[Geany-devel] Find in files - Re: Patches required by gproject

Nick Treleaven nick.treleaven at xxxxx
Tue Jun 22 15:48:29 UTC 2010

On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:19:02 +0200
Jiří Techet <techet at gmail.com> wrote:

> >> > think it may be best if Geany does the filtering (and hence also the
> >> > recursing). Also we may want to always filter out hidden files and
> >> > broken links.
> >>
> >> There is one problem here - the command line may be too long. By posix
> >> ARG_MAX is at least 4096 but this will be definitely too little for
> >> thousands of files. There are three options how to solve this:
> >>
> >> 3. Implement some alternative to xargs and call grep repeatably only
> >> for as many files that can be passed on command line.
> >>
> >> Only (3) seems to be a reasonable solution but it means some extra
> >> work. Right now I find the easiest way to implement it using --include
> >> - if no pattern or * pattern is specified, --include will be omitted
> >> (as Lex suggested) and no error reported if the grep doesn't support
> >> it.
> >
> > AFAICT, you still have to pass filenames even when using --include
> > (when non-recursive).
> >
> > Personally we've not had complaints about the argument length limit, so
> > I'm not too bothered about it yet. Also modern systems may extend the
> > POSIX limit, but obviously we can't rely on that. Maybe wait and see if
> > it's a problem?
> The problem is already here for big projects. You don't see it if you
> call it for a single directory - the number of files in one directory
> isn't usually so huge but if you recursively search the whole project
> directory structure, you may get a lot of source files. At work I use
> SLES9 which has ARG_MAX=131072 and the project has about 8000 source
> files. If you assume the path is about 40 characters (can be more with
> projects with deep directory structure), you get 8000*40=320000 and
> you're over the limit.

OK, so we should keep the current behaviour of not passing filenames
for a recursive grep.

> Personally I find using the gnu extensions much more safe. After
> looking at grep's git history, I found that --include was introduced
> in 2001 (GTK 2 didn't exist at that time and linux kernel 2.4 was just
> freshly released). On the other hand the ARG_MAX limit was increased
> quite recently in kernel 2.6.23 in 2007 (see
> http://www.in-ulm.de/~mascheck/various/argmax/ to see the limits for
> other platforms) and older kernels are still in use. I'm also not
> aware of any non-gnu implementations of grep (that might not implement
> --include).
> To me it looks much easier to use what's already present in grep right
> now and if this isn't satisfactory, it could be reimplemented the way
> you propose in the future. In addition if no patterns are specified,
> geany will behave the same way it did until now so there is a sane
> fallback solution for people with very old grep.

Let's use --include then if the user ticks a checkbox. That way a
non-gnu system will still be able to do non-recursive all files search.


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