A couple of suggestions for improving the usefulness of pagespecs:

  • @ to match [^/]* (i.e. all pages exactly one level below this one)
  • initial ./ to mean "from the page the pagespec is running from". This would require some architectural changes and a change to the interface for pagespec_match. What do you think? I have lots of pages a/b/c.mdwn that inline "a/b/c/*".


I want this too, so that the examples can use pagespecs that don't have to be changed when the pages are moved around. I don't know how I feel about the "@" thing, but "./" seems good. I take it you've looked at how to implement it?

It's worth mentioning that there's a bit of an inconsistency; wikilinks match relative by default and absolute if prefixed with a "/", while pagespecs match absolute by default. It would be nice to clear up that inconsistency somehow, it's on my little list of things in ikiwiki that arn't ideal. :-) --Joey

I've looked at how to implement "./", yes, and I was a little hesitant to disturb the elegant implementation of pagespecs as it is now. That's why I wrote this todo item rather than just a patch. :) As I see it, the simplest thing to do is check globs when building the pagespec expression and translate "./foo" to "$from.'/foo'" in the resulting expression, and then add the $from paramater to pagespec_match. This does require an API change for all plugins which use pagespecs but hopefully it should be minor. I will work on a patch tomorrow.

My use case for "@" (which is kind of a crummy symbol, but whatever) is my projects page. I want to inline "summary" or "introduction" pages that are exactly one level below the inlining page, but not tarballs or other junk that might be in subdirectories. (The issue is confounded here because of my index.mdwn patch, but the principle is the same.) I chose "@" because it's similar in physical shape to "*" but enclosed, suggesting limitations. I also thought it would be useful in simplifying hacks like in map but I see now that I was mistaken.. "four or fewer levels deep" would be "@ or @/@ or @/@/@ or @/@/@/@". Well, I think it has a certain appeal but I can see why it might not be much of an improvement. :) --Ethan

Seems to me that ".." would be the natural thing to use, not "@". --Joey

I don't understand.. "a/b/.." matches a/b/c but not a/b/c/d ? That doesn't seem natural to me at all. --Ethan

Ah.. in that case, why not use "a/b/ and !a/b//*" ? No need for a new symbol. --Joey

I know it's not necessary, but it would be helpful. --Ethan

I don't see the need for a new syntax since it's only a little long using the old one. And of course even that can now be shortened: "./ and !.//*" --Joey

OK, I took a shot at implementing the changes. I was thinking about making pagespecs relative by default but I couldn't decide whether page foo/bar inlining * should match foo/bar/* or foo/*. So I punted and left things as absolute, with ./* matching foo/bar/*, which I think is pretty clear. The patch is at ikidev and you can see it work at this page or this page --Ethan

Nice patch, though I see the following problems with it: * The sole pagespec_match in IkiWiki::Render probably should have $p as its third parameter. This will allow add_depends to add a dependency on a pagespec that matches relative to the page. I made this changes and it seems to work, new pages are noticed in updates.

OK, word.

  • ! $from fails to match pages named "0" :-)

I don't understand. How did you even get $from into the translated pagespec?

  • '/./ matches any letter, not just "." :-) :-)

Oof, thanks for catching that.

  • One other major problem. If you look at the doc/examples/blog/index.mdwn I changed it to use relative globs like "./posts/", but they didn't work, because it looked for examples/blog/indexposts/ instead of examples/blog/index/posts/. And, of course, what I really expected it to look for was examples/blog/posts/. I think you may have made the wrong choice about that, so I changed it to go the other way. What do you think?

I could have sworn I made a change like that -- I was gonna make a call to basename() or something .. wait, I might have decided not to, because it would interfere with my index patch. Yeah, I guess my code was wrong. Don't "nice patches" usually work? :) My test cases were mostly "./*", so it slipped under the radar.

As for what it should have done, that's much harder! My gut feeling is that "a/b/c.mdwn" inlining ./* wants a/b/c/* and not a/b/*, and this is what I programmed for. I also feel that "a/b/c" inlining ./d/* could go either way. Ideally we'd check for both, maybe using bestlink?

The issue might be confounded some by your use of an index page, and ikiwiki doesn't have good support for those yet :) . I think ideally your index page would be treated as inlining from examples/blog/. To resolve this issue we should consider, for example: clothes/pants inlines ./jeans/* -- probably means clothes/pants/jeans vacation/bermuda/blog inlines ./pics/* -- probably vacation/bermuda/pics

What strikes me about your examples is that the "right thing" is utterly contect dependent. Unfortunatly, I don't think that using bestlink inside pagespec is possible. bestlinks change as pages are added/removed, and dealing with the matches of a pagespec changing when some page that is added or removed seems Hard.

Since it seems we have to arbitrarily pick one of the two behaviors, I prefer the one I picked for two reasons: 1. The other behavior can be obtained easily from it, for example, use ./c/* to limit the matches to that subdir. 2. The common case is a bunch of pages in a single directory, not lots of deeply nested subdirs. --Joey

Context-dependence was my conclusion too. My feeling is that inlining in a subdirectory of the current page is more common, but I don't really know. However, I think the changes as written should work OK with my index patch and allowing inlining from a/b/c/, so I'm satisfied. --Ethan

I've committed support for ./ to ikiwiki now, based on your patch. done --Joey

Cool! I haven't played with it yet, but looking over the patch, I see that you added another parameter to match_glob, which is an approach that didn't occur to me. I like it, it's more flexible. --Ethan

One last thing -- could you either change:




Or could you put in:

            $glob =~ s!//!/!g;

somewhere? Or should I just add this to my index patch? --Ethan

If it's specific to your index patch, let's put it in there. --Joey