Parsing and application of .gitignore-style ignore files.
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Parses ignore rules, of the style found in .gitignore files, and allows files and directories to be tested against the rules. Can also walk a directory and return all files that are not ignored.


my $ignores = File::Ignore.parse: q:to/IGNORE/
    # Output

    # Editor files

for $ignores.walk($some-dir) {
    say "Did not ignore file $_";

say $ignores.ignore-file('src/foo.c');      # False
say $ignores.ignore-file('src/foo.o');      # True
say $ignores.ignore-directory('src');       # False
say $ignores.ignore-directory('build');     # True

Pattern syntax

The following pattern syntax is supported for matching within a path segment (that is, between slashes):

?       Matches any character in a path segment
*       Matches zero or more characters in a path segment
[abc]   Character class; matches a, b, or c
[!0]    Negated character class; matches anything but 0
[a-z]   Character ranges inside of character classes

Additionally, ** is supported to match zero or more path segments. Thus, the rule a/**/b will match a/b, a/x/b, a/x/y/b, etc.


The parse method can be used in order to parse rules read in from an ignore file. It breaks the input up in to lines, and ignores lines that start with a #, along with lines that are entirely whitespace.

my $ignores = File::Ignore.parse(slurp('.my-ignore'));
say $ignores.WHAT; # File::Ignore

Alternatively, File::Ignore can be constructed using the new method and passing in an array of rules:

my $ignores = => <*.swp *.[ao]>);

This form treats everything it is given as a rule, not applying any comment or empty line syntax rules.

Walking files with ignores applied

The walk method takes a path as a Str and returns a Seq of paths in that directory that are not ignored. Both . and .. are excluded, as is usual with the Perl 6 dir function.

Use with your own walk logic

The ignore-file and ignore-directory methods are used by walk in order to determine if a file or directory should be ignored. Any rule that ends in a / is considered as only applying to a directory name, and so will not be considered by ignore-file. These methods are useful if you need to write your own walking logic.

There is an implicit assumption that this module will be used when walking over directories to find files. The key implication is that it expects a directory will be tested with ignore-directory, and that programs will not traverse the files within that directory if the result is True. Thus:

my $ignores = => ['bin/']);
say $ignores.ignore-directory('bin');

Will, unsurprisingly, produce True. However:

my $ignores = => ['bin/']);
say $ignores.ignore-file('bin/x');

Will produce False, since no ignore rule explicitly ignores that file. Note, however, that a rule such as bin/** would count as explicitly ignoring the file (but would not ignore the bin directory itself).

Using File::Ignore in non-walk scenarios

Sometimes it is desirable to apply the ignore rules against an existing list of paths. For example, a find command run on a remote server produces a set of paths. Calling ignore-file on each of these will not work reliably, thanks to the assumption that it will never be asked about files in a directory that would be ignored by ignore-directory.

The ignore-path method not only checks that a file should be ignored, but also checks if any of the directories making up the path should be ignored. This means it is safe to apply it to a simple list of paths, in a non-walk scenario.

my $ignores = => ['bin/']);
say $ignores.ignore-file('bin/x');  # False
say $ignores.ignore-path('bin/x');  # True


A rule can be negated by placing a ! before it. Negative rules are ignored until a file or directory matches a positive rule. Then, only negative rules are considered, to see if it is then un-ignored. If a matching negative rule is found, positive rules continue to be searched.

Therefore, these two rules:


Would ignore everything in foo/bar/ except ok. However:


Would not work because the negation comes before the ignore. Further, negated file ignores cannot override directory ignores, so:


Would also not work; the trailing * is required.

Thread safety

Once constructed, a File::Ignore object is immutable, and thus it is safe to use an instance of it concurrently (for example, to call walk on the same instance in two threads). Construction, either through new or parse, is also thread safe.