Problems with search functionality.

I wrote the message below a couple of weeks ago and did not get around to sending it. Since it is still relevant, I send it along with some other issues.


The F4 (search and replace) routine is not working as it used to do. One was (and still one is) presented with a dialog menu which asks various things you want to do. Two of these were (and still are)

( ) proMpt on replace
( ) replace All

When running previous versions, I used to be able to tick *both* of these choices. Now I can choose only one of them. Any attempt to choose both toggles off the one selected first in order to enable the second. :-(

If this has already been noticed and fixed and I should get a more up-to-date version, then please let me know.

Theodore Kilgore


For some reason, I did not get around to sending this back when I wrote it. The problems related to the git version distributed in Slackware-current as mc-20090514_git-i486-1 and seem to have been perpetuated in the currently-distributed mc-20090621_git-i486-1 package. I also have my own git tree for mc. Upon update and recompilation and reinstallation yesterday evening, it showed the same symptoms.

In addition to what is described above about the behavior of F4 search-and-replace functionality while editing with the internal editor, there are problems with search while viewing a file with option F3. The problems about searching include:

Search is not preserved during one mc session from one file to the next (this also is the case if you opened the files with F4 (edit) as well as with F3 (view)). If you want to search for the same thing in several files, you need to enter the searched-for each time, by hand, in the search window every time that you open another file. That is, when you closed the first file, you lost any record of what you were searching for in it, so when you open the second file and want to search in it for the same thing you need to re-type what you are searching for. This forgetfulness used not to happen, and it is therefore an unaccustomed behavior and an irritating inconvenience. If this was accidental, then I hope it is repaired. If the change was deliberate, then might I ask why it was done?

Also, to my great amazement and total surprise, I noticed something else which appears to me to be a new and retrograde behavior. I think that one can easily imagine wanting to search the same file for two different things. That is why it is so nice to be able to use F3 (view) and then F7 to search for, say, "foo" and then to use "/" to search for "bar". What did I find now? That if I tell F4 to search for "foo" then "/" is also searching for "foo" and if I open "/" and ask to search for "bar" then F4 will no longer search for "foo" the next time I open it, but now F4 is also searching for "bar"! In other words, F4 search and "/" search no longer are separate but now are linked together. I hope very much that this is unintended behavior, because it appears to me to be a bug which impairs the functionality of an old, heavily used, and well loved product.

Is there any reason for these problems, based in some radical revision of design philosopy, or are these items merely bugs as I hope they are?


During several attempts to remove and reinstall various versions, another problem was unearthed. This one relates to the functioning or non-functioning of the option mc -P (exit from Midnight Commander in $PWD). There is a script file which needs to be activated. The documentation (for example, the man page) says

       -P file, --printwd=file
Print the last working directory to the specified file. This option is not meant to be used directly. Instead, it's used from a special shell script that automatically changes the cur- rent directory of the shell to the last directory the Midnight Commander was in. Source the file /usr/share/mc/bin/ (bash and zsh users) or /usr/share/mc/bin/mc.csh (tcsh users) respec- tively to define mc as an alias to the appropriate shell script.

The problem?

There is no longer any such file as /usr/share/mc/bin/mc.*

Indeed, there is not any directory /usr/share/mc/bin. After some searching around, I found the file. It is now in /usr/libexec/mc. Since this change is not documented, it is a bit confusing. Also, for the first time in years I had to add a line in my .profile file which turns on the ability of mc to be exited in $PWD instead of going back to some other place on exit. Is this feature supposed to continue to exist without such intervention?

Theodore Kilgore

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