[IPython-user] Re: OSX tab completion
Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Fri Apr 1 20:03:27 CST 2005
Robert Kern wrote:
>>Robert, does this mean you also have the same problem? I didn't realize
>>that this was a widespread OSX issue. If someone has a definitive
>>solution/answer to this, please let me know so I can add this
>>information to the user's guide for future reference.
> Yes, I have the same problem. I am using my own build of readline 5.0.
> Unless I get more info very soon, this is also the build that will be in
OK, this is definitely controlled by the python build of readline.c. Here are
some pointers. From the Gnu readline manual at
I found this note:
Variable: int rl_completion_append_character
When a single completion alternative matches at the end of the command
line, this character is appended to the inserted completion text. The default
is a space character (` '). Setting this to the null character (`\0') prevents
anything being appended automatically. This can be changed in
application-specific completion functions to provide the "most sensible word
separator character" according to an application-specific command line syntax
Indeed, in the Python 2.4.1 source tree, in Modules/readline.c, around line
717 we find:
Now, a grep of the whole source tree reveals:
planck[Python-2.4.1]> egrep -rn HAVE_RL_COMPLETION_APPEND_CHARACTER *
configure:19433:#define HAVE_RL_COMPLETION_APPEND_CHARACTER 1
configure.in:2861: AC_DEFINE(HAVE_RL_COMPLETION_APPEND_CHARACTER, 1,
So what appears to occur is that under OSX, for whatever reason, configure is
NOT defining the HAVE_RL_COMPLETION_APPEND_CHARACTER macro, and hence the
rl_completion_append_character is never reset to '\0'. In this case, as
indicated above, the readline library will default to appending a space.
With this info, it should be possible to track down why under OSX (at least
under certain builds), the HAVE_RL_COMPLETION_APPEND_CHARACTER macro is not
being defined. Worse case, you could just modify readline.c to make the above
change unconditionally, without worrying about this macro (just strip the
Note that this variable is NOT exposed publically by the python readline API,
so this has to be fixed at build time, you can't reset it later at runtime via
any kind of user setting (at least not that I can see).
I hope this helps some.
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