[Geany-Devel] Placeholder replacement in (build) commands

Lex Trotman elextr at xxxxx
Wed Apr 1 01:33:14 UTC 2015

On 1 April 2015 at 04:45, Dimitar Zhekov <dimitar.zhekov at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 31.3.2015 г. 03:16, Lex Trotman wrote:
>> On 31 March 2015 at 11:14, Colomban Wendling<lists.ban at herbesfolles.org>
>> wrote:
>>> Le 31/03/2015 02:10, Lex Trotman a écrit :
>>>> […]
>>>> Perhaps we should be more explicit in the manual that on *ix build
>>>> commands are run in the shell and the user is responsible for either
>>>> quoting the substitutions correctly, […]
>>> The user currently *cannot* do it "correctly" so it works with any
>>> possible replacement, that's actually the problem :]
>> See the second part of the sentence which you elided :-D
> There is 1 case where the user can't do it correctly: Context Action.
> if (sci_has_selection(doc->editor->sci))
>         word = sci_get_selection_contents(doc->editor->sci);
> ...
> utils_str_replace_all(&command, "%s", word);
> spawn_async(... command, ...)
> This can be fixed by removing the %s specified and passing the text as an
> argv after the command (the now spawn allows that), with the slight
> disadvantage that the selection will always be at the end.

Thats a nice way of making it content independent, but at the cost of
allways being at the end and being unable to append/prepend anything
to the replacement text.  This means that for example adding an
extension to a filename extracted from the selection would be

I don't use context actions much, so I can't say how common it would be.

> --
> In all other cases, except if somebody uses a file or directory name with '
> under Unix for build or printing, the right thing *can* be done by quoting.
> But:
> - In all default Geany commands, the placeholders are unquoted, meaning that
> any file name with space(s) currently breaks. Shame on us. :)

Well some of the default commands are double quoted, but not all IIRC
(filetypes.c uses all double quotes for eg).

> - The quotes are different under Unix/Win~1: single vs. double.

So in fact we should have two sets of filetype files, one for
linstalls and one for winstalls with different quotes on their

> I think there is an absolute minimum we can do about it: quote the
> file/directory name placeholders natively, but if, and only if, the entire
> command does not contain any single or double quotes. I don't see a way this
> can fail, but maybe elextr can prove me wrong.

Only for the commands run under the shell, if you mean "no quote
character in the command *and* all the replacement texts"[1] then it
would work on Linux but that makes its behaviour depend on the command
text and the replacement text so I forsee much confusion.  Better to
be consistent.

And if we use double quotes on Linux, then $ and ` (at least) will
have special powers[2] which you may not want in a filename, but may
want elsewhere.  So again we don't know if we should escape the
special chars or not.

> Of course, that's not perfect by any means. But if it'll unquestionably
> improve the most realistic scenarios (file / directory names with spaces),
> with a very small effort, I think it's worth.

I think its still "got too many flies on it" as we say here :)

Maybe we should throw away running under the shell, who's silly idea
was it anyway :)


> --
> E-gards: Jimmy

[1] think of %f being "fred's data" inside single quotes
[2] think of the %f being "$amounts", that will confuse the shell, and
will be real fun if amounts is defined :)

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