted just before the completed string; any
initial part already typed will be completed and the whole \fIprefix\fP
ignored for completion purposes.  For example,
    compctl -j -P "%" kill
inserts a `%' after the kill command and then completes job names.
\-\fBS\fP \fIsuffix\fP
When a completion is found the \fIsuffix\fP is inserted after
the completed string.  In the case of menu completion the suffix is
inserted immediately, but it is still possible to cycle through the
list of completions by repeatedly hitting the same key.
If used with the previous option (the \-\fBS\fP flag) it causes the
suffix to be removed if the next character typed is a blank or does
not insert anything; this is the same rule as used for the
\fBAUTO_REMOVE_SLASH\fP option.  This is most useful for list
separators (comma, colon, etc.).
\-\fBl\fP \fIcmd\fP
This option cannot be combined with any other.  It restricts the range
of command line words that are considered to be arguments.  If
combined with one of the extended completion patterns `\fBp\fP[...]',
`\fBr\fP[...]', or `\fBR\fP[...]'  (see the section \fBEXTENDED
COMPLETION\fP below) the range is restricted to the range of arguments
specified in the brackets.  Completion is then performed as if these
had been given as arguments to the \fIcmd\fP supplied with the
option. If the \fIcmd\fP string is empty the first word in the range
is instead taken as the command name, and command name completion
performed on the first word in the range.  For example,
    compctl -x 'r[-exec,;]' -l '' -- find
completes arguments between `-exec' and the following `;' (or the end
of the command line if there is no such string) as if they were
a separate command line.
Use the whole list of possible completions, whether or not they
actually match the word on the command line.  The word typed so far
will be deleted.  This is most useful with a function (the \-\fBK\fP
option) which can examine the word components passed to it (or via
the \fBread\fP builtin's \-\fBc\fP and \-\fBl\fP flags) and use its
own criteria to decide what matches.  If there is no completion, the
original word is retained.
\-\fBX\fP \fIexplanation\fP
Print \fIexplanation\fP when trying completion on the current set of
options. A `%n' in this string is replaced by the number of matches.
\fBcompctl\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP + \fIoptions\fP [ + ... ]
[ + ] \fIcommand\fP ...
The form with `\fB+\fP' specifies alternative options. Completion is
tried with the options before the first `+'. If this produces no
matches completion is tried with the flags after the `+' and so on. If
there are no flags after the last `+' and a match has not been found
up to that point, default completion is tried.
\fBcompctl\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP
\-\fBx\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \- ... \-\-
[ \fIcommand\fP ... ]
\fBcompctl\fP [ \-\fBCDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP \
[ \-\fBx\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \- ... \-\- ]
[ \fB+\fP \fIoptions\fP [ \-\fBx\fP ... -- ] ... [+] ] 
[ \fIcommand\fP ... ]
The form with `\-\fBx\fP' specifies extended completion for the
commands given; as shown, it may be combined with alternative
completion using +.  Each \fIpattern\fP is examined in turn; when a
match is found, the corresponding \fIoptions\fP, as described in the
section \fBOPTION FLAGS\fP above, are used to generate possible
completions.  If no \fIpattern\fP matches, the \fIoptions\fP given
before the \-\fBx\fP are used.
Note that each pattern should be supplied as a single argument and
should be quoted to prevent expansion of metacharacters by the
A \fIpattern\fP is built of sub\-patterns separated by commas; it
matches if at least one of these sub\-patterns matches (they are
`or'ed'). These sub\-patterns are in turn composed of other
sub\-patterns separated by white spaces which match if all of the
sub\-patterns match (they are `and'ed').  An element of the
sub\-patterns is of the form `c[...][...]', where the pairs of
brackets may be repeated as often as necessary, and matches if any of
the sets of brackets match (an `or').  The example below makes this
The elements may be any of the following:
.PD 0
\fBs\fP[\fIstring\fP] ...
The pattern matches if the current word on the command line starts with
one of the strings given in brackets.  The \fIstring\fP is not removed
and is not part of the completion.
\fBS\fP[\fIstring\fP] ...
Like \fBs\fP[\fIstring\fP] except that the \fIstring\fP is part of the
\fBp\fP[\fIfrom\fP,\fIto\fP] ...
The pattern matches if the number of the current word is between one of
the \fIfrom\fP and \fIto\fP pairs inclusive. The comma and \fIto\fP
are optional;  \fIto\fP defaults to the same value as \fIfrom\fP. The
numbers may be negative: \fI\-n\fP refers to the \fIn\fP'th last word
on the line.
\fBc\fP[\fIoffset\fP,\fIstring\fP] ...
The pattern matches if the \fIstring\fP matches the word offset by
\fIoffset\fP from the current word position.  Usually \fIoffset\fP
will be negative.
\fBC\fP[\fIoffset\fP,\fIpattern\fP] ...
Like \fBc\fP but using pattern matching instead.
\fBw\fP[\fIindex\fP,\fIstring\fP] ...
The pattern matches if the word in position \fIindex\fP is equal
to the corresponding \fIstring\fP.  Note that the word count is made
after any alias expansion.
\fBW\fP[\fIindex\fP,\fIpattern\fP] ...
Like \fBw\fP but using pattern matching instead.
\fBn\fP[\fIindex\fP,\fIstring\fP] ...
Matches if the current word contains \fIstring\fP. Anything up to and
including the \fIindex\fP'th occurrence of this string will not be
considered part of the completion, but the rest will.  \fIIndex\fP may
be negative to count from the end:  in most cases, \fIindex\fP will be
1 or -1.
\fBN\fP[\fIindex\fP,\fIstring\fP] ...
Like \fBn\fP[\fIindex\fP,\fIstring\fP] except that the string will be
taken as a character class.  Anything up to and including the
\fIindex\fP'th occurrence of any of the characters in \fIstring\fP
will not be considered part of the completion.
\fBm\fP[\fImin\fP,\fImax\fP] ...
Matches if the total number of words lies between \fImin\fP and
\fImax\fP inclusive.
Matches if the cursor is after a word with prefix \fIstr1\fP. If there
is also a word with prefix \fIstr2\fP on the command line it matches
only if the cursor is before this word.
Like \fBr\fP but using pattern matching instead.
compctl -u -x 's[+] c[-1,-f],s[-f+]' -g '~/Mail/*(:t)' \e
- 's[-f],c[-1,-f]' -f -- mail
This is to be interpreted as follows:
If the current command is \fBmail\fP, then
if ((the current word begins with + and the previous word is -f)
or (the current word begins with -f+)), then complete the
non-directory part (the :t glob modifier) of files in the directory
~/Mail; else
if the current word begins with -f or the previous word was -f, then
complete any file; else
complete user names.

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