[Konsole-devel] [Bug 179039] GUI for BASH (possibly other shells as well) autocompletion feature

Robert Knight robertknight at gmail.com
Thu Jan 1 19:19:11 UTC 2009


--- Comment #5 from Robert Knight <robertknight gmail com>  2009-01-01 20:19:10 ---
> That's true, but if we take some less-known shell,
> than hardly anyone will even notice the new feature,
> because hardly anyone uses such a shell...

Any new or lesser-known 'brand' (commercial or not) will have that problem and
yet there ones which succeed.  I personally am unsure whether trying to wrestle
bash or zsh into shape would be sufficiently productive.  If I were just trying
to add popup auto-completion and absolutely nothing else then maybe - but given
the use cases you outlined above I think you need more than that.  

> I have a directory full of pictures downloaded from 
> the Internet (thousands of them), some of them have really long filenames.

If you're trying to find a picture or music without suitable tagging or some
other text mapping then a text based terminal really isn't the right tool.  I
would use Dolphin or Gwenview for this - both of which support image previews
and simple image manipulation.  Dolphin can sort and group files by
date/type/size etc. as well and in KDE 4.2 the preview size can be scaled
interactively via a slider bar at the bottom of the window.  Alternatively you
can use a program like imgseek which provides content-based searching (I
believe Digikam has this as well in very recent versions) where you can find a
picture using a crude sketch of the content.

Although to be quite frank, if I wanted to find a picture again which came from
a public source on the web then using Google/flickr/MSN Live image search might
well get the quickest results.

> Kickoff menu (which I find unacceptable, even launching apps
> from the command line is more convenient to me). 

How are you using it?  Normally I would just click on the K-Menu button and
select the icon from the favorites list.  If it isn't in the favorites list
then just typing in 'movie', 'music', 'burning', 'game', 'terminal' or similar
finds appropriate applications and you can then launch them with the mouse or
the keyboard.  If I wanted to browse through a selection (eg. to find a game to
play for a few minutes) then I go to the Applications menu.

> Reading all the output from 'TAB' press using a GUI window (which would 
> disappear as soon as it was not needed anymore) would be much more pleasant

> when 5 minutes later I wanted to look back
> for output of some previous command. 

In which case showing command help in a separate window is not going to be
enough because you'll still need to skip past the output of previously executed
commands other than auto-completion help.  You're right that the current shell
UI is not very good in this respect - which is why people tend to execute
similar queries over and over, possibly applying different filters each time. 
A couple of options here would be 'folding' the output of commands so you could
hide output from commands you're not interested in or the ability to recall the
output of a previous command - some shells (sadly not bash as far as I know)
provide this facility, for example http://hotwire-shell.org/.

I'm not saying that your suggestion (finding a way to display command help in a
different window - like 'man <command>' does) wouldn't help but I don't think
it would really address the problem either.

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