Re: Mc Digest, Vol 62, Issue 3

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009, chris glur wrote:

Search 'hot-list'
Theodore Kilgore was describing:

view/F3 anf edit/F4 both have have search file
facilities, which have mutually diferent behavious. And seem inconsisitent ?

Actually, Chris, I was not complaining about the fact that different keys can be used for doing searches, depending on whether one is Viewing or Editing. In any event, the use of those keys is at this point ancient, time-honored, and hallowed by tradition. No problem there. Now, since that was not the problem, here again is a description of the problem:

I used to be able to search a file for something, then search another file for the *same string* and I did not need to re-enter the string when I opened the second file and wanted to search it. Now if I open the second file and hit the same search key, then the contents of the search request did not get saved for potential re-use. This is not old behavior. It used not to be thus. It is new behavior, which un-does something which used to be done right.

I did make one mistake in describing the MC version, which may have caused confusion:

I forgot that I was running the git source, and what was the reason for that. There is no such Slackware package, as far as I know, named "mc-20090514_git" except for the one which was locally created, right here. And now I am not using it any more, either, but the problems I described are still present. Yesterday I did "git pull" and re-compiled and re-installed to see if the problem I described just above has been fixed. I am running the most up-to-date Midnight Commander code that it is possible for me to run. The problem described above has not been fixed.

What was the reason why I have the git tree over here? Well, I wanted to look into the VirtualFileSystem stuff and see if I could understand it.

(No luck with that, unfortunately)

Why? Well, because it seems that LZM and LZMA compression are replacing Gzip and Bzip in a lot of applications. Slackware, my favorite distro, has for example quit using tgz (tar and gzip) packages and has switched over to a new package format "txz" (tar and lzm compress). Boy, it sure would be nice to be able to open one of those just like it is possible to open a gzipped or bz2'ed tarball and look inside at it just like it was an ordinary directory. Boy, with this new package format, I feel all of a sudden blind because I can not open this package format with MC.

Also there are several live distros which are using LZMA compression for big pieces of the filesystem, and are decompressing the stuff on the fly upon boot and mounting the pieces in a "union file system." Boy, it sure would be nice to be able to open one of those compressed files, just like one can open a tarball, by hitting Enter. Boy, it sure would be nice at least to be able to see the directory structure of one of these things (or of a compressed Slackware package, for that matter) by just hitting F3.

Well, I posted about this topic, it seems to me a couple of months ago. I pointed out that I am somewhat inexperienced with the way that the Midnight Commander code is put together, and therefore I might not be considered much of a helper, but I was also willing to put in time and energy to help, if I could. There were no responses to that post.

So that is one of the reasons why I got a copy of the git tree. The other reason is that I was trying to figure out how that the <-------> stuff for tabbing is working in the editor. As I said in the last post to which you are replying, Chris, there are some problems with that. It is a really clever idea, and useful, too, if one is writing code. But something bad is happening with those <------> thingies if one is using the mouse to copy code from one window to another. Namely, they are supposed to be a reflection of invisible characters, but when the mouse is thus used they literally become visible characters which are part of what is copied. Examples are given below.

Theodore Kilgore

"do sub-tasks once only, and then just 'recall' them "

== Chris Glur.

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Today's Topics:

   1. two questions about Slackware's "mc-20090514_git"
      (Theodore Kilgore)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:25:21 -0500 (CDT)
From: Theodore Kilgore <kilgota banach math auburn edu>
Subject: two questions about Slackware's "mc-20090514_git"
To: mc gnome org
        <alpine LNX 2 00 0906112056130 5372 banach math auburn edu>
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; format=flowed; charset=US-ASCII

First one:

There is some behavior about searching, to which I am not accustomed.
Namely, when one uses F3 to view then "/" or F7 allows one to search. That
is, of course, as usual. If one is editing a file with F4, then again F7
is used for doing a search. That is, of course, also as usual.

But what seems to me to be new is that if I do a search, then close the
file, and want to open either it or another file in the same directory and
do another search for the same thing, now the contents to be searched for
are gone and need to be re-entered in the search window. I could just
swear that the content of the search used to be persistent, and now it is
volatile. Now, even if one is opening the same file again, that which was
being searched for has disappeared. I think it was much more convenient
the other way.

Second one:

Again we have the feature in the editor that tabs are marked thus:

<------>err_code = reg_w(gspca_dev, 11);
<------>if (err_code < 0)
<------><------>return err_code;

This is not a bad thing if one is doing some kernel coding and has to obey
the rules. It certainly does distinguish tabs from spaces. But look what
it did when I used the mouse to copy it over here! Since some kind of
meta-characters are used, why exactly do they have to be seen and copied
thus by the mouse?

Even worse, when I create a new file called codesample.txt and use the
mouse to copy over the same three lines, now I literally have the arrow
characters in the file, not tabs. But of course they are supposed to
be tabs, not arrow characters. So it was OK to move the snippet of code
over, but now every line has to be edited by hand. Ouch.

Well, one might think that I was stupid and what I really ought to do is
to use F3 instead of having opened it with F4. But if I do that then at
the beginning of each line I have spaces instead of tabs. So, as far as
having to edit each line after copying, the result is equally unpleasant.

Interestingly, if I use "less" to open the file to be copied from, and
copy into a file which was opened by mcedit, then, upon checking, it
appears the tabs do get preserved. But no arrow symbols appear even
though the tabbing has survived the mouse-copy operation. Weird. Also

Therefore, the question boils down to the following:

Is it somehow possible to mark tabs (that is nice for coding, obviously)
but when one copies using the mouse from one file to another, the tabs are
preserved, and appropriate marking for them is used or introduced, but
the marking for them (if it was already present) is not transformed into
actual characters, which then need to be manually removed from the copied

Theodore Kilgore


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