[Geany-Devel] Improving FiF

Dimitar Zhekov dimitar.zhekov at xxxxx
Wed Oct 9 20:01:54 UTC 2013

Hi, all,

I want to discuss how our FiF works, why, and possible improvements.

1. The FiF dialog is created programatically. Is there any reason for
that, or simply nobody cared to XML-ize it? I'm not aware of anything
that can be done gtk+ calls, but can't be done by loading a XML and
less gtk+ calls.

Proposition: move the presentation to glade as much as possible, and
fill the content with code, as in any normal program.

2. The all/project/custom combo box. This thing has 2 functions
dedicated to it, and about 50 LOC in total. So what it does?

all - this is exactly the same as leaving the Files empty.
custom - this is exactly the same as entering something in Files.

project - this is not exactly the same as placing the Project 'File
patterns' in Files. It pastes them, all right, but then locks the
field, so you can't add / remove / edit a pattern. And the only reason
to lock them is "consistency": the 'project' choice must correspond to
these patterns exactly. Well, if you do a Find, and then switch to
'custom', and then open the Files history, you will be able to edit
the patterns after all... Last and least, 'project' grays the patterns,
making them less visible.

Remove the combo box.
Add a paste icon on the right of files, above the Directory selection
icon, and set it's tooltip to "Paste the project patterns, if any".

FiF checks if a project is open, but not whether it really contains
'File patterns' - RFC.

3. For non-recursive searches, grep does not allow a directory to be
specified instead of file. To work around that, we read the directory,
back-parse all --include=*.x patterns, and match them manually.

Proposition: grep -rl --include=*.c --exclude-dir=[^.]* 
--exclude-dir=.?* void . :)

We pass our Directory as a workind  directory to spawn, and the
recursive search already uses . as a grep FILE argument.
--exclude-dir is supported since more than 5 years.

4. Pressing TAB in Files will take you directly to Directory, skipping
the Files history arrow. Very nice, but a TAB in 'Search for' or
Directory will select their history arrows, and Shift-TAB in Directory
will select the Files arrow. Likewise, in the Replace dialog, TAB in
'Search for' will take you to 'Replace with', but another TAB will not
skip to 'Use regular expressions'.

Proposition: TAB in FiF 'Search for' should skip to Directory, and TAB
in Replace dialog 'Replace with' should skip to 'Use regular

Or we should remove these hacks. Personally I find them useful. RFC.

5. Pressing ENTER in Directory does not activate Find.

Proposition: obvious.

6. search_find_in_files() checks if the grep command specified in Geany
preferences exists in path.

Proposition: skip that and use G_SPAWN_SEARCH_PATH instead. If we want
the explanation text "Cannot execute grep tool '%s' ...", show it after
spawn fails - that way, it'll at least be correct.

Or, if we decide to leave the pre-check, at least change the text to
"Cannot _find_ grep tool '%s' ..."

7. [ ] Extra options. Unchecking this is the same as clearing the text
field, except that you can re-enable them later.

Make 'Extra options' a label.
If we want to keep the options, add a normal history. Personally I
don't care about them.

That's all.

E-gards: Jimmy

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