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Re: Completion of links to man pages

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: Re: Completion of links to man pages
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2023 17:36:53 +0000

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> Yes, but one cannot replicate the same completion dialogue
>> programmatically in future-compatible way.
> What do you mean by that?  "M-x man" does this:
>   (interactive
>    (list (let* ((default-entry (Man-default-man-entry))
>               ;; ignore case because that's friendly for bizarre
>               ;; caps things like the X11 function names and because
>               ;; "man" itself is case-insensitive on the command line
>               ;; so you're accustomed not to bother about the case
>               ;; ("man -k" is case-insensitive similarly, so the
>               ;; table has everything available to complete)
>               (completion-ignore-case t)
>               Man-completion-cache    ;Don't cache across calls.
>               (input (completing-read
>                       (format-prompt "Manual entry"
>                                        (and (not (equal default-entry ""))
>                                             default-entry))
>                         'Man-completion-table
>                       nil nil nil 'Man-topic-history default-entry)))
> This uses completing-read, as I think you wanted.
> ...
> Why cannot you reuse Man-completion-table?
>> For now, as you can see in the quoted code from my initial message, we
>> have to partially replicate the code from man.el and woman.el:
>> (defun org-man--complete-man (prompt)
>>    (require 'man)
>>    (let (Man-completion-cache) ;; <- implementation detail in man.el
>>      (completing-read
>>       prompt
>>       'Man-completion-table)))
> And why is that a problem?

Because we also need to bind (completion-ignore-case t) and
(Man-completion-cache nil). Ideally, these details should not be
something we need to know. It would be better if man.el provided some
kind of API function like `man-completing-read' that takes care about
these details, which are apparently necessary to avoid bug#13160 and

>> However, `Man-completion-table' is not documented (no docstring),
> If the only thing that's missing is its doc string, that is easy to
> add.

Docstring would certainly help. Otherwise, we have to guess what that
function does.

Ihor Radchenko // yantar92,
Org mode contributor,
Learn more about Org mode at <https://orgmode.org/>.
Support Org development at <https://liberapay.com/org-mode>,
or support my work at <https://liberapay.com/yantar92>

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