FindAdv, request for comments

Scott Kostyshak skostysh at
Wed Feb 10 05:38:15 UTC 2021

On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 02:02:09PM +0100, Kornel Benko wrote:
> Problems with FindAdv and search with not ignored format
> What we have now is something 'neither fish nor fowl'.
> For instance for the search of characters with a specific size
> we use strings/regexes wrapped with the size-spec. All is nice, until the size is the
> default in the document. In that case the wrapping has no effect (because the text
> created by latex output does not contain this info)
> Same is valid for language, color, family, series, shape, etc.
> Also we don't have the options to exclude characters with specific features from search.
> (like search for words which are not part of a Latin sequence)
> I am not sure, if investing more into this (without creating a nex export-type for search
> (ala Docbook)) would get better sollutions.
> Comment are appreciated.

I use Advanced Find about once a week and for those times it is just the
right tool for the job. However, when I use it with certain combinations
of regexes and settings, I do not not just use it without thinking about
it and assuming that it does what I intended. I use it to do the
find/replace or whatever I'm doing, and then I look at "git diff" of the
document I modified to do a quick double-check, and then I do a manual
search to see if I missed anything else. As long as I proceed with that
caution, it's a helpful tool to me personally. And thinking about it
more, when I do a regex find/replace in Vim I also always proceed with
caution and do double-checking. I think this indicates that I really
don't trust myself to get the regex right the first time.

I don't know how to answer your questions since I don't know the code.
But I feel it will be impossible to fix everything for it. Also, I think
that this is a good example where having unit tests would be
considerably better than the autotests. That is, without a unit test
framework and an extensive set of unit tests, I would be hesitant to
change anything. But that's just because the code looks scary to me.
Also, I haven't tried the autotests in a while so maybe those work
better than I remember. I guess what I'm saying is I'm glad you spent a
good chunk of time on it and fixed a bunch of issues all at once because
I think whoever edits the code really needs to get a feeling for it.
This part of the code does not seem like an area where one can casually
drop in and fix individual bugs from time to time without unit tests
that would check that nothing else is broken.

In any case, thanks a lot for bravely tackling the code and improving
it! I've been using it on master and it is more accurate and faster than
before. My "trust" of it has definitely increased.

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