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Re: thoughts on grep/quickfix grep/location list interaction, doc patch

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  • Britton Kerin
    ... I missed this :cnf command, thanks for pointing it out. ... Maybe I was a little harsh. I ve always found vim s grep interface *almost* good enough that I
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 3, 2010
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      On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 11:39 PM, Gary Johnson <garyjohn@...> wrote:
      > On 2010-08-31, Britton Kerin wrote:
      >> Hello,
      >>
      >> I only fairly recently found out about :copen :lopen etc.  Some snippets using
      >> them are popular on vim_use:
      >>
      >>     http://groups.google.com/group/vim_use/browse_thread/thread/211ed834076e7526/9f756b498db39636?lnk=gst&q=Run+lgrep+then+immediately+#9f756b498db39636
      >>
      >> At minimum, I think these commands deserve a pointer from the grep section
      >> of quickfix.txt.  It can take years to find them otherwise.  I've attached
      >> a patch which does this and also includes a command example.  I think
      >> its worth including, because for me (and apparently some others at least)
      >> the default :grep (and :lgrep and :helpgrep) behavior is somewhere between
      >> painful and unusable.  In the past I've usually just ended up using the shell.
      >>
      >> Also, :grep! is usually more useful than :grep.  Jumping to the first error
      >> usually makes sense when compiling but usually doesn't when grep'ing.  One does
      >> in theory get led to a description of the !-form functionality when reading
      >> the :grep documentation, so I'm not sure the docs can be regarded as needing
      >> fixing.  But :grep! does make things behave better and odds are many people
      >> don't find out about it.  The attached patch helps with this issue as well.
      >>
      >> There are two other problems I have with the way grep works in vim (and most
      >> other editors for that matter):
      >>
      >>  * Its not easy to filter the grep results.  When a user needs to grep it
      >>    usually means:
      >>
      >>       a. the project is biggish
      >>
      >>       b. they have little idea where the occurences they are interested
      >>          in are located, and
      >>
      >>       c. there are likely multiple file types involved.
      >>
      >>    This means that much of the output of the grep is going to be
      >>    uninteresting.  One can go back and change the file list, but its usually
      >>    a hassle to get the list just right.  This is enough of a trouble for
      >>    me that I often end up going to the terminal and tacking on a bunch of
      >>    '| grep -v "junk_pattern"' things until I get what I want.
      >>
      >>  * Support for context is poor.  A single line is often not enough,
      >>    but putting '-C 1'  in 'grepprg' makes :cn ~200% slower.
      >>
      >> I have a module that fixes these issues for me though its pretty messy
      >> and fragile as it depends on slicing up, saving, :cgetfile'ing, reparsing,
      >> and re-presenting the error file.
      >>
      >> I just mention them because they are issues I'd love to see vim address
      >> properly someday.
      >
      > Just to present the other side of some of your issues:
      >
      > 1.  I never use :grep!.  When I :grep for something, I want to see
      >    all occurrences of it in the context of the files in which it is
      >    found, so I want to immediately jump to the first match.  I
      >    often start :grep as
      >
      >        :new | grep ...
      >
      >    so that the matching files are opened in a new window.
      >
      > 2.  I agree that the default commands for traversing the quickfix
      >    list can be painful.  I have ^N and ^P mapped to :cn and :cp
      >    respectively so that jumping from one match to the next is a
      >    breeze.
      >
      > 3.  If the output of a :grep command contains too many undesired
      >    hits, use a better pattern or use the --include and --exclude
      >    options to grep to limit the files searched.  If you find a lot
      >    of hits in one file that you know aren't going to be
      >    interesting, use :cnf to skip that file.

      I missed this :cnf command, thanks for pointing it out.

      > 4.  A little context for the matches would be nice, but again,
      >    traversing the quickfix list with the ^N and ^P mappings is
      >    fast and provides a full screen of context.
      >
      > Vim's :grep facility is not perfect, but I don't think it's as bad
      > as you say, either.

      Maybe I was a little harsh. I've always found vim's grep interface
      *almost* good enough that I wanted to use it.

      Britton

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    • Britton Kerin
      ... Me too, but apart from the speed win and the not indexing a lot of file types issue it works like grep. ... Hmm, I wonder how these are to use from the
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 3, 2010
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        On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 5:30 AM, Marc Weber <marco-oweber@...> wrote:
        > Y usually copy the results of the quickfix window into a new buffer and
        > then use :g or :v or or the like to keep the lines I'm interested in (I
        > mapped this "filter lines") so its very fast for me.
        >
        > For huge projects I don't use grep - I use gnu id utils for speed
        > reasons.

        Me too, but apart from the speed win and the not indexing a lot of file
        types issue it works like grep.

        > Writing additional filters can be done easily. See setqflist() and
        > getqflist()

        Hmm, I wonder how these are to use from the embedder perl interpreter :)

        Britton

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